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NEWS | Oct. 20, 2021

1022nd Engineer Co. completes construction projects in Iraq

By 1st Lt. James Mason, West Virginia Army National Guard

ERBIL AIR BASE, Iraq – Soldiers of the 1022nd Engineer Company, a unit of the 111th Theater Engineer Brigade, West Virginia Army National Guard, are deployed in multiple countries across the CENTCOM area of operations, including Iraq.

The team of 1022nd Soldiers in Iraq, led by Staff Sgt. Bryon Granderson, has been working on multiple vertical construction projects during their time at Erbil Air Base, including sunshades, chairs and benches, platforms, and most recently, over a dozen sets of staircases.

The staircases will be used by units across the entire base, including U.S. troops, coalition forces and partner nations.

“The point of this project is to ensure the safety of Soldiers so that they can do their job proficiently and safely,” said Granderson. “The impact will be extreme. Troops will no longer have to worry about climbing up ladders while facing the possibility of tipping over.”

Soldiers were constantly climbing up and down ladders to get to higher platforms. Soldiers would often climb the ladders while carrying tools, equipment, and many times a weapon, which created a significant increase in the probability of an accident occurring.

Now, with the staircases emplaced in some of the most highly traveled areas, Soldiers will be able to get to elevated platforms safer and more efficiently.

“These staircases are extremely important because it will allow troops to climb up and down to locations safely,” said Granderson. “The goal is always to have three points of contact and stability when climbing something, so this meets that demand.”

Despite the Iraqi heat and long workdays, the Soldiers of the 1022nd remain positive and proud of their work.

“The best part about this project is being able to provide better welfare for the Soldiers and making a difference for years to come. It feels very rewarding,” said Spc. Justin Davis of the 1022nd Engineer Company. “We have all worked to build these as a team, which allowed us to become proficient with this task.”

Members of the 1022nd have built more than 15 staircases to be used by troops in Erbil. Requests for more continue to come in from units across the base.