When the tanker platoon with 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry showed up in September to Patrol Base 3 on the eastern outskirts of Mosul the 30 soldiers all lived in one Alaskan tent. One rack next to each other.
That didn’t sit well with Sgt. Brian Reed. He built barn frames before joining the Army and told SFC Henry Eldridge, the platoon sergeant, he could build better barracks for Patrol Base 3 if brigade could ship wood to the rural patrol base.
The platoon lives with Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers who all operate a checkpoint and patrol the local area. For a month, the soldiers split time going out on patrols, pulling guard duty and building their NCO billets .
It took three months but the wood finally arrived.
Midway through the project a storm rolled in and knocked the frame down. Reed said the Iraqi nails, which he suspects are made of tin, also posed a challenge. But a month later the NCO billets was complete and the NCOs moved out. A month later, C-huts showed up for the Joes who now live two-per hut.
“I’m glad we had Reed here who knew how to build it,” Eldridge said.
“I’m just glad we don’t all have to live right next to each other,” Reed said.
Last step in the project is adding doors to each room, Reed said.