Air Force

May 2, 2014

Engineer deploys to Belize for humanitarian mission

Tags:
Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
12th Air Force (Air Force Southern)

Airman 1st Class Sterling Depew, 820th RED HORSE Squadron pavements and heavy equipment operator, lays block at the Stella Maris school construction site, April 3, 2014, Belize City, Belize. U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine engineers are partnering with members of the Belize Defence Force to build classroom additions at two locations in Belize City and one school in Hattieville.

BELIZE CITY, Belize — Each day is 12 to 14 hours long. It’s hot. It’s humid. And, there is little relief from the elements. He spends most days doing things like moving cement blocks, cutting through concrete and spreading mortar adhesive carefully between each layer of blocks until he and his team reach 15-courses high.

Airman 1st Class Sterling Depew, 820th RED HORSE pavements and heavy equipment operator, deployed from the Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is currently in Belize as part of the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.

He’s on his first deployment and is excited to be able to come to a new country to work in a joint environment alongside partner nation militaries. His mission is to assist Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Belize Defence Force engineers in building four school additions and one hospital clinic.

“I love working in a joint environment and communication has been great with the Belizean Defence Force engineers … they are hard-workers and bring knowledge from their experience and ways of doing things in their country,” the Airman said.

Depew, a Dallas native, joined the military 18 months ago to “further his education and to get a steady paycheck.”

He spent a lot of time researching and took some advice from his recruiter, who told him that choosing a job as a civil engineer was a guarantee.

According to Depew, he’s always enjoyed construction.

Airman 1st Class Sterling Depew, 820th RED HORSE Squadron pavements and heavy equipment operator, measures cement blocks at the Stella Maris school addition construction site project in Belize City, Belize, April 23. Depew is deployed with a team of engineers from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. The exercise gives U.S. military members the opportunity to deploy, operate, and re-deploy while including the added benefit of working with and learning from our international partners.

“I could not sit at a desk,” Sterling said. “I enjoy being outside, working with my hands and just the physical side of work.”
Luckily, Depew had the support of his parents.

“They were all for it,” he said. “My dad is the one who pushed me in the military … I appreciate everything my parents have done for me. They raised me right, and I love them.”

Depew is married to his wife, Chloe, and they are expecting their first child, a son, who is due in November.

He explains that his being gone has been tough for his wife, but “she has the support of her family,” and he talks to her every night so that he can help her to be as stress-free as possible.

“I love her, and I can’t wait to see her and little Chase (his unborn son),” he said.

The first thing he’ll do for his pregnant wife?

“I’m going to massage her feet,” Depew said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Career Intermission Program application window

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Air Force Career Intermission Program application window opens July 1 for eligible Airmen interested in taking one to three years off active duty for personal or professional needs. Applications must reach the Air Force Personnel Center no later than Aug. 31, with the total force selection panel scheduled...
 
 

AF begins enlisted professional military education enrollment notifications

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas—Last week, the Air Force Personnel Center initiated a phased approach to notify approximately 83,000 Airmen of the requirement to enroll in the applicable enlisted professional military education distance learning course. AFPC will notify 20,000 Airmen at the beginning of each month until all members have been notified. In July 2014,...
 
 

AFCENT commander: ISIL fears coalition airpower

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Southwest Asia — At the coalition airpower hub for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the commander and coalition partners know they are making a difference in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists. “We know from our intelligence that...
 

 

GWOT Expeditionary Medal

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen who earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for more than one of the five Department of Defense approved GWOT-EM operations may now wear a service star device on the medal and service ribbon for the second and...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Stock

Air Force welcomes new surgeon general

U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Stock Staff Sgt. Ross Ediger and Zachery Ediger pin the third star on their father Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger during a promotion ceremony at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Va., June ...
 
 

CMC luncheon brings Airmen, community leaders together

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Col. Ross Anderson, 926th Wing commander, gives a speech to local community leaders during a quarterly Civilian Military Council luncheon at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., June 9. Local community leaders came to Nellis AFB to gain a better understanding of the activities the base...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>