MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. — Reserve Civil Engineers converged at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for training that helped the Air Force save $1.5 million in repair costs in process.
About 40 reservists from the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron, McChord Field, Washington, and the 944th CES, Luke Air Force Base, have been working to relieve the workload for the CE units at Bellows Air Force Station and Hickam.
“We’re here to get as much work and training done as we possibly can in the few weeks,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Wright, 446th CES Programs flight chief.
Citizen Airmen are completing numerous projects, including constructing a maintenance facility for the 18th Civil Engineer detachment, eliminating outdoor safety threats by clearing away vegetation, painting street lines, conducting upgrade training, completing work orders, and supporting the base fire department.
Wright, of Ephrata, Washington, said the McChord and Luke units saved the Air Force an estimated $1.5 million on contractors to complete the same work. They are also helping save lives by felling trees and trimming branches.
Honolulu Urban Forestry officials said more than 50 people are killed each year in Hawaii from falling trees and branches.
Civil engineers hope to remove or trim more than 200 trees on the installations, which will save countless lives, money and property, Wright said.
Reservists are gaining valuable training in other areas during this deployment. The power production team is performing routine maintenance and testing on the BAK 12 aircraft arresting system, Wright said. They will also test the system’s functionality by “catching” an F-22 Raptor.
Senior Airman Cyle Coleman, water and fuels technician with the 446th CES, said teamwork has much to do with their accomplishments and will only help them the next time they deploy.
“We’ve accomplished more than we expected and are helping other shops,” the four-year veteran said. “We’ve finished our job early and have helped with painting roads and parking lots, hanging sheet rock, and clearing brush along the roads. This will help our readiness by being able to work together as a team and get our jobs knocked out quicker.”