Work On Projects
At Historic Kilauea
BY KEN LITTLE
A 62-member contingent from the Greeneville-based 733rd Engineer Company recently helped renovate a historic military camp in Hawaii.
Members of the U.S. Army Reserve unit spent 21 days at the Kilauea Military Camp (KMC). The main body of the 733rd was there from July 17 through Aug. 4, said 1st Lt. Andrew P. Kelley, executive officer of the 733 Engineer Company.
Capt. Haris Balcinovic, of Jonesborough, assumed command of the unit in June.
"The KMC is a recognized historic site, and all non-electrical construction must be performed to appear as though it is from the 1940s," according to Lt. Kelley.
"The KMC is located inside the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is on an active volcano.
"The soldiers had the unique opportunity to not only work on a volcano, but they were also able to run to the top of the volcano during physical readiness training," Kelley said in an e-mail.
The 733rd Engineer Company successfully completed 10 construction projects.
"Included in the scope of work were a wide variety of projects. Two roofing projects included the replacement of rusted sheet metal. The life cycle of the sheet metal is significantly shortened by acid rain and large amounts of sulfur in the air," Kelley said.
"Because of this, the sheet metal at the KMC lasts approximately seven years, whereas it lasts approximately 25 years on the rest of the island."
Two sidewalk restoration projects were also completed at the military camp, Kelley said.
More than 350 linear feet of four-foot sidewalk was replaced with six-foot concrete sidewalk, he said.
Kelley said that the subject matter expert working on the sidewalk projects, Sgt. Scotty Williams, developed a method of coloring and finishing the sidewalk to give it the appearance of being historic.
"The KMC Department of Public Works approved the new method and will use it on all future projects," Kelley said.
The 733rd electricians completed two electrical projects, involving both interior and exterior work. The interior work included running wiring and the installation of overhead lights, outlet boxes, and switches.
"The soldiers also replaced rusted transformer-housing boxes and simplified the wiring, allowing for safer electrical operation and easier maintenance," Kelley said.
CAMP HAS 'HISTORIC VALUE'
Other construction projects included dismantling building interiors down to the frames, constructing new wall frames, and restoring the awning of a historic building, he said.
"The 733rd Engineer Company was given praise by a retired Marine colonel and an actively-serving Army Reserve colonel for its hard work," Kelley said.
"Kilauea Military Camp holds a lot of historic value and significance. The administration building, one of the main buildings requiring roof replacement, was originally constructed in 1916."
KMC hosted numerous dignitaries during World War II, including General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became senior allied commander during the war, and went on to be elected U.S. President in 1952.
AN ACTIVE YEAR
The 733rd Engineering Company has had an active year. In May, 27 members of the reserve unit completed a 15-day mission of mercy in Honduras.
While the 733rd was in the San Pedro Sula area of the Central American country, work was done at two medical clinics and one school.
About 10 soldiers who live in the Greeneville area are members of the 733rd Engineer Company, Kelley said.
"Most of our soldiers live a good distance away, some coming from as far as Indiana and Florida," he recently said.
The 733rd is based at the Army Reserve Center here, at 701 East Barton Ridge Road.