Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot
10th Combat Aviation Brigade NCOIC
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghan-istan – When Soldiers of B Company, Task Force Mountain Eagle, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, arrived at Camp Avenger in October, there were very few places they could go to relax when they weren’t working.
With the facilitation of a few senior noncommissioned officers, the Rats Nest recreation facility was created.
“When we got here in October, there was only a small Internet café,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Turner, an avionics communications equipment repair supervisor with B Company, TF Mountain Eagle, and Camp Avenger’s mayor. “We wanted to give our Soldiers someplace to get together to relax and have a good time.”
Sgt. 1st Class Kerry Greiner, who was also camp mayor before moving to a component repair platoon maintenance supervisor position, applied for a permit to Bagram Airfield’s land management office to occupy a space plot of land.
The project began with a building that needed a lot of refurbishing.
“We had an abandoned B-hut in our container yard,” Greiner said. “The floors were caved in about three feet.”
Turner and some Soldiers jacked up the building and reinforced the floor. They knocked out some walls and rebuilt the roof before moving it by crane to its current location.
Soldiers attached a second B-hut before working on the designs for the facility.
Led by Staff Sgt. John Wulf, an AH-64D technical inspector with B Company, TF Mountain Eagle, Soldiers built an extension that includes a porch with Adirondack chairs, and a game room containing two dominos tables, four card tables, four gaming stations and two televisions.
“As a hobby, I build cabinets and furniture,” Wulf said. “Building this facility is similar just on a larger scale.”
Inside, visitors will find a 14-phone station, Internet cafe with 30 computers and a movie room.
First Sgt. Rodney Harris, B Company, TF Mountain Eagle, watched the project from its planning stages to completion.
“From the beginning, they had grandiose plans for the facility,” Harris said. “Their plans have come to fruition. This is an awesome facility built by Soldiers for Soldiers!”
Turner said Sgt. Maj. Maria Perez and Sgt. 1st Class Loren Smith from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, TF Falcon, helped tremendously with getting equipment and supplies. He also credited the TF Mountain Eagle chaplain for providing chairs and contractors for providing electrical, heat and air conditioning services.
The walls are adorned with artwork. In the game room, there are drawings of the different types of helicopters B Company, TF Mountain Eagle, Soldiers work on. In another room are tributes to those who died in the 9/11 attacks, the official seal of the Pentagon, a crest commemorating flight 93, and the Twin Towers – all hand drawn and colored by Spc. Ricardo Perez, an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter armament, electrical aviation systems repairer with B Company, TF Mountain Eagle.
“It’s an honor for me to do these drawings here, because everyone will see it,” said Perez. “It’s like a medicine for stress.”
Perez said he used up 13 markers in just one week, in addition to colored pencils and spray paint in his artwork.
“We’ve been open for about a week,” Turner said. “The facility has an approximate capacity of 75-100.”
“I come every day after work,” said Pfc. James Abuya, a logistics specialist with B Company, TF Mountain Eagle. “I use the computers to work on my online classes.”
Abuya said he also likes watching movies in the new movie room.
“It turned out very nice,” Greiner said. “The Soldiers did all of it. They built their own place. They will be able to enjoy it and leave it for the gaining unit.”