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Feature Stories

NEWS | Jan. 17, 2021

Task Force Iron Castle and 891st Engineer Battalion's 996th Engineer Construction Company begin a joint training mission with engineers of the Kuwait Land Forces at the Land Force Institute, constructing a Forward Operating Base and Command Post Exercise

By Courtesy Story 16th Engineer Brigade Public Affairs

During the week of Jan. 17, the 996th Engineer Construction Company begin a joint training mission with troops of the Kuwait Land Forces at the Land Force Institute.

Engineers of the 996th ECC and the Kuwaiti soldiers met early Sunday, Jan. 17 to conduct a brief about the day’s training. This process made easier by the presence of Spc. Joseph Wahballa, a Soldier of the 996th ECC who aided as a translator between U.S. forces and the Kuwaiti soldiers.

Members of the 996th ECC instructed Kuwaiti troops on how to properly utilize HESCO bastions, a rapidly deployable barrier used to safeguard personnel, equipment, and protect against flooding. “The Kuwaitis don’t typically use HESCOs and have had little experience using them” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Dubey, 996th’s project NCOIC. “We’re here primarily to help them learn how to properly set up HESCO barriers and help them understand basic Forward Operating Base (FOB) concepts like building an Entry Control Point (ECP), building access points, and making sure it’s the proper height for force protection purposes.”

While working on the HESCO barriers, the participants separated into small groups with both Kuwaiti with 996th soldiers — allowing them to work side by side on different parts of the job site.

“This training is mainly for safety and understanding of what our equipment can do and what their equipment can do,” said 1lt. Neva Finke, Training Officer and Assistant Plans Officer of the 16th Engineer Brigade. “Bringing it together in one training event has been the hopes and dreams of the Kuwait Land Force as well as the U.S., so we’re happy to see this going well.”

The 996th ECC will continue to pursue more opportunities to work with the Kuwait Land Force soldiers.