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NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
The engineers, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, are using real world plumbing and constructions projects to enhance the facilities at the Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana.
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 1 of 9: Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 2 of 9: Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 3 of 9: Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell Download full-resolution version
Sgt. Matthew Dofflemyer, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, breaks apart rocks with a jackhammer shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 4 of 9: Sgt. Matthew Dofflemyer, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, breaks apart rocks with a jackhammer shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 5 of 9: A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 6 of 9: Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 7 of 9: Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 8 of 9: A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Spc. Timothy Love, an interior electrician with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, replaces a light fixture in a bathroom in the Warrant Officer Barracks at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 16, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
9 photos: NC Guard Engineers work on Building Projects and Relationships in Botswana
Photo 9 of 9: Spc. Timothy Love, an interior electrician with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, replaces a light fixture in a bathroom in the Warrant Officer Barracks at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 16, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell) Download full-resolution version
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
Spc. Adam Bates, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell
Sgt. Matthew Dofflemyer, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, breaks apart rocks with a jackhammer shovels dirt from around water and sewer pipes while his Botswana Defense Force counterpart advises, in preparation for replacing a sewer line at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
Botswana Defense Force service members repair a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
A member of the Botswana Defense Force repairs a broken water line during a project to replace a sewer line with North Carolina National Guard Soldiers in the 882nd Engineer Company, at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 11, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)
Spc. Timothy Love, an interior electrician with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, replaces a light fixture in a bathroom in the Warrant Officer Barracks at Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana on July 16, 2019. This was one of several projects conducted in partnership with North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey National Guards and the Botswanan Defense Force during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell)

More than 170 Army and Air Guardsmen from North Carolina, Alabama and New Jersey are training in partnership with their Botswana Defense Force counterparts during Upward Minuteman 2019, a U.S. Africa Command exercise promoting the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Programs on the African Continent.

The training, which runs for about two weeks in July, 2019 and will continue through the middle of July, includes security forces, military police, Army musicians, fire fighters and engineers.

The engineers, with the North Carolina National Guard’s 882nd Engineer Company, are using real world plumbing and constructions projects to enhance the facilities at the Thebephatshwa Airbase in Botswana, and train BDF service members how to continue these type of projects in the future.

By the end of Upward Minuteman 2019, the 882nd Soldiers, in partnership with the BDF counterparts will have installed a booster pump to increase water pressure, replaced a section of 4-inch sewer pipe with 6-inch pipe, and installed a separation chamber for a sewer system in one location called the Pink House Project, while simultaneously working at the BDF Warrant Officer Barracks repairing sinks, replacing countertops, replacing faucets, repairing drains, installing new shower heads, replacing a hot water heater, replacing light fixtures, replacing a toilet, installing door locks and repainting more than a dozen rooms.

They will also have repaired a backboard and installed new hoops on the basket ball court.

But, they are doing more than just fixing the facilities, they are teaching the BDF how to do the repairs themselves in the future.

“A lot of it is to better the situation for the BDF, that is the way I take it personally,” said Sgt. 1st Class James Hasting, the Construction Site Supervisor at the Warrant Officer Barracks location. “The BDF is learning how to conduct maintenance, how to clear these water lines, what to do when something else breaks and how to fix or replace it.”

The Botswana service members and not just learning from their U.S. counterparts, they are jumping in and at times getting dirty and wet right along side them. When a water pipe broke during excavation of the sewer line at the Pink House Project, BDF service members immediately jumped in and began repairing the line.

“It’s a very good working relationship that we’ve created this week, they’re willing to jump right in with us and get their hands dirty just as we are,” said Presley Kiger, a horizontal engineer working at the pink house project. “We learn things and they learn things from us, so its been a good experience”

In 2011 the 882nd spent time in El Salvador and in 2017 they went to Romania, both times completing construction projects, but this is the first time many of the Soldiers have worked side by side with service members from the country they are working in.

“It is a great experience. They get to partner with someone from a different country. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of these Soldiers,” Hastings said. “Here, they get to work together and we can learn from each other.”

In addition to the experience of partnering with foreign service members, the projects themselves are also a learning experience for the 882nd engineer Soldiers.

Capt. Kevin Jones, 882nd Engineer Company Commander said the projects are great training opportunity for his new Soldiers and that they will leave here more knowledgeable in both their technical skills and their people skills.

“It is useful from the training aspect but at the same time, so we can build a relationship with our different partners,” he said. “When we work with them in the future, they will know how we operate. I think that he biggest part of being here is to build the relationship.”

Upward Minuteman 2019 is the first exercise of its kind, helping build a relationship between the North Carolina National Guard and the Botswana Defense Force, as well as setting an example for future training events like it across the region.

For the 882nd Soldiers, their construction projects will act as a tangible legacy that both forces and build on in the years to come.

“We do a lot of hands on work so you feel very accomplished,” Kiger said. “We can see what we’re doing, you can see that we’re making making a difference. It’s a big satisfaction to us knowing that we can leave this behind for them to use and if we hopefully do come back in the future it would still be here and we can see that it’s in progress or maybe they’re adding on to it. We hope that they will build off of this project.”

There are currently 13 State Partnerships between the United States and African Nations: North Carolina and Botswana; California and Nigeria; New York and South Africa; Michigan and Liberia; Utah and Morocco; Vermont and Senegal; Wyoming and Tunisia; Kentucky and Djibouti; Massachusetts and Kenya; and Indiana and Niger. The North Dakota Guard is partnered with three countries: Ghana, Togo, and Benin.

The U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program began in 1993 with partnerships between the NG of designated states and newly independent Eastern European countries.

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