INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
A typical Civil Engineer Squadron consists of roughly 400 active-duty members.
With a mere fraction of that, the 39th CES maintains their mission in a unique way, utilizing hundreds of contractors and three flights: quality assurance (CEQ), readiness and emergency management and explosive ordnance disposal.
“The CEQ’s job is to translate the government's needs to the contractors,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ronald White, 39th CES superintendent. “So they take direction from the wing commander or from [Air Force Instructions] and then they work closely with the Contracting Squadron to make sure that it’s all done properly.”
Without Airmen to do the blue collar tasks like turning wrenches, pouring cement and splicing wires, members of CEQ take on the important tasks of ensuring emergency fixes are handled.
“When something like the lights go out on the runway on a weekend our CEQ is making sure that it’s done at the right time by the right people,” said White.
They work diligently to make sure contractors have the ability to maintain the mission at all times, even if that requires extra work due to last minute requirements.
Quality Assurance is not the only one who handles emergencies, because the readiness and emergency management section is responsible for being ready for events base members hope never happen by creating the base’s game plan and training base members to survive and operate in hazardous conditions.
“Emergency Management is important because we train base members for surviving and operating in a hazardous environment,” said Staff Sgt. Jude Stueckle, 39th CES operations emergency management. “We develop all the plans for contingency response to the base. If it's a natural disaster, aircraft crash, things like that, all of those plans are generated out of our office.”
While CEX Airmen focus on preparing for any situation, the members of EOD constantly train and plan in case an incident occurs that requires them to disarm explosive material. Stationed all around the world, EOD members keep Airmen and the public safe from threats.
“Their part of the mission here is to train really hard for when something bad does happen,” said White. “When everybody's hair catches on fire, everything is chaotic, EOD takes control of the situation, it’s their bread and butter.”
Whether it’s ensuring the installation has a plan or jumping into action to disarm an explosive, the different roles of the 39th CES all come together to keep the mission running.
“We’re small, we’re tight knit, and our family is closer than a lot of CE squadrons,” said White. “Our morale is high and our camaraderie is good, that’s one of the biggest pros.”