National Guard units join together on community project

  • Published
  • By Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
The 139th Civil Engineer Squadron from the Missouri Air National Guard continues to construct and renovate a few buildings and structures at the YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch.

The development is a part of the Innovative Readiness Training program, a civil-military affairs program linking military units with civilian communities for humanitarian projects.

The Innovative Readiness Training team, which includes National Guard Bureau and Air National Guard civil engineering units in partnership with the Young Men's Christian Association, has been planning and designing the facility for more than a year.

"The IRT civilian-military partnership provides an opportunity for our military to do training in a real world environment before they actually go to the field in a contingency environment," said Colorado Air National Guard Maj. Brock Childers, Duration Superintendent from the 240th Civil Engineering Flight, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

Since January there have been six Air National Guard units that have participated in the IRT at the ranch.
"What we try to do with this program is simulate a construction environment as much as possible so we have a pretty demanding schedule along with many facilities to test our troops' knowledge and skills while they are training here," said Childers.

Despite the rigorous schedule, the Guard members have risen to the challenge. "The biggest thing that I really enjoy is seeing the 'can do' attitude of our Airmen, the 'can do' spirit and the amazing skills that the Guard brings to a civil engineering squadron," Childers said.

Childers admits the participants are put to the test, but the training gained from the experience is extremely valuable. "I really enjoy the IRT program because I get to work closely with our Airmen and our Soldiers and see the direct impact it has on them," said Childers.

The Snow Mountain Ranch IRT project is a 5 year program and this was the first year of the program.