The Airmen assigned to the 452nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) put on a power demonstration to exercise their contingency operations, at the 163rd Regional Training Site, at March Air Reserve Base, Dec. 3.
All four flights of CES, comprised of the March Field Fire Emergency Services, Prime BEEF (base engineer emergency force), EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) and emergency management came together to showcase CE's ability to perform duties in a deployed environment.
"The demonstration was a great training opportunity for our folks, but it was also targeted to family, friends and anybody interested in what the CE community does in wartime operations," said Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hamby, superintendent, 452nd CES.
Hamby was the emcee for the event which had close to 100 spectators, many being family and friends of CE personnel. As narrator, he explained the sequence of events as they unfolded to give the audience a clearer understanding of CE's mission while down range.
During a contingency, the primary mission for CE is ADR (air damage repair) and after an attack CE are first responders who assess the damage and repair the runway so aircraft can resume their flying mission.
The demonstration began with EOD playing the opposing force and initiating a bombing attack. After the attack, Airmen went out in full MOPP (mission oriented protective posture) gear to make sure they were not under chemical attack, then firefighters quickly put out fires so CE Airmen could get to work re-building the runway.
CE tries to hold power demos once a year because of the numerous benefits derived from the experience, Hamby said. Seasoned troops gain refresher training and are able to introduce newer troops to the actions they'll be performing when deployed, plus family and friends are able to witness what their loved one trains and deploys for.
Hamby described how in the past the feedback they've gotten from traditional reservists' families and friends was they weren't sure what exactly their service member did and the event was the perfect opportunity to highlight what they do.
After the demo, guests were able to talk to the participants, ask questions and get a hands-on look at the equipment and vehicles used during a deployment.
"The power demonstration was a great success and paid off because we were hearing about it after; the families didn't have any idea it was so serious, they had no idea that during and attack, CE are out there scurrying around trying to get that base back on track to launch aircraft," Hamby said.
In addition to the power demonstration family and friends were able to witness a full-service dress inspection, a re-enlistment ceremony and all were invited to the CE Christmas party.
"We want our members ready to deploy and their families ready for them to deploy."
Hamby said. "We feel if we invest in the member, if we emphasize what they do, show we care about their welfare and their support network at home they'll keep coming back."