Hands-on training for the 911th CES

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bethany Kobily
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 911th Civil Engineer Squadron flew to Fort Indiantown Gap August 13, 2016, for a two-day training exercise.

“The main goal was to get off station for a change of pace and location and to get some hands on training for each of our specialties that we cannot get here,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rothwell senior air reserve technician with the 911th CES, who was a point of contact for the coordination of the training with Ft. Indiantown Gap. “Simply put, we do not have all of the assets that a larger training site such as Fort Indiantown Gap has.”

After a lunch prepared by members of the 911th Force Support Squadron upon arrival, the CES broke into teams by specialty. Engineers, electricians, engineer assistants, Airmen specializing in utilities, structures, power production and heavy equipment, and heating, ventilation and cooling personnel went their separate ways to conduct career-specific training. Each team was led by a cadre, members of the Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron of Engineers.


Each specialty was given hands on training on various types and pieces of equipment that they might see down range on a deployment, and even given the opportunity to train on newer equipment they may have only heard about, said Rothwell.

Master Sgt. Brian Keenan, ­­­Engineering Assistant with the 911th CES, said the training was much different than a regular unit training assembly. Without the equipment to do this type of hands-on training, his team usually completes computer-based training over a UTA weekend.

“Like any organization, there are constant changes to the way we do things in Civil Engineering,” said Rothwell. “Generally the training sites always get the training and new equipment before it gets out to the field. As opposed to sitting around and waiting to get the latest and greatest, we went and got it.”

Rothwell mentioned that each specialty reported that the weekend was a huge success and that the morale of everyone was very high. He attributed this to the fact that his troops were working with their hands rather than a computer.


"Readiness and development of my Airmen is a top priority,” said Col. Beena Maharaj, commander of the 911th Mission Support Group. “Training events such as this allow commitment to professional development, enhance morale, strengthen teambuilding, and sharpen wartime skills. The training weekend was a total success story all the way around, especially with FSS providing field support. We already have a solid plan for Fiscal Year 2017 to expand the platform.”