***image1***Editor’s Note: The following article is the second in a series of four that features the 38th Construction and Training Squadron. The series includes features on the squadron history, Aircraft Arresting System Depot mission, the construction mission as well as the training mission.
The synagogue and mosque addition to the Ramstein Chapel, the addition to the Mobility Processing Center and Spangdahlem’s repaired Joint Fire Center of Excellence, were all recent construction projects completed by the 38th Construction and Training Squadron.
“We currently have people deployed to six countries working on 10 major construction projects simultaneously,” said Reinhold Brückner, 38th CTS deputy commander.
He said 21 projects have been completed or currently ongoing in fiscal year 2005 alone. The squadron is composed of 181 local nationals and includes seven flights from design to transportation to construction.
The squadron has been constructing projects ever since World War II ended and the Marshall Plan was established to rebuild Europe, said Chief Master Sgt. Rian Peaceman, 38th CTS chief.
In fact, the 38th CTS includes the last labor service unit of local nationals working for the U.S. forces. These host nationals wear a uniform extremely similar to U.S. Air Force BDUs and can be seen working at construction projects around the KMC.
As a whole, the squadron has gained the reputation of quality work that is inexpensive and quick.
Mr. Brückner recalls one Saturday in 1999 when he was having a BBQ at his home. He received a phone call with news that part of the Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, runway was demolished by heavy rain. The caller requested Mr. Brückner’s team repaint two kilometers of the three-kilometer runway by Monday so an important flight could arrive on the short runway.
Mr. Brückner quickly called together a construction team and met to gather all the needed equipment. The team drove to Belgium and arrived by noon on Sunday. They worked into nightfall and finished the runway including the Emergency Landing System and painted lines. The scheduled flights landed safely Monday morning and Mr. Brückner joked that the third kilometer of runway has still not been restored.
“This is a clear example of why we exist,” he said.
The 55-year-old squadron has built special projects to included two aircraft hangars at Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia, in 1999.
These hangars were used to house increased Predator unmanned Aerial Vehicle missions in support of the air war over Serbia. In fact, squadron crews were on site when two Serbian-flown MIG fighter jets were shot down near the base, said Mr. Brückner.
The squadron took on another large project in Sidi Slimane Air Base, Morocco. The squadron executed a five-year project to repair 129,000 square meters of runway, taxiway and aprons, said Mr. Brückner.
Recently the squadron completed the small vehicle inspection buildings at Ramstein’s east and west gates, a $1.5 million addition to the Morón Air Base Fitness Center, the fire station at Landstuhl and the long, winding walls that run along the Passenger Terminal area on Ramstein, said Mr. Brückner.
Beyond military operations, the squadron has supported community, religious and sport institution projects in dozens of local communities around Germany.
To read more about the 38th CTS missions, read the next series of “A look inside the 38th CTS.”