140th Civil Engineer Squadron receives top honors

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
When it comes to being the best, the 140th Civil Engineer Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, located at Buckley Air Force Base, knows nothing less. They were honored last month when they were notified that they are the recipients of the top two awards a CE unit in the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force can receive.

First, the "Air National Guard William L. Deneke Award" is named after retired Col. William L. Deneke and is awarded to the ANG Outstanding Civil Engineer Unit of the year. The winner of this award then competes for the "Society of American Military Engineers Curtin Award," named after Maj. Gen. Robert H. Curtin, the former Air Force Director of Civil Engineering from 1963 to 1968, and is presented to the Outstanding Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron in the categories of large unit, small unit and Air Reserve Component. The 140th CES won both.

The 140th CES traveled the world in 2014, taking on projects from right in their back yard of Colorado to the Highlands of Scotland.

As a team they provided over 3,500 hours of community service supporting multiple agencies all across Colorado. Never missing a beat, they were an integral key player in the rebuilding of the runway at BAFB, which also involved moving the entire COANG F-16 alert and training mission 20 miles away to Denver International Airport for 90 days. They created the first recycling program for Thumrait Air Base in Oman with the potential of avoiding over $100K in waste removal contracts. Additionally, they worked side by side with the Royal British Army for Operation Flying Rose in Scotland, United Kingdom, helping to accomplish a large variety of base improvements, while gaining one-of-a-kind training with coalition forces.

Senior Airman Ellie Gustafson, a structural journeyman, noted that "getting these awards is a huge honor for us. While we were in Scotland, many of us did jobs that were not part of our Air Force specialty and completed the jobs ahead of schedule. This is a perfect example of how well our unit works as a team!" 

With about 86 members that make up the 140th CES, they strive during every mission to not only do the job the right way, but to exceed all project expectations. This level of commitment has not gone unnoticed and the squadron will be presented the "most prestigious awards for any CE unit," boasted Lt. Col. Thomas J. Nefe, assistant base civil engineer, 140 CES, at a later date to be determined.

The 140th CES is building on their blue print for future successes. They will travel to Slovenia as part of the State Partnership Program. "We have hopes this will strengthen our partnership and result in future Deployment for Training opportunities for other ANG units" noted Chief Master Sgt. Holly Allen, 140 CES.

The unit will also continue to pursue a one-of-a-kind partnership with the Active duty, Civil Air Patrol, and Colorado Army National Guard, in renovating the historic hangar 909 at BAFB for its adaptive reuse as a regional F-16 simulator training center, LRS squadron facility, base operations center, deployment processing facility, along with many other uses that will alleviate upwards of four military construction projects that are needed, in a budget constrained environment. 

"I believe this is possibly the first of its kind effort to combine resources from four separate agencies for a single purpose," stated Lt. Col. William Smith, 140 CES, and continued, "we are also working towards modernizing our alert facilities and the F-16 main apron and developing a state of the art Aerospace Support Equipment Facility and making major upgrades to the airfield lighting system. Our vision, is to ensure Buckley is prepared to receive 5th generation fighter aircraft by fiscal year 18... we're not going to be the roadblock to the new mission bed down!"