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    166th Airlift Wing Civil Engineer Squadron Clears the Way With New Equipment

    NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, UNITED STATES

    11.06.2022

    Story by Senior Airman Brandan Hollis 

    166th Airlift Wing

    The 166th Airlift Wing (AW) Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) has increased its functionality drastically with the addition of two new Multi Terrain Loaders. Each with the ability to scoop, grip and lift debris off the road. Subsequently this will allow the 166th AW CES to offer more services to the state of Delaware during times of crisis. Clearing roads that are obstructed can reduce the time other emergency services spend in transit and give them access to key areas during a crisis which ultimately saves more lives.

    With new equipment available and ready for use the 166th CES began training in preparation for the state to use their services once more. “We are trying to exercise our capabilities so traditional Airmen get experience running equipment because if things happen it’s a real possibility most of the full time staff will be on base while the traditionals [will need the] operational capabilities to take this downrange” said 166th CES Senior Enlisted Leader, Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bennett. On October 16, 2022 Bennett along with several other supervisors began training the Junior Enlisted with the Multi Terrain Loaders. “Coming out here and getting hands-on experience with this equipment was awesome,” said Senior Airman Sara McVey. “This training day has made me feel comfortable and ready if we were called to go out and help the community.”

    Airmen trained on the basic techniques and safety precautions with chainsaws and the Multi Terrain Loaders, all skills necessary to accomplish a mission during an emergency in the state. “Today’s training was a superb experience,'' said Electrical Systems Craftsmen, Tech. Sgt. Maurice Price “Training new Airman is a very humbling experience, getting to use and share my knowledge with them so that they can be proficient at their jobs and be the best version of themselves” In the field chainsaws are used to cut debris down to smaller sizes for the Multi Terrain Loaders to then move. “This training will be a great benefit to themselves, the unit and the mission when they eventually deploy down range,” said Price. “Every time I get a job whether it is small or big, I feel like I have made a difference in the community,'' said McVey. “I am looking forward to using my new skills I have learned to help the community in the future.”

    The Delaware Air National Guard has been an instrumental help during natural disasters in the past. The North American Blizzard of 1996 raged across the east coast, knocking out power for weeks throughout the lower areas of Delaware. “In the late 90’s there was an ice storm that wiped out Sussex County” said Bennett “It looked like a tornado went through it, it capped all the trees, everything including telephone poles were cut in half, everything was laying across the road.” The North American blizzard of 1996 was a severe nor'easter that paralyzed the United States East Coast with up to 4 feet of wind-driven snow from January 6 to January 8, 1996. Bennett who was a Tech. Sgt. at the time served in the state to help clear debris during a time of chaos “We went down there with whatever we had, we used dump trucks and vans with tools in hand not knowing what we were getting into and for two and a half to three days straight we did nothing but cut debris off the roads so emergency personnel could get in and help those who needed healthcare and so Public Utilities can get in and help out with the electric and the gas.”
    The 166th CES will continue to train often to maximize the capabilities of Airmen as well as their equipment. “[The goal of] this exercise here was to get people hands-on experience and also to find out where we are lacking and what we can fix, not just individuals but also equipment,” said Bennett. “Prior to this we only had limited access [to] help the governor in any respect because we did not have trailers to move the equipment,” said Bennett “I’m very proud of this unit, now anything the governor asks for we will be able to act upon, if he needs roads cleared because trees are down, or if he needs sand removed off of Route 1 we have the equipment to do that.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.06.2022
    Date Posted: 11.06.2022 15:52
    Story ID: 432747
    Location: NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, US

    Web Views: 155
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN