Civil engineers take AF resources award

Maj. Mike Young
Kaiserslautern American

The 435th Civil Engineer Group was awarded the Maj. Gen. Robert C. Thompson Award recently for the best Air Force civil engineer resources flight in 2004.

The Air Force civil engineer community partnered with three civilian sponsors – the Society of American Military Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives – to select the 435th CEG for this award.

“We have fabulous folks managing all of our programs,” said Elaine Stirling, 435th CEG Resources Flight Chief, “and they all deserve credit for the success of this unit.”

The competition is divided into four areas of expertise, financial management, real estate, information systems and manpower and personnel, but our flight manages two others as well, she said.

“Unique to Ramstein, we also oversee support agreements as a separate section due to the tremendous volume and training functions for the CEG,” said Ms. Stirling.
With six functions comes a significant budget to manage as well – more than $300 million for fiscal year 04 alone. Given the high level of construction activity on Ramstein and all the infrastructure upgrades due, Ms. Stirling said, “we are one of the largest, if not the largest, CE resources operations in the Air Force.”
Clearly, of the four judged categories, real estate is the busiest for Ramstein’s civil engineers.

From the Rhein-Main transfer efforts to the new KMC Center, the various road upgrades to the new Airmen’s dorm with the base’s first underground parking facility, CE touches all of these, and more.

“We even pay the utility bills for base housing,” said Ms. Stirling. “This cost amounts to nearly $10 million a year,” she said.

The buildup of the 435th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility and the construction of a new facility for the FBI rank among two of the more unusual projects the resources flight has had to manage.

“When we set up the CASF, we not only had to construct a new temporary building, but we had to negotiate leases, re-locate personnel and oversee the movement of several organizations to make this happen,” said Ms. Stirling.

The 435th CEG has more than 1,400 members, so managing its own resources is a big job.

“This incredible group of people consisting mostly of local nationals is the key to our success,” said Ms. Stirling,

Other winners from Ramstein, all from U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters, are Roger Johnston, Maj. Gen. William D. Gilbert Award (civilian category); Maj. Marc Vandeveer, Maj. Gen. Augustus M. Minton Award (outstanding Air Force Civil Engineer Magazine article); and Capt. Charles Kelm, National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year (military category).