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    156th AW civil engineer Airmen deploy to Latvia for training mission

    156th AW civil engineer Airmen deploy to Latvia for training mission

    Courtesy Photo | More than 30 civil engineer Airmen assigned to the 156th Airlift Wing build...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Julio Olivencia Jr 

    156th Wing

    MUÑIZ AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Puerto Rico (June 1, 2018) -- More than 30 civil engineer (CE) Airmen assigned to the 156th Airlift Wing deployed to Latvia last month to build dormitories in support of Exercise Saber Strike 18.

    Exercise Saber Strike 18 is a U.S. Army-led annual exercise, consisting of multiple branches of the U.S.’s and partner nation’s militaries, conducted at various locations throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. About 18,000 participants from 19 different countries will be taking part. The combined training prepares allies and partners to respond more to regional crises and meet their own security needs by improving the security of borders and countering threats.

    156th Civil Engineer Squadron Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Manager Tech. Sgt. Ismael J. Rodríguez is leading the 34 Airmen in building concrete pads which will serve as the foundations for dormitories.

    He said the deployment-for-training is helping him develop as a leader and setting the unit up for the future.

    “This trip helped me improve my unit-deployment-manager skills and served as practice for upcoming CE deployments,” Rodríguez said.

    The team hit the ground running and wasted no time getting to work.

    “We are the only unit to 100-percent complete two concrete pads, including leveling the terrain up to contractor specifications, installing steel forms, putting in insulation, and pouring the actual concrete,” Rodríguez said.

    Rodríguez is especially proud of his Airmen’s ability to adapt and learn from one another.

    “Not all of the Airmen here have specific jobs related to their [specialties],” Rodríguez said, “but they’re learning other skills and abilities from other Airmen that will make our unit more proficient, diverse and strong.”

    Airmen 1st Class Luis Torres, a personnelist with the 156th, explored new career fields.

    Torres is cross training with Airmen holding different Air Force specialties while in Europe to help them get the work done. He is also documenting the trip with photo and video.

    “The most challenging part is being incorporated into other [specialties] in order to continue the mission and be able to execute the tasks required,” Torres said.

    Rodriguez and Torres considered the mission a success, in part, because of the relationships the 156th is forging with our international partners.

    Rodríguez was happy to work with military members and contractors from a slew of nations.

    “It was really nice to share experiences and methods of construction with other nations, for example the Latvian contractors,” Rodríguez said.



    Date Taken: 06.02.2018
    Date Posted: 06.02.2018 12:49
    Story ID: 279340
    Location: RIIKA, LV

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