Story by SrA Caleb Vance on 08/21/2019Airmen from the 130th Civil Engineering Squadron attended Deployment For Train (DFT) Aug. 4-18 at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii.
A DFT delivers joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness, in addition to, providing key services such as health care, construction, transportation and cybersecurity with lasting benefits to local communities.
Through the DFT, 130th CES Airmen have completed multiple projects at Schofield Barracks.
"Being prepared to answer the call of the nation is always a priority, so it's great to be able to train in a different place other than West Virginia," explained Lt. Col. Stephen McCollum, 130th CES Commander. "Different environments present different challenges, so we must be ready to perform the mission at any place in the world at any time."
The Airmen completed five main projects: building an office for the 289th Air Defense Group, renovating and extending a privacy wall that protects vital 289th ADG equipment, and a complete renovation of three bathroom/wash facilities.
These projects tested each Airman's skills in carpentry, plumbing, masonry, electrical work and other Civil Engineering disciplines. Most of the Airmen used this project as a chance to learn more and challenge themselves in other types of work than they were trained for and were comfortable with.
Many of the Airmen were presented difficult challenges requiring them to operate outside of their specialty in the squadron, therefore becoming more versatile as a squadron.
"Being young and fairly new to the unit, this has been an awesome experience and I've learned a ton," said Airman 1st Class Dakota Miller, a Water and Fuels Specialist assigned to the 130th CES. "For the first few days I couldn't do any plumbing work, so I was helping out and learning other skills and trades, and also have built better relationships with my coworkers."
Approximately half of the Airmen attending the training have returned from a deployment within the past six months, so being able to train and serve in Hawaii also doubles as a reward for them.
"Most of them have either returned from deployments or have been away for multiple training exercises, and in some cases both, so it's great to be able to come to a beautiful place like this to train," said McCollum. "They're here busting their tails to get these projects done, so why not put them in somewhere that they can enjoy after their workday is over to reward them for all they've done."
The Airmen received high praises for the projects they completed during their stay in Hawaii.
"The amount and quality of work they've done in the short amount of time they've been here is impressive, to say the least," said Master Sgt. Kevin Stewart, 289th ADG Communications Focal Point Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge and Facility Manager. "They've all been very professional and to someone who doesn't have much knowledge in civil engineering, the knowledge and skills they've displayed is awesome!"