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176th Engineer Battalion (C)

Building bridges and tearing down barriers are what the Texas Army National Guard's Company C, 176th Engineer Battalion, does best. But the bridge soldiers built the summer of 2000 wasn't made of wood or steel, but of something stronger. The Guard soldiers invited six engineers from the Military University of Ground Forces in Vyskov, Czech Republic, to join them in the company's two-week annual training for the construction of a command bunker for a live-fire range at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwhr Training Area. U.S. and Allied forces use the bunker to train for peacekeeping missions. The Guard and the Czech engineers cautiously broke ground on the project site, which was strewn with unexploded ordnance from years of use, and together faced some un-seasonably frigid temperatures that, for the Texans at least, provided an extreme change from the triple-digit heat and drought back home. Although the language barrier posed some challenges, the Czech soldiers had no problem understanding the Texans' construction plans, because engineering training is standardized around the world. The main difference between the two countries was the equipment.

Some of the Battalion's members are professional engineers, and others manage their own construction companies in the civilian world.



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