153rd Civil Engineer's training mutually beneficial
By Tech. Sgt. Natalie Stanley, 153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 30, 2012
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Civil Engineer Squadron recently returned from deployment training at the NATO School in Oberammergau, where they put their engineering skills to work.
Various projects were completed by members of the 153 CES including: laying asphalt and lumber for a new deck at the NATO School recreation center, mixing and pouring concrete for multiple projects, knocking down a chimney of an old steam plant and re-roofing the area, and building a car port at the recreation center.
The hands-on training offered the 153 CES an opportunity to put their skills to use in a real-world environment while providing the NATO School with needed construction.
"This training was a win-win situation for both us and NATO," said Lt. Col. Stan White, 153 CES commander. "We received real-world training and the NATO School received free labor."
The skill sets Airmen brought to bear were a cross-section of the civil engineering career field including: structures and power production specialists; plumbers; heavy equipment operators; heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration craftsman and firefighters.
The NATO project did not afford all members a chance to practice their particular skill set, but everyone involved was able to jump in and learn new a new skill or brush up on old ones.
"Everyone had to overlap and chip in," said White. "Everyone had their turn at the shovel."
Even when things didn't go as planned, with weather or materials, the members of the 153 CES remained flexible and accomplished the job.
"I have to brag on these guys a little," said Senior Master Sgt. Carl Hocking, operations superintendent. "They always make good use of the opportunities they are given and that's one of the strongest points of the unit."
With the unit's work completed and new skills acquired, the trip was an overall successful training mission, command said.
"The guys were able to receive excellent hands-on training and were able to see the direct results," said Hocking.