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Posted 10/21/2016

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By David S. Kolarik
Public Affairs Office


Unlike a traditional rodeo, here Soldiers compete against power teams to install electrical equipment under difficult circumstances

“This is a great opportunity for Delta to network with other utility companies which could facilitate future utility employment for our Soldiers.” Sgt. Robert Grzela, Delta Company.

Soldiers from Delta Company 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) Black Lions take pride in their 1st Place finish in the Military Journeyman Division at the 33rd Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo Competition in Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 15.

The win marks the fifth time that Delta Company has won 1st Place Overall in the Journeyman Team Military Armed Forces category.

Captain Tomm Hickey, Delta Company commander, said, “I’m really proud of the hard work these guys have put in to compete at the rodeo. This is a great opportunity for them to display and sharpen their skills. We are also grateful for the 249th Engineer Battalion’s support in making this a successful rodeo appearance.” 

The primary purpose of the event is to:

  1. Maintain a focus on safety and safe work practices.

  2. Provide a forum for the public to better understand and recognize the technical craft skills the linemen have.

  3. Provide an opportunity for professional craftspeople in the linework trade to receive recognition for their skills

One other purpose has always been for the participants to have fun while sharing work knowledge with others in their trade from different companies and different parts of the country.

Unlike a traditional rodeo, here Soldiers compete against power teams to install electrical equipment under difficult circumstances. The Lineman’s Rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks and skills. The first Lineman’s Rodeo was held in September 1984, with twelve participating teams from Kansas and Missouri. The Rodeo has grown to over 200 teams and 250 apprentices.

“This is a great competition that also provides significant exposure for Delta Company and the 249th Engineer Battalion and a great morale booster for the team.  This is a great opportunity for Delta to network with other utility companies which could facilitate future utility employment for our Soldiers,” said Sgt. Robert Grzela of Delta Company.

Sgt. Eric Elder, who serves with Delta Company, is also a 14 year veteran with Kansas City Power and Light.  “This was a great win, we have a good time every year, our guys get to come here and compete and we take it very seriously. It’s great to come together and network among thousands of peers and friends from all across the nation.”

The Soldiers of Delta Company are comprised of Reserve Soldiers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Missouri and Connecticut and has its headquarters and three platoons at Cranston, R.I., and one platoon at Ft. Belvoir, Va.

Each Soldier attended the Power Line School at Sheppard Air Force Base and holds the Military Occupations Skill as a Power Distribution Specialist (MOS 12Q) which is a 74 day course that teaches the Soldiers to conduct the installation of electrical prime power distribution systems, exterior services and utility poles.

 

 

Delta Company 249th Engineer Battalion Prime Power USACE