177th Civil Engineering Squadron deploys to Florida for training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Powell
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A group of 48 Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Civil Engineering Squadron traveled to Florida for a deployment for training at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and Sector St. Petersburg from May 17-30.

The Airmen performed multiple types of projects ranging from pouring concrete and laying tile to rebuilding a foundation and moving a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit.

"When guard members can come with the experience and skills that they have, and we just furnish the materials, it improves the material condition of the base in ways that we just wouldn't be able to do over the course of the year," said Chief Warrant Officer Jason Briggs, Facility Engineer Sector St. Petersburg.

"I can't say enough good things about the people who have come down and the work that has been done. They've been a really hard working group of people," said Briggs. "These last couple of weeks have been my first experience working with the guard when they have been deployed and recognizing the level of skill and training that all the members have, far exceeded what my expectations were and really helped us accomplish what we hoped to achieve."

Deployments for training take place every year as a means to provide training opportunities that may not normally be available at home station.

"It's real world training for our Air Force specialty code and also offers the opportunity for cross training," said Master Sgt. William Ericksen, first sergeant of the 177th civil engineering squadron. "Instead of putting up a tent at our base and tearing it down, we're able to go to another base and use our skills, leaving something permanent. It's a win-win situation."

The Airmen are split up to different job sites based on what training they need for their AFSC.

"In order to meet the training requirements of Air Force Instruction 10-210, Airmen in upgrade training get the chance to have certain requirements signed off," said 1st Lt. Andrew Matejek, project officer for the DFT. "The big thing is to maintain proficiency and skill level in everyone's particular AFSC, while providing new Airmen with on-the-job training."