Task force RISEUP (Roofing Installation Support Emergency Utilization Program) restored their 537th roof on July 27th, 2023, in the village of Dededo, Guam. The installation marks the completion of the program that saw U.S. Army Reserve 9th Mission Support Command (MSC) Soldiers, U.S. Navy Sailors, U.S. Air Force Airmen, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other volunteers install roofs on homes damaged by Typhoon Mawar.
“If you look at this mission, it is really getting family together to help family,” proclaimed U.S. Army Reserve Task Force West Deputy Commander and 3303rd Mobilization Support Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Charles McGrue. “We got people from the Navy, we got people from the Army, we got people in the Army Reserve, people from the Air Force; that is DoD (Department of Defense) family coming to help the government of Guam, FEMA, USACE, to really work on this beautiful island here of Guam.”
Since Typhoon Mawar ravaged the island of Guam in late May, Task Force RISEUP had restored 536 damaged roofs as of Wednesday. This Thursday, the 537th, and last roof was finished. RISEUP was completed ahead of schedule due to the continued support of all those who stepped in to offer aid. A small ceremony was held during the final roof installation to mark the occasion. Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero was in attendance for the ceremony, where she was quick to praise the hard work and efforts of the local military service members.
"Our own local people who came out through their various military service units to come and help their own local people,” said Guerrero. “That's what we are about as Guam. That's the uniqueness of Guam."
Many of the 9th MSC’s Soldiers based in Guam, are from the Pacific island making this a very personal matter for them. The 797th Vertical Engineer Company based out of the Dydasco Army Reserve Center in Barrigada, Guam, is heavily composed of local Soldiers who call Guam home. The 797th installed the first temporary roofing repair on June 10, 2023, providing the family of the home with protection from the elements until a permanent repair could be made. The 797th continued to work with local, regional, and DOD partners up until the last repair was completed.
The owners of the final repaired roof, Fely and Sony Baza, were thankful to the workers and military members who helped restore their home. Fely and her family have lived in the home, one they built themselves, for 35 years. Previous typhoons in Guam had failed to cause as much damage as Mawar did to their home, which houses three generations of their family.
“It’s a home now. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts,” said Fely Baza to a yard full of service members. “My grandkids can come home now. The work doesn't end. We still have to repair more, but they fixed the worst part that we couldn't do.”
“I think they definitely did a job well done,” said McGrue. “If you look at it, it's a beautiful thing.”