KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —
Spc. Chamroeun Siv, a signal support specialist for 760th Engineer Company, 489th Engineer Battalion, who hails from Roanoke, Va., admits he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
Although working in a military occupational specialty that focuses on communications, the 29-year-old specialist has been doing his part as a hands-on member of his engineer unit, performing many tasks that engineers normally do.
“Since I’m in an engineer unit, I hardly ever do communications,” said Siv. “I like it because it keeps me occupied and gets me out of my tent. There’s nothing like hard work and this is something I love doing.”
“It’s helped me to learn some new skills under the supervision of our engineers, which has been a great experience,” he added.
Working in a unit which is attached to the 82nd Sustainment Brigade – U.S. Central Command Recovery Element, Siv assists in the CMRE mission of enabling base closures and transfers to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by working on various deconstruction projects.
“For the project we’re working on now, disassembling a series of re-locatable buildings, we’re taking all the insides out and sending them to the restrosort yards,” said Siv. “We remove such things as wires, flooring, windows doors, walls, staircases and various equipment.”
“It’s amazing to see how quickly we can get the work done and on today’s project, we’re ahead of schedule,” added Siv. “We are able to get lots of manpower and sometimes you might see a full platoon out here.”
Occasionally, Siv goes back to his communications duties when called upon to set up radios and other equipment troops need to do their jobs outside the wire.
“Some of our missions will be outside the gates at other forward operating bases to do deconstruction there, so I’ll be getting the radios ready,” said the specialist, who has more than three years of duty with the Army Reserves. “I’m looking forward to doing both jobs although I am a little anxious about (improvised explosive devices) and I’m sure that I should be going on a few missions that involve convoys.”
“But I know that we had good training at our mobility site before getting out here and I plan on not getting complacent,” added Siv. “Also, I’m confident in our team, our people, our equipment and their capabilities.”
Siv, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in accounting, said he is pursuing several goals that keep him occupied during his down time.
“When I get back home, I’m thinking about getting a job with the government and I definitely plan on reenlisting,” said Siv. “I’d like to go officer and I’ve got a few other options in mind as well.”
“My goals here are to do my job well and save some money,” he added.
Siv knows his work will help save American taxpayers money in the long run and said the challenges of his job are well-worth the rewards.
“It feels good to be part of the CMRE and Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Siv. “It gives you pride in yourself as an American.”
“We’re making a big impact out here,” he added. “I’m happy we’re making such a large contribution to our nation’s efforts, making it possible for U.S. forces to eventually redeploy from Afghanistan.”