PACAF consolidates Silver Flag training at Andersen

by Senior Airman Michael Hunsaker
U.S. Air Force

Kunsan Air Base -- U.S. Air Force Airmen of the 554th Red Horse Squadron assigned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, trained members of the 8th Civil Engineering Squadron on airfield damage repair and force bed down June 19-23, 2017, as part of Exercise Silver Flag at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

During the training, Airmen from Andersen educated Wolf Pack Airmen on airfield damage assessment, minimum operating strip selection, airfield marking, crater repair, expeditionary airfield lighting systems installation and mobile aircraft arresting system installation.

While the training is important, it does take time out of the day-to-day mission Airmen perform here, which is part of the reason the training timeline and location will shift. This ensures members of the Wolf Pack and those across the Korean Peninsula arrive with their Silver Flag three-year currency already under their belt.

“This will be the final Silver Flag at Kunsan and Osan,” said Chief Master Sgt. Julie Sosa, 554th RHS Silver Flag Exercise Site superintendent. “This means engineers assigned to Korea will have a requirement for them to be current on training through the end of their tour.”

Although this is the final training at Kunsan, Airmen of the 544th RHS ensured those who needed the training were up to speed.

“Civil engineers need to be certified once every three years on the duties this exercise tested,” said Tech. Sgt. Todd Alter, 554th RHS pavements and equipment contingency training NCO in charge. “We are here to give them a recertification week and go through ADR and force bed down training they have been doing already to ensure the job is done right and that everyone has a good understanding of the mission.”

The command and control team concluded the training with Exercise Silver Flag, which required members of the CES to plan an expeditionary air base and bed down an aircraft mission using the planning information learned during the training.

“If an enemy bombs our airfield, we need to actively fix it and get our planes in the air,” said Staff Sgt. James Chenevert, 8th CES pavement and construction supervisor. “We have the ability and capabilities to defend the base and do what we need to do to take the fight north.”

The planning for the force bed down included bare base asset familiarization, aircraft parking, fire protection considerations, tent construction, expedient electrical, water and fuel distribution systems and field environmental control which encompass heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

After the training is complete, future civil engineering Airmen will be required to maintain a 36-month Status of Resources and Training System requirement to last through their tour in Korea, which is part of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force program. They will complete this requirement through their home station before arriving on the peninsula.

“The training we received is tremendously beneficial,” said Chenevert. “Not one thing was more important than the other because everything we do is important.”

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