NEWS | Jan. 25, 2018

Weasel Engineers Win Big in Pacific Air Forces

By Airman Xiomara M. Martinez 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- By plowing hundreds of inches of snow, keeping Misawa's buildings in top shape and ensuring emergency management programs ran smoothly, the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) won the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Outstanding Civil Engineer Unit (Large Unit) for the Year award.

This large unit award recognizes a civil engineering unit with 500 or more military and civilian authorizations or contracting manpower equivalents. Of the eight squadrons in PACAF, the 35th CES won out.

“First and foremost, we wouldn’t have won this award without the high-quality Airmen we have,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Martin the 35th CES superintendent. “When I say Airmen, I’m not just talking military but our outstanding U.S. and Japanese civilians as well. We always call our Japanese civilians Airmen because they’re all part of the team."

Combined with the PACAF Outstanding CE Unit (Large Unit) for the Year award, the 35th CES also won the Brigadier Gen. McAuliffe Housing Excellence Award as a unit, and individually, Cameron Bowsky, the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron installation manager, won the Harry P. Rietman Award and Tech. Sgt. Daniel Ray, the 35th CES pavements and grounds section chief won the Major General Eugene A. Lupia Award

Misawa’s engineers received the large unit award by completing a runway repair project in record time, slashing a two-year project down to three months and ultimately allowed the fighter squadrons to return to home station earlier than anticipated. This maintenance also prevents the runway from needing further work of this magnitude for the next 10 years.

In addition to the runway repair, these community-conscious engineers got involved in the local area, volunteering at events such as Japan Day and American Day and showed the installation’s youth engineering programs in which they could get involved. They also focused on bilateral training with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), directed the Department of Defense’s largest snow operations program and preserved Japanese history by rescuing 7,000 ancient artifacts.

“One of my tasks is to coordinate with JASDF and other off-base agency entities,” said Yuuki Nara, the 35th CES emergency management liaison officer. “Misawa and the community off base have the best relationship in many aspects. When it comes to preparations for emergency management, crisis, and incidents situations, we have the most intricate unified command exercises. I’ve served as a coordinator for multiple exercises, and from what I've witnessed, I believe our level of alliance is in a great state.”

Overall, 35 CES has proven not only their ability to meet Misawa’s demanding mission pace but also to do so with exceptional consideration for Misawa service members and family as well as for the local community.

"The reason we’re as successful as we are is not because of me, the commander or the first sergeant," said Martin. "It's the Airmen."