VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The 30th Civil Engineer Squadron conducted over 96 hours of bivouac, or deployment condition, training from Nov. 4 – 8, 2019, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif.
While at March ARB, the 30th CES engineers performed various tasks, such as digging trenches, fixing a simulated bombed airfield, and setting up an aircraft arresting system.
“All of our trades come together so that we can build, restore, and keep airplanes flying from the ground up,” said James Haleski, 30th CES readiness and emergency management flight chief. “The truth is, we came down here because we don’t have the assets and equipment to provide this quality of training and atmosphere for our Airmen at Vandenberg. They get hands-on with all of the specialized equipment they will be using down range that we do not on home station.”
Through the refreshed Prime BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Force) program, all civil engineers in the Air Force are required to receive 96 hours of training every 36 months. To assist Vandenberg Airmen with this specialized training requirement, the Regional Training Site at March ARB provided Vandenberg engineers the opportunity to get hands-on time with the equipment they would have access to down range.
“Often times when CE units deploy, we go to a location that doesn’t have anything. We have to set up tents, get power and welcome those follow on forces,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Huller, 30th CES operations flight superintendent. “Some of us older engineers have deployed a lot, and we have a lot of experience to teach our Airmen what to expect down range. If we send guys down range who have not had this training, it slows down the entire process. That’s why we are here.”
In order to attend the training at March ARB, the 30th CES Airmen were required to complete all the normal pre-deployment steps such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training and other computer-based trainings. This not only increased their training and readiness, but it also enhanced their ability to execute the mission.
“Readiness has many faces. I always hear ‘I did my CBRN training, my Self-Aid Buddy Care, or my deployment folder is up to date’, but readiness is about our ability to execute our assigned missions no matter where we are,” said Haleski. “Seeing these guys come down here is about watching our seasoned senior non-commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers mentor, mold and train our up and coming Airmen so that when they do get sent down range they get off the plane ready to execute their mission.”