New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers conduct Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects in Albania

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Todd Butcher, New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineer, uses an angle grinder with an abrasive disc to cut a reinforcing bar in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers were working on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local medical clinic during their two week long deployment for training. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Todd Butcher, New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineer, uses an angle grinder with an abrasive disc to cut a reinforcing bar in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers were working on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local medical clinic during their two week long deployment for training. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers and Albanian Army ground forces unit members pose for a group photo to kick off their deployment for training to Vau i Dejës, Albania, conducting Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local school and medical clinic July 4-16, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers and Albanian Army ground forces unit members pose for a group photo to kick off their deployment for training to Vau i Dejës, Albania, conducting Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local school and medical clinic July 4-16, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers are transported to job sites by an Albanian Army truck in Vau i Dejës, Albania to conduct Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local school and medical clinic on July 4, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ two week long deployment for training included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations projects. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers are transported to job sites by an Albanian Army truck in Vau i Dejës, Albania to conduct Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects at a local school and medical clinic on July 4, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ two week long deployment for training included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations projects. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Steve Gaskill, electrician with the New Jersey Air National Guard, checks a main fuse panel to be certain the power is cut so a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic can proceed in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers, through this project, will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Steve Gaskill, electrician with the New Jersey Air National Guard, checks a main fuse panel to be certain the power is cut so a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic can proceed in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers, through this project, will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Laura Bello, water and fuel systems maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, removes attachment hardware from previous bathroom fixtures during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers, through this project, will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Laura Bello, water and fuel systems maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, removes attachment hardware from previous bathroom fixtures during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers, through this project, will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineer, goes over a material list for Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects to be completed during the unit's Deployment For Training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineer, goes over a material list for Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects to be completed during the unit's Deployment For Training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Derrick Donkor, water and fuel systems maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, steadies a plumbing fitting of a water supply line for permanent attachment during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which will allow them to learn unique construction techniques, as well as give them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U. S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Derrick Donkor, water and fuel systems maintainer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, steadies a plumbing fitting of a water supply line for permanent attachment during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 5, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which will allow them to learn unique construction techniques, as well as give them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U. S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

From left, Albanian Army Lt. Col. Ali Mali, Commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces, U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer, and U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Sorich and Specialist Donald Patterson, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion discuss Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects being completed during the 177th FW unit's Deployment For Training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

From left, Albanian Army Lt. Col. Ali Mali, Commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces, U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer, and U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Sorich and Specialist Donald Patterson, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion discuss Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects being completed during the 177th FW unit's Deployment For Training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kristopher Christensen, left, and Airman 1st Class Oscar Marrou-Tonkovic, civil engineers with the New Jersey Air National Guard, measure and mark wall board for cutting during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training, allowing them to learn unique construction techniques, as well as giving them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kristopher Christensen, left, and Airman 1st Class Oscar Marrou-Tonkovic, civil engineers with the New Jersey Air National Guard, measure and mark wall board for cutting during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training, allowing them to learn unique construction techniques, as well as giving them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force airmen with the New Jersey Air National Guard, U.S. Army soldiers with the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion and members of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces play soccer at Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which allowed them to learn unique construction techniques and gave them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U. S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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U.S. Air Force airmen with the New Jersey Air National Guard, U.S. Army soldiers with the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion and members of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces play soccer at Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 6, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which allowed them to learn unique construction techniques and gave them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U. S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

From left, U.S. Army Maj. Richard Karcher, Bilateral Affairs Officer with the Albanian Office of Defense Cooperation, U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer and U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Sorich, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, discuss Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation plans and projects being completed during the 177th FW unit's deployment for training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 7, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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From left, U.S. Army Maj. Richard Karcher, Bilateral Affairs Officer with the Albanian Office of Defense Cooperation, U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer and U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Sorich, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, discuss Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation plans and projects being completed during the 177th FW unit's deployment for training to Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 7, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers’ planned projects include plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a local medical clinic and a school in the nearby municipality of Mjede. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mark Perna, heavy equipment operator with the New Jersey Air National Guard, measures lumber used to build braces for pouring concrete steps at a school near in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 8, 2016.  177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a Deployment For Training and worked on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects. Facilitated by the U.S. Army’s 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, the DFT gives the civil engineers opportunities to learn unique construction techniques and a way to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mark Perna, heavy equipment operator with the New Jersey Air National Guard, measures lumber used to build braces for pouring concrete steps at a school near in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 8, 2016. 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a Deployment For Training and worked on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects. Facilitated by the U.S. Army’s 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, the DFT gives the civil engineers opportunities to learn unique construction techniques and a way to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers check the level of a galvanized pipe from a gravity fed water supply tank at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 8, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing unit members traveled to Albania on a Deployment For Training (DFT) and worked on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects facilitated by the U.S. Army's 457th Civil Affairs Battalion. The DFT allows them to learn unique construction techniques and affords them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers check the level of a galvanized pipe from a gravity fed water supply tank at a local medical clinic in Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 8, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing unit members traveled to Albania on a Deployment For Training (DFT) and worked on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation projects facilitated by the U.S. Army's 457th Civil Affairs Battalion. The DFT allows them to learn unique construction techniques and affords them the opportunity to enhance the already existing strong partnership between Albania and New Jersey. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

