Marines Arrive to Provide Engineering Support for All-Weather Road in El Centro

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sgt cody haasCAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Military combat engineers strive for perfection in every construction project. For Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, it is a daily goal.

Combat engineer Marines supported a Department of Defense road construction project at El Centro, California.

Marines arrived during January, providing engineering support to construct an all-weather road in El Centro, California, along the United States-Mexico border to increase U.S. border patrol mobility and support the interdiction of transnational threats.

“The Marines constructed 2,400 feet of all-weather road, comprised of a main roadway and a 12-foot drag road with two low water crossings,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 AJ Shanks, 7th ESB, and Officer in Charge of the El Centro project.

In collaboration with Joint Task Force North, based out of Fort Bliss, Texas, the Marines volunteered their labor and skills to expand the tactical mobility of the area’s border patrol.

JTF-North, a joint service command comprised of active duty and reserve personnel from across the Department of Defense, supports federal law enforcement agencies in counter drug operations.

“The Marines built a road to civil engineer specification that has not seen vehicle traffic access since 1976,” said Shanks, a native of Shrewsbury, Pa. “Every time someone is apprehended in this sector it justifies the time away from their family and their efforts.”

The road design was completed during March to specification ahead of schedule without any safety incidents, said Shanks.

Marines with 7th ESB will continue to prepare for future operations including range improvements and additional road projects.