113th CES airmen train in Silver Flag 2016
By Senior Airman Erica Rodriguez, 113th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 15, 2016
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 113th Civil Engineering Squadron joined members from the Maryland Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and the active duty for the Silver Flag training exercise March 5 to 12 here.
Conducted by the 435th Construction and Training Squadron, Silver Flag is required training to prepare Air Force civil engineer specialties, services, communications, medical services and others for functionality in a deployed contingency base environment. Civil engineering specialties require this training every 36 months.
"It's a capstone event that we put a lot of effort into preparing for at home-station to come out here and get hands-on training on equipment and vehicles from world class instructors," said Lt. Col. Eric Swanson, 113th CES commander.
Participants exercised hands-on and classroom training for one week, leading up to a full-on deployment simulation on the final day. Airmen experienced several attack simulations to which they demonstrated the skills they learned throughout the week.
For Airman 1st Class James Green, 113th CES operation management specialist, this Silver Flag was his first and a major learning experience. In his usual capacity in operations management, Smith helps maintain the unit's command control, channeling information between higher command and unit sections.
"I've learned a lot about what my job does at a contingency base," said Smith. "Everyone else had a feel for what was going on, so it was a good learning experience for me, learning from others. I can take that back to home base and use it."
For Chief Master Sgt. Andrew Baker, 113th CES chief enlisted manager, this Silver Flag was his sixth and last. After 30 years of service in the Air National Guard, Baker plans to retire soon after returning from the trip.
"The training has changed and progressed over the years," said Baker. "They keep adding new twists, so it's never exactly the same and that keeps us on our toes. I learn something new every time."
Baker participated in the Silver Flag exercise to help train his replacement and to get out in the field with the Airmen.
"I like getting out and talking to the troops, the ones who do all the work," he said. "There's a lot of great training going on here and the 113th CES has a lot of experience but there's always new Airmen and officers that haven't gotten the experience yet. I've really enjoyed being a part of the 113th CES for the past 26 years... and I'm really going to miss it."
Participants gained improved skillsets on building and maintaining a bare base and learning how to respond to attacks in a contingency environment. The week culminated with the graduation of the participating 113th CES members March 13 after successfully completing the exercise mission.