By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron completed a more than two-month training exercise to ensure they are mission-ready at any given moment.
Because of varying specialties within the civil engineering career field, the Base Engineer Emergency Force exercise, nicknamed Prime BEEF, allowed an array of CE professionals to partner together in order to accomplish the mission.
“Each year, we are able to train through completing a contingency construction home training project,” said 1st Lt. Michael Alvarez, a 19th CES operations engineer. “For day-to-day operations, CE Airmen work alongside civilians or contractors. The purpose of this exercise is for Airmen only to work together in order to refine their organic capability.”
A variety of major trades were involved in the 2014 exercise, including engineering, electrical systems, production control, power production, heavy repair, structural, liquid fuels maintenance and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
The annual readiness exercise consisted of two different projects this iteration.
“Our first project involved replacing 500 feet of sewer line,” Alvarez said. “Our second project was much larger and more expensive. It involved building and renovating bathrooms in our electric shop.”
The idea to build the bathroom was chosen over a variety of other ideas that came from 19th CES Airmen.
Senior Airman Maria Brekkestran, a 19th CES structural journeyman, proposed the idea for a new bathroom since the CE electric shop is set to receive more female Airmen.
“Before, there was no girls’ bathroom here,” Brekkestran said. “We had to demolish an old office and start over from scratch.”
The bathroom project differed from the usual work orders that 19th CES Airman normally accomplish.
“Planning required much more than I thought, especially coordinating with Airmen from other CE career fields,” said Brekkestran. “It was much more in-depth than a regular job, but I look forward to the transformation.”
Together, the Prime BEEF construction projects required more than 500 man-hours and totaled more than $25,000. But in the end, the Airmen accomplished the job through their own partnership without further assistance from other CE professionals.
As the finishing touches are completed on the bathroom, 19th CES Airmen are already contemplating ideas for next year’s Prime BEEF project.
“This year was a success,” said Alvarez. “We’re glad to have this opportunity to train our Airmen. The project prepared 19th CES Airmen for deployments by allowing them to work together and become more self-reliant.”