CE helping build the mission at Bagram

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jack Elston
  • 183d Fighter Wing
The 183rd Civil Engineer Squadron began arriving at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in June and by the end of July the entire team of about 25 engineers had arrived. Together with about 40 other guardsmen from throughout the country they make up the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron responsible for Senior Air Authority (SAA) at Bagram. Essentially SAA means they are tasked with maintaining all the assets and facilities located on the airfield in direct support of the coalition forces flying mission.

The team literally hit the ground running. Many of engineers assigned to the Heavy Equipment Shop spent their first full day in theater up to their knees in concrete and they haven't stopped since. SMSgt Mark Kessler and his team of electricians and power production specialists have kept busy maintaining the aircraft arresting barriers, airfield lighting and numerous generators located around the base - to date they have had 15 successful barrier engagements. The entire team, to include electricians, structures, heavy equipment, HVAC and supply have played a vital role in bedding down a new, high demand ISR mission.

The mission at Bagram Airfield continues to grow faster than the existing infrastructure can support. The entire Civil Engineer Squadron works tirelessly maintaining the existing facilities and constructing new ones to ensure the mission can continue. Whether it is pouring concrete, putting up new tents or running new electrical lines, there is never a shortage of work. The busy pace has certainly made the deployment memorable one. The squadron will begin redeploying shortly after Christmas and the entire team should be home by the end of January.