CES Constructs Facilities and their Future

  • Published
  • By Maj. Noah Diehl

It’s July 20, 2017 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania when John Mellencamp’s hit released in 1980, “Ain’t even done with the night,” streams from a phone. Well-seasoned Senior Master Sgt. Casey Batterton pauses for a moment, chuckles and mutters “I remember when that song was new.” For him this would be his final Deployment for Training after 30 years of selfless service to active duty and the Kansas Air National Guard.

Batterton led the team of 30 Airmen to renovate a dilapidated facility into an Army range operation center. The Airmen worked tirelessly in the heat and high humidity. Airmen First Class Ryan Matzke’s journey in the KSANG started two years ago and this was his first DFT. He enjoyed the hands-on training which closed the gap between technical classes and actual hands-on construction. Over the weekend he traveled with other Airmen to New York City for the first time. He said, “I enjoyed getting to know everybody and making memories.”

The Structures, Heavy Equipment and Power Production Shops hung, taped, four coat finished, sanded and primed 7,000 square feet of drywall. They insulated 8,800 square feet of cavities and went on to hang another 5,000 square feet of drywall for the next team to finish. They wrapped 43 columns and fastened plywood in two bathrooms on the walls for paneling. Electrical ran 3,000 feet of conduit, 400 feet of conductor and mounted over 100 boxes for communications and electrical makeups. 

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning installed two ductless systems, set a 20 ton outside unit, and installed supply and return air.
Plumbing completed rough-in and validated that all fixtures would work in designed configuration. 

Operations issued and managed  more than 100 tools and sent the National Guard Bureau progress report surveys. They tracked needed materials required with local supply. 

Engineering assisted with surveying areas throughout the fort to help develop installation maps. The team exceeded all of their goals and objectives on this DFT. The team across all trades did an impressive job. The result of two weeks left the follow-on team in good shape. The Airmen saved the government roughly $250,000 on overhead and labor cost while gaining valuable training and unit cohesion.

To provide a safe and clean work environment, Senior Airman Antonio Hernandez took the initiative to sweep the site daily. He added, “Everybody plays a part, there are no small roles.” This insight is the key to how Civil Engineering is capable of accomplishing formidable tasks with seemingly effortless enthusiasm. As new becomes old, one truth remains apparent so that there are no gaps in the unit:  young Airmen need training and our Sergeants are great trainers. Their collaboration was a worthwhile and integral part of developing future Civil Engineers and our culture.