North Atlantic division supports Korea mission during deployment

by Antwaun J. Parrish, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District
Stripes Korea

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea—A team of personnel collectively from several districts within the North Atlantic Division recently put their technical skills to the test as they worked in various support roles during their deployment to South Korea.

The Forward Engineer Support Team (FEST) deployed this summer for three weeks in support of 8th Army and 19th Engineering Support Company.

Preston Jacka, a structural engineer for the Baltimore district, served as the team leader for the mission due to his technical background,

Jacka explained that he has a background in bridge reconnaissance (recon) which made him an obvious leader for the team since they’d be conducting work in that technical field.

The team was broken down into two components during their deployment. One site assessment team was responsible for looking at areas around Dageu and Busan area. The other team was assigned to recon area around Camp Humphreys in support of 8th Army.

Being that the FEST team is comprised of members from different districts there were a few hurdles to cross but the team managed to successfully work together.

For example, although Jacka has a bridge recon background, many of his teammates do not. Which means that he had to speed them up on all the technical aspects of the mission.

“It’s always a little bit of a challenge but several of the team members have been together on past deployments and they have interfaced with each other several times at their own district,” said Jacka. “So I’ll say that all the team is familiar with each other even if we haven’t worked directly together.”

Jacka feels that the team’s hard work and efforts have contributed to a solid outcome that he and his customers will be pleased to accept.

“We have been hitting our requirements and overcoming a few of the challenges but overall we’re getting a good product and we should deliver something that 8th Army can use.”

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