Civil engineers hone nighttime contingency skills
6/27/2012 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Before the sun came up June 21, members of the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron were honing skills which could increase their survivability downrange.
The morning's training at Kunsan Air Base gave the "Red Devils" a chance to practice nighttime contingency operations, which are conducted in low-light situations.
"Controlling the skies as well as the Air Force does, our enemies are driven to do most of their operations at night," said Master Sgt. Jason Pearl, 8th CES PRIME Beef program manager. "That makes it imperative that we control the night as well to deny them any sort of victory."
The training began with an interactive discussion, where Pearl described the most important elements to operating at night: leadership, training, planning, control and surprise.
The engineers then donned their mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) and were led around Kunsan to practice these skills.
They honed their skills on powering up a light cart, practicing blackout procedures on Humvees and moving under concealment.
Next they practiced ghost walk, cat walk, kitten crawl, low crawl and roll ground movements. After that, they practiced finding unexploded ordnance and reading M-8 detection paper.
Last up was a communication exercise, where a runner was fatigued through running and burpees, then given a verbal message to take back to his Wingmen.
"The purpose was to get them engaged in the training and give them that muscle memory so they retain the information," said Pearl. "Later on in life when they actually have to apply it, whether that's in combat skills training or downrange, they have that baseline knowledge to help them out."
For many of the Airmen there, it was their first time attending this type of training and they appreciated its hands-on nature.
"The best part was going outside and practicing the skills, like all the ground movements," said Airman 1st Class Carl Osborne, 8th CES water and fuels system maintenance. "All the CE sections work together a lot downrange so it's good to get all the experience now so we can later put it to use."
Since civil engineers often work with sister services, the training wrapped up with baseline knowledge on deployed operations with joint forces.