452nd CES conducts biannual Bivouac

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Keyes
  • 452nd Civil Engineer Squadron

The 452nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) conducted their biannual Bivouac in conjunction with Home Station Training (HST) requirements at the 163 Regional Training Site (RTS), during a recent unit training assembly (UTA) at March Air Reserve Base. The rigors of participating in a bivouac and can drain you physically, and mentally but the benefits of such training can not only be cost effective but invaluable in a real world deployment environment.


Traditionally a bivouac is defined as a temporary shelter. To those in the armed forces the term takes on a new meaning, Bivouac means simulating a realistic deployment exercise on base which meets or exceeds HST requirements.


HST is a cost savings multiplier and is significant to the development of expeditionary support skills. It also fosters the building of a wingman environment within multi-skilled Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSCs). 


The 452nd CES completed their biannual requirement by combining March and April’s UTA’s into one, culminating in a four-day exercise. Approximately 120 civil engineers participated in the Bivouac which involved a multitude of specialties within the civil engineering career field.


“This was a wonderful training opportunity for the younger Airmen who have never experienced a Bivouac.” Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) program manager, Master Sgt. Darren Milner said.


Over the course of the four days, members of 452nd CES constructed eight Alaskan Small Shelter System tents, participated in field training provided by Prime BEEF cadre instructors, followed a strict training schedule of combat skill courses, conducted heavy equipment vehicle training and held a team-building competition.


Members also broke into their own AFSC’s and provided other shops within CES an overview of their job responsibilities, an idea that was introduced by 452nd CES Commander, Lt. Col. William J. McGurk.


“Knowing what the other shops primary missions are, to include job duties and responsibilities within the entire CE as a whole, gives all of the members a broader perspective on the different career fields.” McGurk stressed.


Overall, the Prime BEEF cadre and senior leadership declared the Bivouac to be a success as 452nd CES members were provided with a sense of what a deployment to a bare base is like and they were able to experience all AFSC’s working together to satisfy mandatory Prime BEEF training requirements.


“It united us as a unit which better prepared us for the upcoming Patriot Warrior by accomplishing home station and vehicle training all at once.” Milner said.