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H.O. Penn Musters Iron Training for West Point Cadets

Mon November 03, 2003 - Northeast Edition

The old Army motto, “Be All That You Can Be,” inspired a heavy equipment training program recently held for students of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The day and a half program included classroom and hands-on training for Academy civil engineering students, and used Caterpillar equipment supplied by H.O. Penn.

Whereas the classroom training was held at the Academy in West Point, NY, the hands-on segment was offered at the site of a future H.O. Penn facility under construction in Wallkill, NY.

Nearly 40 students participated in the seminar, which not only provided fundamental operations and maintenance training, but also graphically illustrated the capacities and limitations of various machines under actual working conditions at the Wallkill job site.

Many of the participants, most of whom were seniors, will end up with the Army Corps of Engineers supervising and planning operations after graduation.

The training program came about after Daniel Driscoll, marketing support services manager at Caterpillar Inc., visited his son at West Point.

In a conversation with Major LaChance of the school’s Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, LaChance mentioned the school’s need of up-to-date technical information and heavy equipment literature for use in training cadets. Driscoll made it a point to help out, supplying materials including a copy of the Caterpillar performance handbook that provides specs and operating information for all current models of Cat construction equipment.

One thing led to another, including a discussion of how to give the future civil engineers the opportunity for education and hands-on training with Cat equipment.

West Point officials agreed that such training would be invaluable.

John Bellardino, vice president of service, H.O. Penn; Glenn Carrezola, manager of technical services and training, H.O. Penn; Chad Bixby, segment specialist of Caterpillar in Peoria, IL; and Major Quadrato, faculty advisor of the Civil Engineering Club at West Point worked together to organize the training.

In conjunction with the training, Tom Cleveland, dealer principal of H.O. Penn, gave a presentation on H.O. Penn’s and Caterpillar’s role in the rescue and cleanup efforts at the site of the former World Trade Center, and explained the importance of product support.

In addition to H.O. Penn’s providing the site and equipment for the program, Caterpillar Inc. gave financial support.