Prime Beef: Building morale, preparedness

Humvees parked in the ATSO (ability to survive and operate) compound during a Prime Beef exercise at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 17, 2016. The exercise reinforced skills in self-aid buddy care, gathering intelligence, countersign, and defensive fighting positions.

The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., has a unique way of fulfilling their readiness training— the Prime Beef.

The Prime Beef is a day of training which entails building teams and competing against each other, while training and developing Airmen for the future.

“The event organizes our civil engineer forces to provide the necessary capabilities at both home station and contingency air bases,” said Master Sgt. Maria Brown, 56th CES Readiness and Emergency Management superintendent. “It’s important because we provide a full range of engineering support as well as offer direct and indirect combat support. We have 12 Air Force Specialty Codes in the squadron that come together during Prime Beef training days to obtain the required training in order to establish, operate and maintain air bases.”

During the morning the 56th CES covered self-aid buddy care, gathering intelligence, countersign and defensive fighting positions, Brown explained. In the afternoon session, Airmen were more hands-on and participated in convoy operations training.

Prime Beef is also used to physically prepare Airmen for their deployments.

“The Prime Beef training is very beneficial to me as an Airman, because it has made me more than capable to do the job,” said Airman 1st Class Quinten Herring, 56th CES electrical power production journeyman. “Because of this, it puts us ahead of others outside of Luke since we do hands-on training, rather than computer based training. I also like how the whole squadron gets involved and comes together. I would like to see this training become open to more than just those in our squadron because everyone should know how to prepare themselves for deployment.”

The Prime Beef is held normally once a month.

“The training we do benefits everyone at Luke,” Brown said. “Luke needs the civil engineer squadron to operate and maintain the base, because without us, there’d be no air base. This is why we do the training, so we’re prepared for any assignment. I would just like people to know there are many AFSCs that comprise the civil engineer squadron, and that we all work together to get the job done.”

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