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Commander’s Column

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- The Civil Engineer Squadron is a highly diverse organization, including explosive ordinance disposal, emergency management, fire department, engineering and facility operations and maintenance. These functions do not necessarily overlap and you may find yourself asking, "What does EOD have to do with facility operations and maintenance or fire and emergency services?" CE is tasked to provide a safe working environment, free from facility and environmental defects; this includes protection against Chemical Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced Conventional Weapons, Hazardous Material and facility issues. Ensuring Airmen have a safe working environment is the common thread and we strive daily to ensure that it happens. After serving over 20 months as a commander in the Civil Engineer Squadron, I have continually beaten the drum for our organization to be "Ready, Relevant, and Reliable." This applies to our 52 state employees, as well as our military members.

CE strives to be ready at all times. This implies that we are prepared to respond to a full spectrum of threats at home, such as snow storms, natural disasters, HAZMAT spills or unexploded ordnance. We also need to be ready to meet our customers' needs through custodial services, corrective maintenance, and facility projects. Our state employees do an excellent job in providing timely response to emergency and urgent requests. I also require that our engineers be medically, physically, mentally, and spiritually ready to support state and federal emergencies and expeditionary deployment taskings.

Recently the Wing has been impacted and inconvenienced by the major construction projects in the hangar and on the ramp; however, there is relief on the horizon as I hope to turn the ramp back over in mid-October. Nevertheless, the installation is maintaining relevance through capital reinvestment to the tune of $18.6 million in 2015 alone. This means that the Air Force and the Air National Guard value our installation and mission, and intend to see it sustained and succeed. Our staff is working hard to continue putting Barnes at the forefront of facility investment, with a new base entrance and a new Engine/AGE/NDI shop for the Maintenance Group as the next big ticket projects.

Finally, CE strives to be reliable. Customer service is vitally important. When CE gets a call for urgent facility needs, we will expeditiously work to resolve your pressing issue. Ultimately, I want our facilities, infrastructure, and services to be transparent and timely.

The Civil Engineer Squadron is working towards fulfilling our new vision, "To be the best trained, most professional force that delivers the right experience, tools and attitude in any environment."  I couldn't ask to be on a better team, full of passion, hard work and professionalism.