175th Civil Engineer Squadron participate in Silver Flag Exercise at Ramstein Air Base, Germany

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Gareth Buckland
  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 175th Civil Engineering Squad (CES) deployed to Ramstein Air Force Base Germany to conduct are base operations training known as Silver Flag from March 21 through April 5, 2014.
The group of over 60 personnel spent the 10 days in classrooms, as well as conducting actual hands on training, and ending in a two-day end of course exercise where skills acquired during the week were put to the test.

"Silver Flag is about our deployment training and tasking skills training", said Senior Airman Andrew Braken, from the 175th Civil Engineering Squad "We set up a bare base to bed down troops as well as establish and maintain an airfield". The training consisted of critical contingency operations such as water purification, runway repair, emergency airfield lighting, and aircraft arresting systems and power distribution.

"The environment gives you a different experience where multiple units come to together as a team", said Staff Sargent Steven Unglesbee from the 175th Civil Engineering Squadron "This is very unique as is gets you ready to deployment with others and learn to work cooperatively with each other".

The Emergency Manager and firefighters had the opportunity to train in both aircraft and structural fire fighting response, as well as chemical and hazardous response material response.

"Air Force Civil Engineers are required to complete certain training every three years" said Major Ethan England, 175th Civil Engineering Squad Deputy Commander "in order to complete the training we have to travel somewhere else as we don't have the equipment or real estate to do the training at home".

The exercise simulated a base bed down operation to house a 150 person camp assist in bringing in additional forces to fight insurgents.

The final day's training exercise took all the skills acquired during the previous week to conduct a small scale Operational Readiness Inspection which included planning and conducting a convoy, sweep the area for to identify unexploded ordinance and then to conduct a bed down plan with airfield recovery. During this is one-day exercise the airman were required to respond to simulated missile and small arms gunfire attacks to show their ability to survive and operate under austere conditions.

The Silver Flag exercise is conducted every three years and allows guardsman to deploy using real world equipment in real world scenarios, which are not readily available at home station, which help develop their expeditionary skills that improves unit readiness.