Where’s the BEEF?
By Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 11, 2018
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Prime BEEF Day is not a holiday that we set aside once a year to give praise to delicious cuts of meat; it’s a once-a-month function that the men and women in the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force office lead. More than 200 Airmen from the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron participated in an all-day readiness exercise that spans many different areas of expertise.
“Our mission is to provide essential training for our members in order to be qualified for both contingency or peacetime requirements and capabilities,” said Master Sgt. Rebecca Jenkins, 436th CES Prime BEEF manager.
The 436th CES is responsible for maintaining the base in a structural, developmental and protective sense. It includes organizations such as explosive ordnance disposal, sustainment-pavements, the fire department and many more. Whether snow is covering the base or the harsh Delaware winds bring down a few trees, Team Dover’s civil engineers are the ones who are there to ensure the base maintains operations.
Like any other Airman, civil engineer troops are tasked to deploy and serve our nation downrange. Prime BEEF Day makes sure that every civil engineering Airman is capable and ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
“The Prime BEEF Day helps to develop our Airmen by preparing their skillsets allowing them to get more proficient in their roles,” said Tech. Sgt. Casey Reed, 436th CES deployment manager. “This lets us know that they can perform their job without any problems.”
The Prime BEEF office tracks deployment requirements and uses this event as a way to maintain a satisfactory level of readiness throughout the squadron. During each Prime BEEF Day, different skills and classes are taught to ensure a targeted approach to the training.
“This month we focused on defensive fighting techniques, individual movement techniques, and we provided stick time not just for our Airmen but everyone assigned to [436th] CES,” Jenkins said. “It’s an important part of training that we never could have gotten if we weren’t afforded events like this.”
The Prime BEEF office has made waves in the Air Force civil engineering community with the new innovative Field Training Exercise (FTX). Encompassing the “practice like you play” mentality, the FTX puts Airmen’s skills to the test by providing a separate environment to train. After developing this program and showing its results, it has created a model for other bases to follow. The first to follow suit was Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
“Prime BEEF was initially created in 1964 and since then we have evolved based on the war-time tasks put in front of us,” said Reed. “Here at Dover AFB we created the first FTX and benchmarked it in [Air Mobility Command].”
The creation of programs like the FTX and the correct use of events like Prime BEEF Day help to develop an innovative, lethal force in civil engineer squadrons and ultimately, the Air Force.
“This event can also be good for the families,” Jenkins said. “Anything you do in the military is going to affect your family. This event allows them some serenity and the ability to feel calm knowing that their loved ones can go out the door, and they won’t have any doubt that they aren’t ready.”