Military News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Constructional 'A-Team'

by Airman 1st Class Deana Heitzman
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/23/2014 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- When the construction needs of Aviano become greater than one shop can handle, teamwork is required to complete the job.

The 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Flight consists of numerous shops; although these shops normally stand alone, during larger projects, all their expertise are needed.

"When we have an opportunity to pull all the shops together it gives us a chance to learn each other's trades, help each other out and to be more efficient during our jobs," said Tech. Sgt. Brandyn Walter, 31st CES structural craftsman.

Throughout the past few months, multiple shops integrated to complete energy efficient projects to save the Air Force money and promote a greener base.

One such project was Operation Right Lights, which saved energy and money by disconnecting unused light posts on base.

Operations flight Airmen worked night shifts to see which lights were being used or needed to stay lit for safety reasons. The two month project disconnected lights around unused buildings and parking lots unused during hours of darkness.

"During the project, we disabled more than 109 lights in various parking lots and around buildings," said Senior Airman Zachary Rathbun, 31st CES electrical systems apprentice. "This project saved the Air Force more than $30,000 annually."

When one project is completed, the Airmen seamlessly move on to plan their next construction design. The most recent plan has been the Troop Training Project, which was launched to establish a new urinalysis facility.

Working together, teamwork is critical to ensure the job is done with precision. Having multiple shops working as one, at the same time make precision easier and gives them an opportunity to complete the job quicker.    

"Working together in one location is more beneficial than each shop coming in at different times," said Walter. "One Airman can construct a wall as another Airman rewires the electricity and so on." 

Whether it is a routine tune-up or renovations of buildings, members of the operations flight are on the go to various locations to complete a number of projects impacting the base's mission.

"When CES comes together as a whole, it is a massing of all trades that maintain all facilities on Aviano. It is almost having a constructional 'A-Team,'" said Walter. "We are vast, but we work as a really finely-tuned team."

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