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GA ANG civil engineers train for combat operations at Silver Flag
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Terrell Green, right, from the 116th Civil Engineering Squadron (CES), Georgia Air National Guard, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., marks a measurement on a wall frame under the watchful eye of Tech. Sgt. Roger Jalette, 143rd CES, Quonset National Guard Base, R.I., during Silver Flag training at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., April 15, 2014. During the weeklong course, Guardsmen from the 116th CES along with 219 Airmen from multiple U.S. Air Force active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard units trained on building and maintaining bare-base operations at a simulated forward-deployed location. In addition, they honed their combat and survival skills, repaired simulated bomb-damaged runways, set up base facilities and established various critical base operating support capabilities. Thirty-four Airmen from the 116th CES attended the exercise that consisted of extensive classroom and hands-on training culminating in an evaluation of learned skills on the last day of class. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released)
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ANG civil engineers train for combat ops at Silver Flag

Posted 4/25/2014   Updated 4/25/2014 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
116th Air Control Wing

4/25/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Thirty-four Georgia Air National Guardsmen from the 116th Civil Engineer Squadron, capped off a successful week of intensive contingency training April 24 at Silver Flag located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Deployed to a simulated bare-base combat environment, the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force, or Prime BEEF, from the 116th Air Control Wing, along with 219 Airmen from multiple active-duty, Reserve, and Guard units, set up and maintained a fully operational base from the ground up.

While combating simulated attacks, the Airmen stood up a command and control center, erected shelters, set up water and power operations, repaired damaged runways, cleared minefields and conducted emergency management and security operations.

"Silver Flag enabled us to train to our wartime task standards," said Chief Master Sgt. David Fite, 116th Mission Support Group superintendent. "This training, accomplished every 45 months, provides our wing with top-notch certified engineers that will be able to rapidly deploy anytime, anywhere in the world."

Nearly 50 percent of the squad-ron has deployed in the past two years.

Silver Flag provided the Airmen a large stock of contingency equipment with which to train for these deployments that most Prime BEEF units don't have at their home stations due to cost.

During the course of the week leading up to the exercise, the civil engineers received intensive classroom and hands-on equipment training in each of their respective career fields from some of the Air Force's top subject matter experts from the 823rd Red Horse Squadron.

"Having just returned from tech school, this exercise gave me the chance to use the equipment I learned about in school," said Senior Airman Terrell Green, a 116th CES structural apprentice. "Watching the NCOs in action and learning from the Red Horse instructors was one of the best things I took away from the exercise."

In a sentiment expressed by a number of the Guardsmen, Staff Sgt. Marquette Davis, a 116th CES heavy equipment operator, commented about the camaraderie and teamwork prevalent at the exercise.

"Whenever I performed a task and needed help or guidance, someone always stepped up to help me," said Davis. "Whether they were active duty, Guard or Reserves, if they saw I needed help they were there.

"It was a great experience and something definitely needed before a deployment to put you in the right mindset and show you what you will be accountable for when you deploy," Davis added.

They are also more prepared to respond to emergencies in support of their state mission according to Fite.

"Back in 1994 when Georgia had the flood, our utilities specialists assisted the Quartermaster Battalion from Alabama in making potable water for the citizens of Georgia," said Fite. "That's just one way that this training can help our local communities."

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