Squadron of the Week: 325th Civil Engineer Squadron
By Airman 1st Class Cody R. Miller, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 16, 2015
Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. -- When the base's infrastructure is in need of repair or an emergency needs to be taken care of, the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron is there to solve the problem.
The 325th CES has been selected as squadron of the week for its vital role in the many operations of Tyndall Air Force Base.
The 325th CES' mission is the operation, maintenance, repair and construction of real property to effectively sustain Tyndall's land and facilities. Responsibilities include base fire protection service, base readiness, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), environmental programs, natural resource programs, military family housing and real property management. The squadron is responsible for an area encompassing 128 miles of shoreline and 17,000 acres of commercial forest, according to a unit factsheet. Tyndall is home to 1,601 facilities with an approximate replacement cost of more than $1.6 billion.
With all the resources and land they are responsible for, the 325th CES maintains a wide variety of shops that fulfill multiple aspects of the 325th Fighter Wing commander's lines of effort, the most notable being to advance and sustain resources and infrastructure, as well as take care of Airmen and their families.
Some of the shops in the squadron are the Tyndall Fire Department, the Environmental Flight, the Explosives Ordinance Disposal Flight, and the numerous civilian contractors that help repair and sustain the facilities for Tyndall.
The Tyndall Fire Department is commonly known for putting out fires in case of an emergency, but they do more than just respond to house fires. Tyndall Fire Safety trains constantly to be ready for any form of emergency, whether it is a car crash, plane crash, house fire or chemical leak.
"Our job is to help people, no matter what the danger is or the cost," said Robert Bierschwale, 325th CES firefighter. "We train in vehicle extrication exercises and plane crash simulations daily in order to be ready for any emergency."
Another notable shop is the Environmental Flight. They give hunters permission on when and where to hunt on base, as well as protecting any endangered animals from harm. Each year when the sea turtles hatch, they clear a safe way for the baby turtles to make it to the ocean.
EOD has the important job of protecting against conventional explosives, improvised explosives, chemical threats, nuclear threats and weapons of mass destruction. They ensure that many of these threats are disarmed or removed before they can cause harm to any troops. When they are not deployed, they are training constantly and are on stand-by in the case of any threats to Tyndall.
"Our Air Force Instruction mandates that we get at least 24hours of training in a week," said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Guinn, 325th CES EOD technician. "Whether it's hands-on or classroom training, we are always trying to better ourselves in all aspects so that we can combat any threats that may come our way."
Another equally important group is the civilian contractors. They repair and maintain Tyndall in areas such as plumbing, landscaping, boiler repair, and electrical to name a few. They repair and maintain Tyndall's plumbing, landscape and boiler and electrical systems. These contractors are able to take care of any problems that Airmen may have in their housing and repair them, drawing on a variety of expertise.
"Right now we have more civilians at Tyndall than uniformed members," said Maj. Jeffrey Klein, vice commander of the 325th CES. "We are able to get the mission done and support Tyndall even with being undermanned since many of our uniformed guys are down range right now, including our squadron commander."
The 325th CES fulfills a vital role in maintaining the facilities at Tyndall and keeping its personnel safe. They ensure that the lights stay on and that in case of emergencies, everyone can get out alright and that America's national assets are protected. The 325th CES has proven it is a vital part of advancing and sustaining resources and infrastructure for the base, so Tyndall Airmen can continue to train and project unrivaled air combat power.