Engineers complete off-site readiness training

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Brent Croxon
  • 436th Civil Engineer Squadron

Members from the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron recently traveled to the Regional Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania to complete a 96-hour training exercise requirement.

The purpose of the exercise was to prepare the squadron to respond to mission needs anywhere in the world.

As the force continues to transition its focus from the Global War on Terror to the rise of near-peer adversaries, the capability to rapidly provide airfield and basing support in austere environments has become increasingly valuable. Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold summed up these requirements perfectly, “Air bases are a determining factor in the success of air operations. The two-legged stool of men and planes would topple over without this equally important third leg.”

The civil engineer career field includes 13 specialized crafts, each of which play an important role in air base sustainment and base recovery after attack operations. This field training exercise allowed those specialties to train on mission essential equipment and tasks needed to operate and win in a contested environment. Another key focus in the training was the ability to respond in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack. Our Airmen practiced donning their mission oriented protective posture gear and completing critical recovery tasks such electrical cable repair, generator operation and airfield crater repair.

It is necessary for CE Airmen to have this capability so the flying mission is not completely hindered by an attack. In addition to craft specific training, they also took advantage of the training site, completing broader training not currently available at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, such as land navigation, tactical vehicle operations and counter improvised explosive device operations.

The training exercise was not only beneficial in improving our Air Force warfighting capabilities but also in meeting our squadron objectives. The 436th CES’s main focus consists of three “R” words: Readiness, Resiliency and Relationships. Staying overnight at Fort Indiantown Gap gave us the opportunity to build resiliency and relationships within the squadron. We practiced teamwork and communication by completing an obstacle course and a leadership reaction course at the site. Additionally, in the evenings we would spend time together during dinner and had morale events to improve our esprit de corps. The time we spent together at the exercise allowed us to significantly improve our mission readiness and grow as a team.