Barksdale civil engineers lend Youngstown helping hands
By Master Sgt. Jeff Walston, 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 14, 2012
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- When Youngstown asked the 307th Civil Engineer Squadron here to lend a hand, the 307th lent 56.
Craftsmen from the 307th CES spent their annual tour at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, assisting their 910th CES counterparts in building a Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (Prime BEEF) training area.
"Two years ago funding came in with a time frame for this project to be completed," said Senior Master Sgt. Karen Satterfield, 910 CES heavy equipment shop superintendent. "We realized we were going to need some help to meet the deadline. So, a message was sent out for assistance."
The 307th CES was one of the units that answered the call.
During their two weeks at Youngstown, 307th civil engineers assisted with facilitated grading and drainage for a troop assembly/training area, surveyed the readiness training site to provide accurate maps of locations of perimeter fencing, towers, defensive fighting positions and tent pads. But the main focus was the construction of a 60- by 120-foot pre-engineered building.
Civil engineer units are required to perform construction projects, bivouacs, and recurring hands-on technical training activities. This new dedicated area will allow us to fulfill engineer and readiness training requirements under realistic austere conditions that are perfect for simulating a deployed environment, said.
The metal building will house classrooms for training.
"We really wanted to get the building done before we left," said Chief Master Sgt. Randall Noble, 307th CES superintendent. "But it's a month long job and we were only there for two weeks."
"The crew has given me everything I've asked for, and they were working on a building none of us had ever seen before," he said. "We wanted to get it done so badly, but time and mother natural never seem to cooperate when you want them to, so we battled the elements for a couple of days and worked hard during the time we had."
"Moral was good and we all became a team quicker than usual," Noble said. "It rained a bit and we worked right through it, but there were no complaints. This has been one of the best working crews I've ever deployed with."
To their credit, the 307th CES Airmen left Youngstown's landscape visibly changed. The skeleton of the PEB was completed, as was some of the medal siding. They also installed drainage systems, poured site pads, graded fields and constructed defensive fighting positions.
"We are so grateful that Barksdale was good enough to stand up and send a team out," said Satterfield. "They were outstanding and put us ahead of the game as far as this building goes."
"The (307 CES) has done nothing but impress everybody here, from the commander on down. This has been good training for these guys," she said. "They're one hard-working bunch, and we would love to have them back."
The training site is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. Another team is scheduled to arrive soon to help finish the construction and concrete work in the building.
"This has been a great experience for our guys and they have many reasons to be proud about their accomplishments over the past two weeks," said Noble. "The 910 CES has been one of the most gracious host we've ever had. They're grateful and we were glad to be there."
"What strikes me so much about this assignment is the fact that our team was mostly Senior Airmen and younger NCOs. They just prove just how great our younger Airmen are," he said. "I'm very proud of what they have accomplished."
"This was an invaluable training experience gained by our folks while helping another unit and meeting fellow Reservists," said Col. Kevin Wolfe, 307th Mission Support Group commander. "Traveling to a distant work site and being part of this kind of project gives our Reservists a better understanding of what can be expected of them when they deploy. Training to deploy is our mission."