Pacific Angel engineers improve Vietnam schools infrastructure
By Tech. Sgt. Kamaile Casillas , Pacific Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published September 14, 2017
TAM KY, QUANG NAM PROVINCE, Vietnam --
Over the last few days, U.S. and Vietnam People's Army engineers have been working side-by-side during Pacific Angel 17-2 here, dedicating time and resources to quality of life and infrastructure improvement projects.
A team of 12 Vietnamese engineers and 16 from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps is responsible for renovating four schools, as well as a health post and three community centers. The team is responsible for infrastructure enhancements to include installing ceilings, toilets, sinks, along with ceiling and wall fans at Tam Thai Commune Cultural Center, Binh Dinh Nam Commune Cultural Center, Tram Y Te Xa My Tay Commune, Nguyen Duy Hieu Primary School, Trung Hoc CC Sc Nguyen Ba Ngoc School, Truong Thcs Phan Tay Ho School, Hoa Sen Kindergarten School, and Binh Dinh Nam Health Commune.
“Even with the language barrier, integrating with the Vietnamese has been a seamless process and this opportunity has provided the engineers with the experience,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dwight Richards, Pacific Angel 17-2 lead engineer from 18th Civil Engineer Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan.
Working together in a joint environment also provides the engineers a chance to see how sister services accomplish things and in some cases, requires them to step outside of their primary duties to refine skillsets that are often not utilized.
“Our job as combat engineers normally involves demolition,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Antonio Moniz, one of two combat engineers from Camp Pendleton, California. “We learn basic carpentry and construction skills, but our day-to-day job is more focused on [specialized] demolitions for urban breaching and land mine warfare.”
PACANGEL builds partnerships between regional nations by conducting multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations, promoting regional military-civilian-nongovernmental organization cooperation and interoperability.
“Our biggest challenge is staying on schedule while working with our counterparts and trying to get it all done,” Richards said. “But in the end, knowing that our work will have an everlasting impact on the kids and the people that utilize the facilities we're improving makes it worth all of the effort.”
PACANGEL 17-2 will conclude with a closing ceremony at the Truong Thcs Phan Tay Ho School, September 18.