Engineer team

Capt. Rachel M. Hardesty and Staff Sgt. Jeremy J. Hodson a two-man engineer crew with the 4th Sustainment Brigade pose after tearing down a shed Jan. 1 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. By removing the shed themselves they were able to save time and money to allow resources to be used for larger de-scoping operations.

Sgt. Adam A. Erlewein | U.S. Army

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghansitan — Engineers normally work in platoon or company-sized elements but for the hard-working Wranglers from the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, they have assisted in descoping Bagram Airfield and parts of Afghanistan as a two-man shop.

Capt. Rachel M. Hardesty and Staff Sgt. Jeremy J. Hodson are in charge of descoping operations for the Wrangler brigade.

The Wranglers are in charge of maintaining multiple land parcels on the airfield ranging in various sizes from one acre to 150 acres.

They are responsible for ensuring these parcels are properly maintained which includes the cleanliness, sanitation of unwanted structures, and ensuring proper security for equipment stored on certain parcels or the tenants that live there.

“(The airfield has) given us 110 parcels, and our job is to manage those whether it is our tenants or other units on that land and ensure that they keep the area clean, free of debris, and remove any unused or unwanted equipment, buildings or containers. Any assistance they need we will provide that for them,” Hodson said. “We manage about 60 percent of BAF with just two people.”

Hardesty and Hodson have to inspect all the parcels routinely to prepare for descope missions, maintenance or inventory of barriers, housing units and other structures to be utilized in other areas around Bagram. This ensures that all of the assets are being properly utilized or removed inadvertently saving the tax payer’s dollars and preventing waste.

“Managing the parcels is a giant part of our mission here in Afghanistan,” Hardesty said.

The team has completed more than 170 projects, descoping many of those projects by coordinating with contractors to execute the mission or they take it upon themselves to descope smaller structures. By descoping certain projects themselves they speed up the downsizing and also save man hours and resources that can be utilized for larger projects.

The wooden structures on the airfield are being descoped to make way for more efficient structures or they sanitize the grounds the structures were on to reduce the footprint left by them.

Hardesty said the wooden structures require a large amount of cost to maintain due to the time it takes to heat and cool those buildings, and the buildings longevity is also shorter. By replacing those buildings with more permanent structures they reduce the cost of maintenance and also provide better protection against indirect fire.

“One of the projects we completed ourselves took a full day to tear down and then we had to get a dumpster to dump the wood in,” Hardesty said. “The second part of the project only took half a day and that was tearing down a stairwell, a shed, and a big water blivet.”

The Wrangler engineer team said their mission is very challenging but they feel like they have accomplished a lot of work since they have been here and it helps that they can see a finished product.

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