- The Army’s 98th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) is working with North Carolina’s Union County Public Works (UCPW) to prepare eight Civil Affairs Teams (CATs) to support foreign governments in boosting their solid waste management operations.
- The teams will tap into UCPW’s knowledge base in logistics, environmental impact, and industry challenges before its deployment to work with overseas governments, security forces, and populations. The UCPW toured eight Army groups through its facility, presenting on municipal solid waste disposal, construction and demolition debris, yard waste, and other recyclables.
- The CATs’ mission is to better connect foreign populations with their governments.
The Army has come to the forefront in supporting solid waste management projects before, in situations such as the notorious Bridgeton Landfill fire, which required an isolation barrier to keep it from spreading.
Now they will lend their support overseas, with guidance from a firmly established U.S. solid waste operation that will provide useful, critical training.
"It helps them understand how these kinds of facilities operate, how to interact with local officials and understand the impact that this kind of facility has on the population and how to effectively run an operation like this, not only for the benefit of the county, but for the population it services as well," said Major Kyle Goodridge.
Ron Gilkerson, Director of Union County’s Solid Waste Department, said the opportunity was a privilege for the municipality.
"Everyone in Union County Public Works is very appreciative of [the Army’s] service and what they’re doing to help other nations. We’re proud to be a part of this effort and look forward to seeing the results of their hard work," said Gilkerson, who hosted the sessions with Chris Medlin, landfill operations superintendent.