CE airmen keep the base running smooth

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Keeping an Air Force base running smoothly takes careful cooperation between several different agencies and career fields. Some are praised daily for their hard work, and others go almost unknown, doing their job from behind the scenes. Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olivares is one such airman currently working with the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight.

"We sustain pretty much all of the base, from a broken sink in the dorms, to a pothole holding up aircraft on the flight line," said Olivares, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight personnel.

Olivares and the other operations management airmen are the central hub to assist facility managers when repair items or emergencies arise.

"We keep up with hundreds of facility managers on base, and we ensure their training is up to date," said Senior Airman Robert Kniveton, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight manager. "We only accept calls from the facility managers unless it's an emergency, so that we can maintain a single point of contact within those units and buildings."

Not only do these airmen direct their work orders to the appropriate shop, they also procure and manage the materials needed to get the job finished correctly and in a timely manner.

"We make sure that we have the material on hand for the emergencies like water and gas line breaks and power outages," said Kniveton.

To some, these tasks may seem small. However, theirs is a job that is ever evolving and keeping these airmen on their toes.

"All of our training is very base specific," said Kniveton. "Everytime you go to a new base you have to learn new procedures and processes."

With an ever evolving career field, having strong young airmen is an invaluable asset when dealing with change. For the operations management personnel, Oliveras has stepped up to the plate and accepted these challenges head on.

"Airman Oliveras is a hard charger," said Kniveton. "He helps out a lot and takes the lead on things. This makes everything a lot easier."

With manning levels changing due to retirement, separation, deployment and annual leave, having airmen you can count on is critical to accomplishing the mission.

"Our NCOIC just retired," said Kniveton. "The new one is not coming in for about another month or so."

The men and women of the operations flight, officers, airmen and non-commissioned officers, are stepping up to ensure that base facilities are a safe place to work and train.

"It's nice, you really get to see airmen taking care of airmen and holding each other accountable," said Kniveton.