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NEWS | May 10, 2017

Army welders fuse their mark on Third Port

By Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Among the vessels at Joint Base Langley Eustis’ Third Port sits a shop that keeps boats afloat through meticulous detailed work.


The 558th Transportation Company, 10th Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) welding shop ensures ships’ crews stay safe underway through quick and reliable metal fabrication services within the port.


While the metals technologists work solely on ship materials, their job encompasses an array of detail oriented work, from a boat’s hull to pipes on its air conditioning unit.


“Welding is insanely important,” said U.S. Army Spc. Anthony Cole, 558th Transportation Company allied trade specialist. “When you look around, anything you look at has welds on it, has been machined and put together somehow. If you don’t have a good weld, it’s a danger to anyone who uses that item.”


According to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jessy Kingrey, 558th Trans. Co. welding shop maintenance control sergeant, the brigade’s welding shop, is co-located at Third Port to provide fabrication services sooner than if the job was contracted out to the civilian sector.


By not contracting services, the shop also saves the installation and the Army money on transportation, time and resources.


“Our shop is here to make repairs last,” said Kingrey. “Not only can we repair metals, we can replace them and make them better at the same time.”


Although the welding shop works on mostly restoration services, the job also allows welders to be creative with their work.


For example, Cole said he spent a week building an oxygen bottle fixture completely by hand, ensuring every groove and bolt was perfectly aligned.


“Welding is an awesome trade to know – it’s an art form,” said Cole. “Every item that you do is like your trademark. Welds last for years and years. It’s kind of like your stamp on the world.”