by Maj. Bryon M. Turner
103rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
2/13/2014 - BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Conn. -- The
Airmen of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron here are ready to provide
storm recovery operations and roadway clearance support should the state
request their assistance in the event of a major weather event.
With yet another winter storm headed for the state, the engineer
squadron began operational checks on their specialized equipment days
before the storm's projected arrival; standard practice just in case
their help is needed, said Master Sgt. Kevin Quinn of the 103rd Civil
"We can field our domestic operations package consisting of two trailers
for transport of two skid-steer tractors with various attachments which
can be used to remove debris from roadways," Quinn said. "The package
also has enough chainsaws and support equipment to sustain a 20-man team
in the field for route clearing. We could also add a command and
control element if necessary. "
The civil engineers of the Connecticut Air National Guard are no
strangers to storm recovery missions, having answered the call to duty
in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Winter Storm Alfred in 2011,
Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Winter Storm Nemo in 2013.
The unit has conducted a wide array of operations including route
clearing, search and rescue missions, and emergency power production,
flood pumping support to critical utilities' infrastructures, emergency
management support and other activities both on base and in the
Despite their current high state of readiness and their proven track
record of storm recovery service to the state and community, the men and
women of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron are not resting on their
laurels. A three-day training course has been developed and planned for
later in the year to train additional volunteers from other units of the
Connecticut Air National Guard to increase the available pool of
skilled team members for recovery operations in the event of a natural
disaster, on or off base.
"The training will reduce the demand on the squadron, which is currently
the sole provider of emergency route clearing personnel, while also
providing a knowledgeable emergency response force," said Maj. Henry
Chmielinski, commander of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron. "It will
also provide all attendees with training on the proper maintenance of
route clearing equipment to ensure down time is minimized while
deployed. All teams will deploy with required equipment, supporting
materials and parts to be self-sustaining while in the field."