8th CES wins Outstanding Civil Engineer Small Unit award
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Civil Engineer Squadron was announced as the Pacific Air Forces award winner for the Air Force outstanding Civil Engineer Small Unit award, here, Dec. 9.
In addition, the 8th CES resource flight won the PACAF Maj. General Robert C. Thompson Resource Excellence Award.
“I’m extremely proud of my unit. We’re the legendary CE Red Devils,” said Lt. Col. William Frost, 8th CES commander. “The morale and the partnership within this unit is the best that I’ve ever experienced.”
As morale and partnership laid the groundwork for actions that lead up to the small unit award, the civilian counterparts that work in the squadron played a key role.
“We’re legendary because of the civilians,” said Capt. Matthew Nichols, 8th CES installation management flight commander. “Since we get new classes of Airmen each year, we have to quickly learn how things work in the Republic of Korea.”
The civilians in the squadron teach Airmen whatever they aren’t able to quickly pick up on.
“The civilians are the backbone that holds us up and we’re the muscles that make it move,” Nichols said. “Without them, this squadron wouldn’t be successful. We owe a lot to them.”
While Airmen are constantly moving in and out of the squadron each year, many of the civilians in the squadron have worked in the squadron long enough for Airmen to enlist, serve 20 years and retire multiple times.
“We have a tremendous amount of experience here,” Nichols said. “They’re willing to be patient with us because we’re all young military members. Even our commander is young in their eyes.”
Along with the assistance the civilians provide day in and day out, the previous class of Airmen also played an important part in what eventually culminated in the small unit award.
“The previous class was important for posturing the squadron and setting us up for success,” Frost said. “Upon arrival, we worked really hard to execute the end of year funding that was becoming available across the Air Force. The other piece of that is also the amount of construction we do here at Kunsan. It drives the ability to meet the mission requirements across the peninsula.”