U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Japan District Public Affairs
CAMP ZAMA, Japan - For Zama High School students Amanda Davis, Logan Perera and Jake Bayardo, working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District means an opportunity to learn logistics, administrative duties and visit construction sites.
The students are working for the Japan District as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Japan’s Summer Hire Program. Hosted annually, the program allows dependents ages 14 to 22 a chance to earn a salary, while gaining real world experience working for various organizations throughout the garrison.
Col. John Hurley, Japan District commander is pleased with the students’ willingness to learn.
“I found this year’s group to be highly motivated,” said Hurley. “Each of them told me they have learned quite a bit over summer.”
On July 27, the students visited active Corps construction sites for the first time ever.
“The visit was exciting and becoming an engineer will definitely be on my list if I choose that type of work,” said Perara, age 18, who is working for the district’s Logistics Management Office. “I enjoyed the experience because it provided me an understanding of what exactly it takes to make sure the construction work moves along according to plan.”
The first stop was the Camp Zama Medical Dental Facility, a $24 million project under construction by the Corps that will enhance medical and dental care for military service members, civilians and their families living on the installation. During the stop, Kanagawa Resident Engineer David Franzen briefed Hurley on recent upgrades and upcoming developments.
The group moved on to see the Camp Zama Veterinary Clinic, which is currently utilizing a temporary building for administrative functions while the Corps makes repairs to the existing facility. The 40-year old building will be gutted to install a better fire protection system, improve mechanical and plumbing, and reconfigure the floor plan.
“I was able to see what is going on in the community and really enjoyed getting behind the scenes,” said Davis, age 16, who didn’t realize the vet clinic was being repaired.” Davis has been assisting the Executive Office with administrative duties for the past couple of weeks.
The tour ended at Sagamihara Housing Area where the Corps is currently in the third phase of construction on new housing for military service members, civilians and their families. Workers were busy with a myriad of activities to include electrical wiring and installing air conditioning units. Once this phase is completed, the district will have completed a total of 328 new three and four bedroom housing units, including some which are Architectural Barriers Act compliant, so people with disabilities can live comfortably.
Davis was impressed with the dedication of the construction workers and was intrigued by the differences between Japanese and American equipment and construction methods.
“The air conditioning units looked more high-tech than the ones I am used to seeing,” said Davis. “I also noticed how precise everything had to be,” she said, referring to the concrete hardening process, measuring of materials and timing of connecting wiring within the walls.
“I learned many things in my short time here and I thank the people who helped me,” said Bayardo, age 18, who works in the Construction Division.