D.C. ANG civil engineers use tools, expertise to build civic relations in Eastern Europe | News

Maria Romanenco, the school director (equivalent of a U.S. school principal) of a small school located in the Republic of Moldova had never interacted with American troops until this summer, when dozens invaded her classrooms and office.

“Never in this village have I seen (U.S. military personnel) come and do anything of this kind for us,” said Romanenco. “When the kids see (the improvements) they’re going to say ‘wow, it’s so beautiful and everything is like new.’ They will be very happy and glad.”

Romanenco is detailing the actions of civil engineers from the 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard, who are on deadline providing renovations and upgrades to schools located in impoverished communities in the Republic of Moldova. The unit members are installing new sidewalks, laminate flooring, ceramic tiling, suspended ceiling grid/tile, pre-hung doors and frames and new wallpaper as well as electrical work at multiple sites.

This is a humanitarian mission spearheaded by the United States European Command (EUCOM), identified by the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, that’s part of the humanitarian civic assistance (HCA) and deployment for training program. For some Air National Guard members, it was the first time they worked on a mission that required working alongside primarily civilians in a host country.

“The U.S. Embassy identifies projects that typically range from school houses, clinics, hospitals and other government facilities that are nonprofits,” said Lt. Col. Eric Swanson, commander of the 113th Civil Engineer Squadron, who tiled the walls of multiple rooms used for food storage in the school Romanenco heads. “We execute the HCA mission which is part of the National Guard’s deployment for training program. We work with partnering countries all across the…

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