8th ESB building ISMT, teamwork

20 Nov 2001 | Lance Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

"There is no limit to the amount of good that people can accomplish, if they don't care who gets the credit." These are the words of musician, writer and video maker Peter Gabriel.

The aforementioned quote also relates to the work that the 2d Platoon, Charlie Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion has been doing toward the construction of the 2d Force Service Support Group, Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer here.

The ISMT is an interactive video marksmanship simulator, which provides skills training for a variety of weapons, such as the M-16A2 service rifle.

"We've been working on this ISMT since about Sept. 26," said Staff Sgt. Craig Fried, platoon sergeant and construction foreman. "My Marines have been working nearly 75 to 80 hours a week, and they work weekends. But the morale out here has been incredibly high."

The Marines building the ISMT are working on the framing, the wiring and the installation of drywall. The building is roughly 5,000 square feet and is the largest construction project the platoon has faced.

"I really think by tackling this project as well as we have been, we're setting the example for the battalion," explained Fried, of Albion, Pa.

"I've done many different tasks since I've been out here. I've helped shingle the roof, build the frame and lay the blocks," said Buffalo, N.Y., native Lance Cpl. Robert Rutkowski, combat engineer.

"Usually, we build bunkers and things like that, not really anything as large as this. But this project is definitely a good experience builder."

In order to help his Devil Dogs strengthen their carpentry skills, Fried has not allowed power tools, such as power hammers.

"A lot of the Marines have never even nailed a nail before, so I am teaching them the basics of carpentry," said Fried. "As they progress, I'll let them use power hammers and things like that."

Fried admitted that the Marines may get bruises and splinters from the hard work, but that has been the extent of injuries received thus far.

"For this project, we've logged nearly 6,500 man hours, but we've not had one serious injury," stated Fried.  "After everything with the structure is finished, the people who run the ISMT are going to install the system."

The facility is scheduled to be completed before the Christmas holiday. The 8th ESB Support Co. electricians are also helping during the effort.