Monday, July 01, 2013

Silver Flag exercise prepares 'Okie' civil engineers

by Maj. Jon Quinlan
507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

6/28/2013 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Twenty nine reservists from the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron honed their bare base skills during a recent deployment to Silver Flag at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Civil engineers were tasked with establishing and running a fully operational base in a contingency environment during the week-long field exercise.

Civil engineers are often the first boots on the ground setting up the initial layers for a contingency base. Silver Flag tests and trains CE teams in this vital mission and does it away from home station in austere conditions just like in a real deployment.

This training was established so there in not a gap in training or knowledge of Airmen when they go down range according to CE Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force managers.

"CE Airmen assigned to Prime BEEF teams have to attend Silver Flag every 45 months," said Lt. Col. Patricia Pettine, 507th CES commander "We've all been doing this our whole career and always look forward to the training opportunity."

The mission for the 507th reservists was to join forces with around 130 other active duty, Guard and Reserve engineers and establish a simulated base for over 1,200 personnel, multiple F-16C's and C-130J aircraft missions and to do so as quickly as possible.

Set up and maintenance is a huge undertaking and took the entire team according to Pettine. The engineers first conducted the bed down planning, force protection security and then started work on the construction. They established a unit control center and then erected shelters, established power, electrical, water and wastewater operations. Then they provided airfield damage assessment teams, crash, fire and rescue operations, and led convoy operations.

The training is all about preparing the Airmen and establishing an example of what to expect when deploying. If it's a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear event occurring while setting up a tent or showing Airmen how to react post attack, the training will help them and could save their life, according to Prime BEEF instructors.

Airman 1st Class Talisa Edmundson, 507th CES was named an outstanding performer in the exercise.

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