An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Sept. 14, 2020

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's 773d Civil Engineer Squadron Hosts Commander Immersion

By Airman 1st Class Emily Farnsworth 673d ABW/PA

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- U.S. Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) and 673d Air Base Wing commander, participated in a 773d Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) immersion tour at JBER, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2020.

Aguilar’s tour allowed the squadron to highlight their Airmen and their crucial role in maintaining an $11.4 billion base infrastructure by providing emergency management, utilities, and the sustainment of the base’s infrastructure — directly supporting the installation's critical missions.

One aspect of the 773d CES’ responsibilities lies in managing the installation’s emergency management program.

“Our emergency management program tracks how JBER is prepared to respond to and recover from all hazards,” said John Werner, 773d CES Readiness and Emergency Management flight chief. “The goal is to save lives and recover the mission.”

The Readiness and Emergency Management flight works to ensure the base has workable plans in place for any emergency.

“Our job is to make sure our base can operate, no matter what and has a plan to go forward,” said Joseph Welboan, 773d CES emergency planner. “Our job is to keep those plans by asking, ‘what if?’ and coming up with the best solution.”

A key to remaining ready for emergencies is proper training and the 773d CES supports the installation by running chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear defense training. This includes how to don mission-oriented protective posture gear, as well as post-attack reconnaissance. The squadron adapted this training to the current COVID-19 climate, meeting mission requirements and boosting base readiness.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Smith, 773d CES superintendent, said the importance of readiness can’t be understated.

“When we need to be ready to go in 24 hours, we can’t afford to burn valuable time,” Smith said. “Our people need to be proficient, and this goes hand in hand with readiness. If we only focus on how to survive in a chemical environment, we are not going to win the war. We need to know how to operate in that situation.”

A major part of the 773d CES readiness comes from the 673d Civil Engineer Group’s Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force days, from which they developed the idea for a Prime BEEF Olympics.

The Prime BEEF Olympics is a four-day training exercise comprising eight different events, highlighting both home station and deployed aspects of training. Teams of 25-30 engineers from different shops and experience levels across the group are led by a senior noncommissioned officer and lieutenant in a competition to foster teamwork and camaraderie.

“Our 2019 Prime BEEF Olympics was very successful,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Paul Hosmanek, 773d CES Prime BEEF manager. “The event got attention from Eielson Air Force Base, who is planning on sending a team next year, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, who wants to observe to spread the event to other civil engineer squadrons.”

After demonstrating the abilities of the 773rd CES’ Readiness and Emergency Management Flight, the squadron showed Aguilar their ability to provide utilities, construction and repairs by highlighting different shops and abilities to operate.

Throughout their many jobs on the installation, the 773d CES encounters many challenges. The squadron overcomes these challenges by continually striving for new and innovative processes in their workcenters.

“To be an engineer is to solve a problem,” said U.S. Air Force Major Brendan Dorsey-Spitz, 773d CES Operations Flight commander. “As CES, we innovate every single day, at every single job site. When my Airmen have a problem, they fix it.”

The squadron makes it a point to foster a culture of innovation across the flights.

“We have a vast group of innovative thinkers,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Steven Rector, 773d CES Operations Flight superintendent. “The Airmen have such creative minds. It is so exciting to hear their new perspective on how to make things better.”

After taking the day to see the impact and ability of the squadron, Aguilar was able to witness the direct impact the squadron has on the installation and its missions.


Like Us
Follow Us



USINDOPACOM hosts Philippine President R. Marcos Jr.
Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, Nov. 18, 2023. The visit included exchanges on regional security and mutual partnership, further developing the strong democratic, economic and strategic partnership with the Philippines codified in the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Bellino)
Nov. 20, 2023 - Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, visited U.S. Indo-Pacific Command at Camp H.M. Smith during their visit to Honolulu, Nov. 17-19.Marcos...

USCGC Myrtle Hazard completes successful patrol emphasizing community commitment in CNMI
The USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) delivers supplies to Agrihan Island on Oct. 22, 2023. The crew completed a multifaceted patrol from Oct. 16 to Nov. 5, 2023, underscoring the U.S. Coast Guard's unwavering commitment to the community and partners in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). During this period, the cutter's crew achieved several key objectives, including delivering vital donations and supplies and facilitating critical wellness checks in the wake of Typhoon Bolaven. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Nov. 17, 2023 - The USCGC Myrtle Hazard (WPC 1139) crew successfully completed a multifaceted patrol from Oct. 16 to Nov. 5, 2023, underscoring the Service’s unwavering commitment to the community and partners in the Commonwealth of the...

Pacific Partnership 2024-1; U.S. and Marshallese Medical Team Eradicate Tuberculosis in Outer Islands
U.S. Navy Sailors pose for a photo with gifts received after completion of medical and dental clinics in Aur Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, during Pacific Partnership 2024-1 Nov. 10, 2023. Now in its 19th iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Woitzel)
Nov. 17, 2023 - U.S. Navy and Marshallese medical personnel delivered collaborative efforts to eliminate tuberculosis in Aur Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), during Pacific Partnership 2024-1 Nov. 7-11, 2023...

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia for the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus
Nov. 17, 2023 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded his engagements with counterparts in Indonesia today, where he attended the 10th annual ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, one year after the United States'...

United States-Japan-Republic of Korea Trilateral Ministerial Meeting Unilateral Press Statement
Nov. 16, 2023 - U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Shin Wonsik, and Japanese Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru convened a Trilateral Ministerial Meeting on November 12, 2023...