Military News

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

319th Civil Engineer recognized at Air Force level

by Staff Sgt. Susan L. Davis
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/4/2015 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- One civil engineer here was recently recognized at the Air Force level for a prestigious award.

Kenneth Palm, 319th Civil Engineer Squadron heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) technician, won the Air Force Outstanding Civil Engineer Manager of the Year Award in the civilian category for his work in 2014 when the unit responded to the base's energy needs following the burst of a natural gas pipeline that services the installation. When the outage happened, he and his team operated Air Mobility Command's only synthetic natural gas plant in temperatures ranging to -35 degrees and provided heat and energy to more than 800 base facilities.

Palm explained that the award took him completely by surprise.

"I didn't even know they had submitted this package for me," Palm said. "I never had a clue."

In spite of the prestigious nature of the award, Palm is still modest about his accomplishment.

"It's really a team thing," he said. "Everyone seems to think it's a big deal, so it must be, but there are a lot of deserving people out there, I'm sure."

Palm's other accomplishments include enhancing quality of life for dorm residents, temporary lodging facility guests and dining facility patrons by repairing or installing air conditioning and chillers, saving the wing thousands of dollars in contractor costs and resources.

Randy Puttbrese, 319th Civil Engineer Squadron infrastructure systems section chief, spoke highly of Palm's work ethic and job performance.

"He is someone you can count on to get the most demanding job done on time, done right, and done like you would want a contractor to do something in your own home or business," he said.  "Mr. Palm's performance is top-notch. When he is given a job, he takes it on as if it is something he is doing in his own house. In other words, he takes pride in the ownership until the job is done."

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