CE Cooks at Silver Flag
Story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA
That was one of the comments overheard when the 52
members of the 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron
and 13 Services Flight Guardsmen boarded a C-130 and
deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., for a Silver Flag
From July 15 until July 22, the 177th along with the Civil Engineers from other Guard and active-duty Air Force units received four days of contingency training – training geared toward deploying to a hostile environment.
“The equipment and instruction provided by the Cadre
was exceptional,” stated Chief Master Sgt. Donald E.
Harris, NCOIC Civil Engineering. “Everyone got the opportunity
All Guard, Reserve and Active-Duty Civil Engineer units must attend a Silver Flag Exercise every 45 months to be tested on their war skills by the 823rd RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers) to ensure that they are worldwide deployable.
One thing that had changed was the involvement of non-CE units. “There were active-duty communications, finance and contracting shops involved in the exercise,” noted Maj. James Layton Jr., 177th CE Commander. “This was a reflection of the real world where previous Silver Flag exercises treated CE and Services as working by themselves, when in reality it is just the opposite.”
On War Day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending 15 hours later, every major Civil Engineer function was exercised. It also became an endurance test as well; almost everyone spent at least three hours in their chem gear while the temperatures were in the high 80’s.
While Explosive Ordnance Disposal cleared and removed
all unexploded bombs, Readiness established a
perimeter and performed chemical testing to determine if
The Power Production team operated and maintained
the different emergency generators needed to provide
power to the base. They also installed a Mobile Aircraft
Meanwhile the Heavy Equipment folks cleared and
filled two bomb craters on the airfield – no easy task
involving front end loaders, graders, rollers, dump trucks, a
The Firefighters performed aircrew extractions and extinguished numerous aircraft fires.
The 13 Services Flight Airmen were tasked with developing
a lodging plan for the 190 personnel involved in War
Day; setting up and running the dining facility and food
Typical of the comments made by the 823rd RED
HORSE was the statement: “They completed each step
with ease quickly and efficiently. They finished well before
“It used to be new but now with having so many guys
deployed to Iraq and Diego Garcia this has become old
school to us now,” stated Senior Master Sgt. Thomas
|(c) 2006 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs|