How the 49th CES became the best in ACC

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Ryan Swearingen
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
The 49th Civil Engineer Squadron was recently recognized as the best large CES unit in Air Combat Command. Due to the hard work and commitment of all our Airmen, we were able to put together an extremely strong award package.

There are 11 large civil engineer squadrons in ACC. Of 15 award packages the 49th CES submitted, four earned first place in ACC and six were runners-up. Our Airmen make the 49th CES the best in ACC. As a squadron, we work together to support a six-part mission: executing over $200 million in the beddown of remotely piloted aircraft and fighter aircraft flying missions, maintaining the installation's infrastructure, executing new construction projects, responding to emergencies, training our Airmen to deploy and supporting our families.

The civil engineer squadron manages $2.6 billion in infrastructure covering 61,000 acres and more than 200 miles of road. After the wild fires in Lincoln County, N.M., Bonito Lake became polluted and was no longer a viable water source for Alamogordo or Holloman AFB. The 49th Civil Engineer Squadron lobbied for five well upgrades after the natural disaster, preventing 78 million gallons of annual water loss and augmenting one million gallons per day to the base. The Squadron also constructed an 800-foot road that provided security access to the ACC's largest airfield. Furthermore, we took the lead on a new recurring work program for heating ventilation and air conditioning. Our explosive ordnance disposal flight effectively cleared 12th Air Force Bomb and Gunnery Ranges, removing 13 tons of munitions and clearing 277,000 acres for pilot training.

This year, the 49 CES emergency responders mitigated two remotely piloted aircraft crash recoveries, reclaiming $17 million in assets. They also aided the firefighting efforts by responding to the wild land fires in Lincoln County. During these efforts, our responders were the first in the Air Force to recommend the utilization of RPAs to aid with emergency response and capture real-time disaster photographs.

The 49th CES Airmen are true combat leaders! We deployed 68 engineers to eight locations, five of which were short notice, and 21 in support of the President of the United States. While deployed, EOD personnel executed 30 helicopter inserts and destroyed 42 Improvised Explosive Devices. Our engineers conducted 125 route clearance missions over the course of 133 days, clearing 18,000 miles and 225 IEDs. Meanwhile, our members at home were preparing the installation to deploy, teaching 937 Airmen CBRNE skills and 35 self aid buddy care and CPR classes.

Our members take great pride in community involvement. This year we took the lead for Alamogordo's Day of Caring and Thanks Team Holloman. Many members of our squadron are actively involved in Holloman AFB and Otero County youth programs, such as Boy Scouts, space camp, sports programs and science fairs. Our EOD flight also instructed First National Bank employees how to mitigate bomb threats. In addition, our firefighters volunteer in the surrounding cities' volunteer fire departments. One of our proudest volunteer efforts was our support to Cancer Awareness Prevalence Prevention and Early Detection. During Holloman's Big Give, our squadron donated over $7,500 and provided 2,800 man-hours to renovate their facility.

Lastly, our squadron has a strong sense of family pride. We have an outstanding support group for our spouses and family members. Together our civil engineer booster club and key spouses have held 14 squadron family events and four pre-deployment dinners. We also band together when a fellow Airman is in need; this year our efforts raised $3,400 for fellow members with hardships to help ease financial burdens.

For all these reasons, the 49th CES was named best large civil engineer squadron in ACC. We are now competing at the Air Force level, but regardless of whether or not we win, we will still be immensely proud of all the hard work out Airmen have done.