La. National Guard soldiers work alongside local communities
By Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana National Guard (LANG) 225th Engineer Brigade and 769th Engineer Battalion, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, worked to complete multiple site projects in local communities across Louisiana for their annual training.
The projects were a part of the innovative readiness training (IRT) , a DoD collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants.
This year, the LANG executed five different projects: constructed an obstacle course for the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana; cleared and grubbed approximately 75 acres of land at the Ruston Industrial Complex in Ruston, Louisiana; constructed dirt berms at the Grant Parish Shooting Range in Dry Prong, Louisiana; cleared and grubbed a drainage canal at Louisiana State University in Alexandria, Louisiana; and completed interior work and door replacements at Prince Hall Youth Camp near Ville Platte, Louisiana.
The LANG contributed more than 1,200 personnel and approximately $2.5 million in savings for local organizations. IRT also provides large-scale projects that allow Soldiers to fine-tune their military occupational skills.
“The program allows service members to train on their military occupational specialty,” said New Orleans native Capt. Jackson H. Kimbrell, the LANG IRT manager. “These real-world projects positively impact local communities where normally funding and resources are unavailable.”
According to the IRT website, participating service members gain job satisfaction being a part of an IRT mission and experience training that mimics deployment conditions.
“I like how I can come in, when there is no clear view of what things are going to look like, and suddenly the ideas come together like artwork when the project is complete,” said Sgt. Aubrey M. Boothe, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to the 528th Engineer Battalion from Baton Rouge Louisiana. “One of the great things about this program is that it has afforded me the opportunity of gaining experience during my annual training and drill responsibilities.”