Georgia Guard engineers hone skills at Silver Flag 2017

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  • 116 Air Control Wing

A team of 44 Georgia Air National Guard civil engineers from the 116th Air Control Wing and the 165th Airlift Wing completed a grueling week of training in a simulated hostile environment during Silver Flag, June 5-11, 2017.


The classroom and hands-on instruction from subject matter experts at the 435th Construction and Training Squadron, prepared the Airmen to work in a joint expeditionary environment along side other Guard and active-duty civil engineers while standing up a bare base.


“We were tasked to build up base operations with runway capability for a C-130 Hercules, install an in-flight emergency arresting system for fighter aircraft and set up bed down for 150 personnel with expansion capability for a 500 person refugee camp all while encountering contingency scenarios and simulated attacks,” said Chief Master Sgt. Rayford Robinson, superintendent of the 116th Civil Engineer Squadron.


The team from Georgia played a large part in the exercise providing the largest contingency of students while filling many leadership roles.


“Several shops were led by 116th civil engineers and our leadership team played a vital role in command and control,” said Master Sgt. Joel Furlough, operations superintendent with the 116th CES. “The 165th AW played a lead role in the fire fighting portion of the exercise as well.” 


After a tiring week of training, the Airmen gutted it up for a grueling field training exercise complete with mock explosions, simulated chemical spills, damaged airfields, multiple fires, a suicide bomber and other scenarios based on experiences of military engineers in deployed locations.


“You can always have the perfect plan on paper, but when you go out in the field and start executing that plan it’s going to change and our training teaches the ability to act on the fly within the realms of what we do in the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Mayer, infrastructure section chief with the 435th CTS.


“The Air National Guard and active-duty Airmen meshed well together on exercise day and completed a lot of things faster than we’ve seen in past exercises,” added Capt. James Tyhurst, training flight commander with the 435th CTS. “One of the benefits I’ve noticed about the Guard that helped in this exercise, is many of them have specialized jobs in the civilian sector that relate to their military job. They bring a wealth of knowledge here that benefits our younger Airmen.”


Senior Airman James Nobles, a pavement and heavy equipment operator with the 116th CES was one of those Airmen.


“This was my first Silver Flag and my first time out of the country,” said Nobles. “I feel much better prepared for deployments after completing the training and field training exercise.”