FORT JACKSON, S.C. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District not only builds facilities at Fort Jackson, but helps the Department of Public Works in maintaining those facilities. This partnership helps support the 45,000 soldiers who train there each year.
USACE currently has a preventative maintenance contract for Fort Jackson where it manages about 5.5 million square feet of facilities as part of its basic training mission.
“I manage a team of 13 people who take care of 69 buildings consisting of child development centers, dining facilities, swimming pools, classrooms, underground storage tanks and barracks,” said Jason Hinton, a resident engineer and administrative contracting officer. “My job is making sure the projects we manage move effectively, move forward and the work is done on time and with high quality.”
According to Hinton, the Fort Jackson Resident Office can staff-up or staff-down as needed.
“We can expand our resources when our mission requires us to,” said Hinton. “DPW called us and we were able to be in place pretty quickly.”
Every system in the managed buildings is under the preventative maintenance contract.
“Essentially, from five feet outside the building to the inside is ours,” said Hinton. “We’ve worked on everything from someone clogging a toilet to repairing a sprinkler head broken off by ‘barracks football’. We’ve even replaced an entire air-conditioning system for a child development center. Also, a benefit for us is that we built or renovated most of the buildings that we are managing and that gives us a chance to learn how we can improve construction in the future.”
Hinton added that the work does not go unnoticed.
“We recently were replacing an HVAC system, insulation and ceiling tiles at a dining facility used for basic training Soldiers,” he said. “Fort Jackson leadership was coming out for status updates on a regular basis to see how things were going. I was spending four to six hours every day on-site, seven days a week until it was done. We finished the project and everybody was pleased with the outcome. It was a very rewarding, fast-paced, high importance project.”
While USACE supports DPW and the basic training mission at Fort Jackson, it also serves those who are no longer wearing the uniform. Our veterans and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“In my particular role, we also work with the VA here in Columbia,” said Hinton. “We’re building a parking garage at their facility. A lot of people that we work with at the VA engineering office used to be with USACE so that lends itself to having a very strong relationship with each other.”
Hinton has been with USACE for about 12 years, all with the Charleston District. His previous job was with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Charleston. He started with USACE as a project engineer, was promoted to deputy resident engineer and is now a resident engineer.
“The best part of this job is that I like the instant feedback,” he said. “Nine times out of 10, when a problem occurs, we can fix it that same day. I like working directly with the customers and solving their problems.”