News: 181st Intelligence Wing Civil Engineers hone skills
Story by Maj. Frank Howard
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - In late March, members of the 181st Intelligence Wing (181 IW) Civil Engineering Squadron, Terre Haute Ind., participated in Exercise Silver Flag at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. During the week long course, 144 students from 27 different organizations perfected their skills in building and maintaining bare-base operations at forward deployed locations.
The exercise “provided realistic hands on training and provided experience with skills and activities, not previously exposed to,” stated Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicholas Pirtle, 181st IW Civil Engineering Squadron.
Students honed a variety of combat and survival skills, such as repairing bomb-damaged runways, preparing runways to receive aircraft with mobile aircraft arresting systems, setting up base facilities and providing the command and control for these operations.
"Silver Flag provides core competencies to be able to establish a bare base anywhere in the world," said Air Force Lt Col Martin White, 181st IW Civil Engineering Squadron commander.
Airmen from various Air Force Specialty Codes had to work together to set up and sustain a base. This training is mandatory for all civil engineers in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard. In addition to contingency operations, these skills are vital in the 181 IW state domestic response mission.
Air National Guard Wings have both a federal and state mission. The skills honed at Silver Flag will increase the 181st IW’s ability to respond to overseas deployments and ensure rapid and expert assistance during domestic emergency response.