Albanian Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces pour concrete pads for the installation of refurbished park benches at a local school near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers from the 177th Fighter Wing worked with the Albanian military members on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance projects during their two week long deployment for training, which included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a medical clinic. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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Albanian Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces pour concrete pads for the installation of refurbished park benches at a local school near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers from the 177th Fighter Wing worked with the Albanian military members on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance projects during their two week long deployment for training, which included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a medical clinic. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

Albanian Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces and civil engineers from the New Jersey Air National Guard pour concrete for the installation of a volleyball net pole at a local school near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers worked with the Albanian military members on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance projects during their two week long deployment for training, which included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a medical clinic. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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Albanian Army soldiers from the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Albanian Land Forces and civil engineers from the New Jersey Air National Guard pour concrete for the installation of a volleyball net pole at a local school near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 11, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers worked with the Albanian military members on Humanitarian and Civic Assistance projects during their two week long deployment for training, which included plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations at a medical clinic. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Natalia Rojas, civil engineer with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, paints the exterior wall of a school during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local municipality near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 12, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Natalia Rojas, civil engineer with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, paints the exterior wall of a school during a Humanitarian and Civic Assistance renovation project at a local municipality near Vau i Dejës, Albania on July 12, 2016. The 177th Fighter Wing civil engineers traveled to Albania on a deployment for training which will enhance their inherent operational skill sets while building community-based partnerships. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, civil engineer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, speaks to his airmen prior to an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. The 177th Fighter Wing members were on a two week a deployment for training and teamed up with Albanian Army land forces unit members from the 1st Infantry Battalion in Vau i Dejës, Albania, and worked on plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Matejek, civil engineer with the New Jersey Air National Guard, speaks to his airmen prior to an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. The 177th Fighter Wing members were on a two week a deployment for training and teamed up with Albanian Army land forces unit members from the 1st Infantry Battalion in Vau i Dejës, Albania, and worked on plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

Civil Engineers from the New Jersey Air National Guard, members of the U.S. Army's 457th Civil Affairs Battalion and unit members of the Albanian Army land forces pose for a group photo prior to an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. The 177th Fighter Wing members were on a two week a deployment for training and teamed up with Albanian Army land forces unit members from the 1st Infantry Battalion in Vau i Dejës, Albania, and worked on plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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Civil Engineers from the New Jersey Air National Guard, members of the U.S. Army's 457th Civil Affairs Battalion and unit members of the Albanian Army land forces pose for a group photo prior to an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. The 177th Fighter Wing members were on a two week a deployment for training and teamed up with Albanian Army land forces unit members from the 1st Infantry Battalion in Vau i Dejës, Albania, and worked on plumbing, electrical, ceramic tile, roofing, and door and frame maintenance and installations. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, the Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard, gives a speech during an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff, the Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard, gives a speech during an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of renovation of the 12 year school in Mjede, Albania on July 15, 2016. The partial renovation of the school was made possible by the European Commands’ Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) program of the United States Department of Defense. New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program and are a proven partnership built upon shared values, experiences and vision. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley/Released)

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. -- New Jersey Air National Guard civil engineers and Army Reserve civil affairs Soldiers teamed up with their Albanian army counterparts to renovate a school and medical clinic July 2-16, 2016.

"Our engineers are working, practicing their skills, which is vital for their career fields such as structures, carpenters and heavy equipment operators," said Capt. Andrew Matejek, 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer.

The 177th Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadrons' deployment was the second phase of the demolition, construction, and renovation project begun by New York Air National Guard's 107th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The projects included painting, plumbing, electrical, structural, concrete, ceramic tile, roofing, door and frame maintenance.

The 177th civil engineers traveled to Albania by request of the National Guard Bureau, as New Jersey and Albania are paired under the National Guard's State Partnership Program, and in coordination with the Office of Defense Cooperation through the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania.

Changes from the original plans, building materials and rented equipment with non-U.S. standard specifications made finishing the projects on time difficult but not insurmountable.

"This project is important to prepare them for worldwide deployments," said Matejek. "So they have the skills and knowledge to overcome challenges."

U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. John Sorich IV, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, based at Kaiserslautern, Germany, led a four person team, including an Albanian officer as an interpreter, who served as the project liaison. "We are able to liaise for the U.S. Embassy and for U.S. Forces, so the engineer crew can work on the project. That way, we enable them to do their job and at the same time engage those key leaders," said Sorich. "We are all about building relationships. One year, two years from now, they're going to remember those American Airmen that came out and worked with them."

The improvements to the clinic will have a lasting, positive effect.

"According to the mayor, the clinic was unusable, only having running water during the times the city had the water turned on," said Matejek. "We installed a 5,000 liter water tank so the facility could always have running water. It is a huge improvement and they're going to have a much better facility to treat everyone."

The challenges gave the unit many experiences to take with them to the next deployment."The lessons learned will go back to Guard Bureau for all Air National Guard units, to take with them to their next state partnership project," said Matejek.

"The Albanian military has been instrumental in helping get this project completed on time," Matejek said. "They helped with both the medical clinic and the school, and they housed us in their barracks. I can also tell that they are happy to help the local community as they interact with individuals who have come to the clinic looking for help, in speaking the local language and explaining what we're doing here you can tell they're proud of us being here and they're proud to help us."

Peace Corps volunteer Debbie Thomas summed up the experience: "This collaboration was so fantastic for these communities. It was a strong reminder of the cultural foundations of being an American and the responsibilities of helping others."