by Lt. Col. Eric Swanson
113th Civil Engineer Squadron
6/26/2015 - NEW LONDON, Conn. -- A
team of 38 Airmen from the District of Columbia Air National Guard's
113th Civil Engineer Squadron conducted a deployment for training at the
United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, Connecticut,
The Airmen executed a variety of construction, renovation, and maintenance projects in support of the Academy.
"The experience has been nothing short of fantastic for the Coast Guard
Academy's Facility Engineering Branch," said Lt. Liam McCue,
Construction Project Manager with the academy. "The 113th Wing team has
really impressed everyone at the academy, their hard work and positive
attitude was contagious and they continued to build upon the impressive
reputation that previous ANG units left from the year before. Without
their help most of these projects would have been deferred to a
contractor or scrapped entirely, so it was a blessing to have the crew
of the 113th spend two weeks helping us out."
The DC Airmen completed numerous projects on academy grounds, including
installing heaters and drinking fountains, replacing over 35 signposts
with decorative cast posts, replacing damaged sections of sidewalks,
replacing drop ceilings, and installing new high voltage switchgear and
other electrical equipment to upgrade the campus infrastructure. In
addition, the team is training and conducting preventive maintenance on
several of the many portable and permanent generators used there.
This is the second year of the joint partnership between the USCGA and
Air National Guard civil engineer units. In 2014, two ANG units erected a
masonry and wood building and installed electrical and plumbing
infrastructure for use as a restroom facility adjacent to sports
fields. These previous two teams left a lasting impression on the
Academy's Facilities Engineering department, which prompted them to
request ANG support during 2015. The joint arrangement between the ANG
and the USCGA provides a twofold benefit: the ANG gets hands-on training
on real-world projects, and the Academy benefits by receiving low cost
labor and the ability to execute projects they otherwise would not have
the funding to complete. The Coast Guard estimates the overall savings
to be close to $250,000.
Set along the banks of the Thames River, the academy provides
a different environment for the Air Force civil engineers to enhance
their skillsets, while executing value-added projects for the Academy.
"The experience is unique," said Airman 1st Class Sierra Murphy, a 113th
Airman on her first CE deployment for training. "It is cool that we are
part of the academy for a couple of weeks. I appreciate the experience
of being in Connecticut."
Teamwork was widespread with everyone chipping in to complete the
projects, while using their individual skills. Many Airmen were able to
gain a new perspective of the different career fields within CE for the
"This DFT has given the Power Production Shop a unique opportunity to
install a 600 amp transfer switch," said .Staff Sgt. John Simpson, who
worked closely with the electricians. "Even though we learn about
transfer switches and the way they operate, the electricians would
normally do the installation. I am thankful to the academy for giving us
In addition to the construction projects, some members of the team were
able to conduct backflow prevention training that covered regulations
and requirements for installation and inspection of these systems.
Engineering Assistants surveyed for an underground cable installation.
Additionally, a number of the 113th Airmen worked closely with the
academy's public works section to complete work orders and conduct
Overall, the experience has been a very successful training event that
has greatly benefited both the 113th Civil Engineer Squadron and the
United States Coast Guard Academy. The Airmen of the 113th have improved
their skills while learning about the culture and history of the Coast