445th Civil Engineer Squadron: Building foundation of airpower

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ethan Spickler
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

From electrical work to carpentry, construction to disaster preparedness, Air Force civil engineers maintain critical infrastructure and provide necessary problem-solving skills and a wide range of capabilities that enable airpower worldwide.

At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the 445th Civil Engineer Squadron leverages the diverse skillsets of its Airmen to maintain readiness at home and tackle challenges abroad.

Recently, the 445th CES demonstrated their support capabilities by completing multiple training scenarios that included simulated firefighter training and an exercise using a bivouac, or a temporary encampment with little cover from enemy forces.

“Exercises like this showcase our ability as engineers to perform core capabilities, and that enables us as combat Airmen to support power projection platforms in a contingency environment,” said Maj. Jefferson Sweet, the 445th CES operations flight commander.

“Setting up a tent city, laying down basic power and electrical wiring from primary to secondary power distribution, creating a refuel plan, etc., these are all things we need to know to perform our duties in a wartime environment,” Sweet continued. “Many of our younger airmen got the opportunity to put their hands on live equipment that we would use in the field if/when we deploy.”

Civil engineers are required to be proficient in multiple disciplines and are continuously sharpening their skillsets through training and real-world application.

“When we go overseas, we need to be able to perform at every level,” said Staff Sergeant Cale Garman, a 445th CES structural craftsman. “A lot of our time is spent training and learning new ways to tackle challenges. It requires a lot of work to be able to build something from nothing, and we have to be able to meet the expectations and needs of the Air Force.”

The success of the mission requires leadership at many levels, and CE Airmen take their ability to contribute to the engineering team’s efforts seriously.

“We are a tight knit group; we watch out for each other,” said Tech Sgt. Tyler Deckard, a 445th CES structural craftsman. “We have to work as a team to be effective, and that mindset permeates every aspect of what we do.”