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    Spangdahlem “Dirt Boys” Sling Sand to Save Lives

    Spangdahlem “Dirt Boys” Sling Sand to Save Lives

    Photo By Senior Airman Kevin Long | Airman First Class Jakhi Brown, 52d Civil Engineering Squadron heavy equipment...... read more read more

    SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, RP, GERMANY

    07.16.2021

    Story by Senior Airman Kevin Long 

    AFN Spangdahlem

    SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -

    The 52nd Civil Engineering Squadron’s mission covers a broad scope of responsibilities. They pave the roads we drive on and maintain the airfields on which we fly. They put out the fires that threaten our homes. They plow the roads clear of ice and snow and, during times of heavy rainfall, you can find them preparing for a potential disaster.

    On Wednesday, heavy rainfall throughout the area caused flooding in the neighboring communities around Spangdahlem Air Base.. Water levels in streams and rivers began to rise quickly from the afternoon into the evening.

    Luckily, Tech. Sgt. Isaac Brenyah, 52 CES section chief for airfield and ground maintenance, said they were already standing by ready to help with any disasters that could soon follow.“We knew the rain was coming so we were preparing to secure the base, which we did,” said Brenyah.

    Soon after the base was secured, local villages began to experience heavier and more destructive flows of water. This sparked Airman 1st Class Jakhi Brown, 52d CES heavy equipment operator, and the rest of his team to jump into action.“When we got the call, everyone pretty much was home,” said Brown. “We all just came here, worked together, got stuff done and stopped houses from flooding.”

    When asked what sort of feelings he experienced while stacking sandbags in the raging flood waters, Brown said, “I wasn’t scared at all actually…I was pretty happy that we all came together and worked hard. There’s nothing we can’t overcome.”

    Altogether, Brown and his team assembled and delivered over 1,800 sandbags to the villages of Niederkail and Binsfeld until nearly 2 a.m.

    After a short night of rest, the team came back to work ready to focus on recovery efforts.

    “Almost everyone had about three hours of sleep, but they all showed up in the foggy weather, happy to keep the mission going,” explained Brenyah. “We did drain checks with our local nationals around the entire installation, and still had energy left to build 320 sand bags.”

    The 52 CES wasn’t the only crew helping in the disaster relief efforts.

    “About 50 to 60 individuals showed up,” said Brenyah. “People came out to support and I have no clue what squadron or flight they belonged to because they were in civilian clothes, but I just want to give a big shout out to everyone.”

    When reflecting on the hard work of his team during the disaster relief efforts, one of the Air Force core values came straight to Brenyah’s mind.

    “This is something that is just embedded in CE--we just love what we do and it’s embedded into our career field to always put service before self,” said Brenyah.

    The work that needed to be done during Wednesday’s flooding was hard, but the decision to help was an easy one for the 52 CES and the rest of the Spangdahlem Air Base community.

    “Our fence extends past this whole base. They are our neighbors,” Brenyah said. “So if they are in need, whether it’s fire, whether it’s flooding, whatever happens, were are just here 24/7.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.16.2021
    Date Posted: 07.16.2021 09:13
    Story ID: 401040
    Location: SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, RP, DE 

    Web Views: 1,475
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN