ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron competed during the 4th annual Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force challenge at Ellsworth AFB, Aug. 17, 2017.
Ten teams, consisting of eight-man squads, tested their training and proved they are ready to respond within hours to worldwide emergencies in order to support recovery operations.
“We train in garrison year-round to meet down range requirements,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Sloan, a non-commissioned officer in charge of readiness assigned to the 28th CES. “This challenge lets us come out here and really put that training to the test, to build esprit de corps and build shop camaraderie.”
The 80 Airmen brought their “A” game to not only push through the obstacles, but to see who had the fortitude to come out on top and earn bragging rights across the squadron. Although, the competition is really about teamwork and knowing your fellow Airmen.
“The obstacles were a lot easier when we talked it through and formed a game plan. It took brains as well as brawn,” said Staff Sgt. David Loving, a non-commissioned officer in charge of the construction shop assigned to the 28th CES. “Events like this allow us to know our Airmen better, and to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Chances are we are going to be down range together.”
The challenges they faced included a variety of high endurance events such as the M4 relay, truck push, four-man litter carry, and Self-Aid and Buddy Care, a realistic simulation of providing medical care to victims in down range accidents.
“This will be the fourth year we ran this event at Ellsworth,” Sloan said. “Retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert Cronin saw what Prime BEEF was all about and wanted to bring it here so he made it happen. Everyone has loved it ever since.”
Prime BEEF members have assisted military and civilian communities in recovery from natural disasters including Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Agnes in 1972. These engineers have proven it to be one of the Air Force’s most versatile and productive programs by providing small structures and sustainment resources in a deployed environment during times of peace and war.
“This [event] will help us in a deployed location, because you never know when some of these techniques will help save someone’s life,” Loving said. “I love it, it’s great to get out here and work with the guys to get the job done. I know I’ll be able to rely on them down range.”