***image1***Although the unit was recently redesignated from U.S. Air Forces in Europe to the 435th Air Base Wing, the 435th Construction and Training Squadron remains an essential building block within the command.
***image2***The squadron takes care of three main missions: construction, training and the aircraft arresting system depot.
“We now fall administratively under the wing and the (435th Civil Engineer Group), but the day to day activities are the same,” said Col. Richard Brubaker, 435th CTS commander.
Anything from minor construction projects to contingency skills training is accomplished through the 435th CTS.
Basically, the construction projects the unit takes care of are minor ones, $750,000 or less the colonel said. Some of these, like streets or parking lots, need to be done quickly. When necessary, all the paperwork can be performed and a project started in less then a couple of weeks.
***image3***Based mostly out of Ramstein, the construction section does more then what meets the eye. Not only do temporary buildings have to be built, materials must be purchased and, at times, transported to the appropriate site. This can mean deployments for drivers getting the equipment.
The drivers aren’t the only ones spending time away from their home base, occasionally, so do the trainers. While taking care of contingency and war skills training for all of USAFE, sometimes it’s easier to send one trainer to a far away location then to deploy the numerous students, according to Colonel Brubaker.
“We have a very good training set-up. For example, we train (Exploded Ordinance Disposal members) on the equipment they will use downrange. Then after keeping in contact with those using it downrange, we incorporate the feedback into the new training,” he said.
***image4***Not only does this keep the training up to date, but it provides those downrange with constant support, leaving them with a second opinion or answer to any questions.
From Iraq to Hawaii, the 435th AAS Depot see their fair share of deployments too. While providing a safe landing environment, these “depo folks” travel to all USAFE bases inspecting and setting up for exercises, air shows and war.
Senior Airman Jason Mosley, 435th CTS electrical power production technician, recently returned from a short deployment to Iraqi. “I enjoy my job because you get to travel around a lot and see different places,” he said.
Their job is to install these systems, giving the planes a safe alternative in case a regular landing isn’t an option.
“Our job is somewhat secluded, so we have to rely on each other a lot. We deal with saving people’s lives. It’s a very technical job, but if we ever have any questions, there is always someone there to help you,” said Airman Mosley.
“(The 435th CTS) is different from any other squadron. We get to see projects from the start to finish, and I’ve never seen people take so much pride in their work,” said Colonel Brubaker.