CE travels to Indiantown Gap for training
By Tech. Sgt. Barb Harbison, 108th Public Affairs Office
/ Published July 18, 2009
July 18, 2009 -- A civil engineering squadron is made up of many components and jobs - electrical, heavy equipment, heating and air conditioning, surveying, readiness and more - lots of pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Recently the 108th Civil Engineer Squadron went to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., for a training weekend that, "enabled all the Airmen participating to see how they fit into the CE puzzle," according to Chief Master Sgt. Tim Grover, operations chief.
The squadron tries to make the trip annually said Lt. Col. Paul Novello, commander of the 108th CES. "It gives the Airmen hands-on training with wartime equipment that the unit does not have," he said.
This year's trip was extra special since the squadron is training for an upcoming deployment to Southwest Asia. "My job as a commander is to make sure everyone has as much relevant training as possible and equipment as necessary to make deployments a success," said Novello.
Sixty members of the squadron spent the weekend with members of the 174th Civil Engineers from New York at the 204th Red Horse Squadron Regional Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap. Fulfilling a yearly training requirement, the Airmen bivouaced in tents and spent the time training in some new and old things.
For Staff Sgt. Jessica Armstrong the weekend gave her the knowledge of doing something out of her career field. "The hands-on experience was extremely beneficial," said Armstrong.
Senior Airman Rachel Weinberg, an engineering assistant in the 108th CES, found that the camaraderie was very important for her. "This was my first weekend going away with the unit and I was able to get to know people," she said.
Engineering assistant Senior Airman Andrea Liverpool, echoed Armstrong's comments when she said that the hands-on experiences were the most beneficial part of the weekend for her.
Everyone was praising the staff of the schoolhouse. Novello said that commandant, Chief Master Sgt. Ken Deck; head instructor Senior Master Sgt. Ray Yurista and the rest of the staff had nothing but the best support and highest quality of training for his Airmen.
Grover said there were 20-30 cadre at the school, teaching and lending support to the CE members. "A lot of the new folks got hands-on training this weekend," he stated.
As the squadron readies itself for its deployment, this weekend away seems to be just what is needed to get everyone prepared.