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436th CES transforms capabilities
Senior Airman Cesar Salas, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron, uses a motor grader to level a field that is being turned into a parking lot Jan. 23, 2013, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Due to a recent change in their career field, the 436th CES personnel have taken steps to transform their mission capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)
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CES transforms mission capabilities

Posted 1/23/2013   Updated 1/31/2013 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Brian Molina
436th Civil Engineer Squadron

1/23/2013 - Dover Air Force Base, Del.  -- Due to a recent change in their career field, the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron personnel have taken steps to transform their mission capabilities.

On October 1st, 2012, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) was activated to centralize all global CE operations, marking the beginning of what will be the largest transformation CE has experienced since the formation of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (Prime B.E.E.F) in the 1960's. The transformation will establish a process to reduce excess waste, balance real property and base assets, and conserve energy use. Present-day budgetary constraints have accelerated the need for a leaner, more integrated Civil Engineer unit.

The change was necessary for his squadron to keep up with current mission requirements, said Lt. Col. Charles Kelm, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron commander.

"In order to continue the deployment and workload tempo without sacrificing quality, CE is undergoing a transformation that will create a more efficient and effective environment for the base populace," said Kelm. "Transformation means evolving current business management and sustainment methods to execute projects and maintain the base's infrastructure and integrity. Transformation is not doing more with less; it's about integrating roles and responsibilities to move forward in a time of fiscal hardship."

A major culture shift will be seen in the newly-established Installation Management Flight and Engineering Flight. Together, these flights will lead the way in reducing waste and efficiently improving base infrastructure stateside and throughout all theatres of war.

The change has caused civil engineer leaders to rethink the way they have done business, said Kelm.

"There are many moving parts when integrating responsibilities and reorganizing flights," said Kelm. "On top of the physical movements, there are many business practices that are being altered from what have become typical best practices. Some of the best practices no longer fit the world we live in and getting everyone on board will take time. As long as a realistic approach is taken, all the moving pieces will fall in place."

There has also been a change in the way units are funded, said Kelm.

"Before the transformation, sustainment and repair funding were divvied out to each MAJCOM," said Kelm."With the Air Force Civil Engineering Center activation, all sustainment and repair funding has been centralized to control excess spending. This means that all bases will compete against each other to ensure their top projects are funded as opposed to a handful of bases. With the help of the base populous, obtaining information that will sell the projects will be a major factor in receiving funding."

Kelm said to attain the goal of building ready engineers, all CE Airmen must have the skills to construct and repair various types of infrastructure. This means more home station training and in-house renovation projects.

The end goal is to continue to take care of the base population, said Kelm.

"The transformation was originally created as a long-term, methodical plan. As budgetary constraints increased, the need to accelerate the transformation became more apparent," said Kelm. "Once everything has settled, the goal is to have a more interactive role with the base populous and take care of their needs with more efficient business practices."

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