CE bolsters readiness during training exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jake Jacobsen
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Civilians and active duty personnel from the 14th Civil Engineer Squadron teamed up to complete a 96-hour CE exercise aimed to reinforce its troops’ deployment and expeditionary readiness skills, May 23-26, 2022, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

During the four-day field exercise, members of the 14th CES engaged in scenarios their career field may face on deployments such as land navigation, convoy operations, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) training and more.

“This is our squadron’s first go at the training, so we have been really getting after it,” said Capt. Scott Ramsey, 14th CES flight commander. “You never know when you might be called upon. We have firefighters out here getting familiar with the training because at the end of the day, they are a part of CE as well and could get tasked with these operations when down range.”

The training is a four year requirement for every CE unit in the Air Force to practice contingency skills. To help out, civilians from the 14th CES joined active duty members to teach and facilitate some of the training conducted.

“Columbus Air Force Base is a small base and so most of our spots are contracted out to civilians,” said Ramsey. “They are subject matter experts who we rely on to give insights on the small details that we need to get the job done right. Having our civilians tied in teaching our active duty members how to do things correctly will only benefit them down range.”

Members of the 14th CES used the training as a chance to refine their expertise on not only the focal characteristics of their mission, but to develop stronger unison throughout squadron.

“It is good to actually go out and be a part of the hands-on training,” said Tech. Sgt. Kyle Duncan, 14th CES firefighter. “Anything can happen when deployed, you can get lost and you need to find your way out. Our critical role is to be able to get not only yourself, but your whole unit out in a safe manner.”

While deployed, units are constantly on the lookout for CBRN attacks and expect members to be trained appropriately before arrival. At Columbus AFB, the BLAZE Arena serves as a training house where troops improve their skills and confidence, working in a simulated deployed environment.

“I’ve been overseas before and attacks do happen,” said Duncan. “You have to make sure you know how to put your gear on and work the equipment. We have a lot of new guys who have stayed state-side so it is good that they are getting the hands-on training before they eventually get sent down range.”