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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




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>