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19th CES prepares base for ROCKI 20-01

a man lifts a bunker

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Trevor Ronfeld, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and heavy equipment craftsman, sets down a bunker at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 18, 2019. In preparation for the upcoming ROCKI exercise, which begins Nov. 4, the 19th CES set up defensive fighting positions and bunkers by the flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

men secure a bunker

Airmen from the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron secure a bunker at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 18, 2019. In preparation for the upcoming ROCKI exercise, which begins Nov. 4, the 19th CES set up defensive fighting positions and bunkers by the flight line to add to the realism of training during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

man puts a bunker down

Michael Nickles, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering equipment operator supervisor, readies a bunker to be placed down by the flight line at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 18, 2019. Placing bunkers adds to the realism of training during the ROCKI 20-01 exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Pavement and Construction Equipment Flight set up defensive fighting positions and bunkers by the flight line on Oct. 18, 2019, in preparation for the upcoming semi-annual full-spectrum readiness exercise, ROCKI 20-01, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 4 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

The 19th Airlift Wing hosts wing-wide exercises to enhance Airmen’s abilities to provide Rapid Global Mobility within contested environments. In preparation for these exercises, units must stage the exercise area prior to its beginning.

“You have to be prepared for whatever situation arises,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Casey Beaupre, 19th CES pavement and heavy equipment craftsman. “Bunkers keep people working on the flight line safe and protect assets and personnel.”

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Colin Biery, 19th CES officer in charge of engineering, explained placing defensive fighting positions and bunkers also adds to the realism of training during exercises.

“If you come under attack in a deployed location your first reaction should be to head for a bunker,” Biery said. “Placing bunkers around the alert apron allows everyone who works on the flight line to practice their bunker dives and experience what being in it for an extended period is like. It also improves training because it lets the flight line personnel practice defending the base.”

Realistic training sustains readiness throughout the units by ensuring Airmen are educated, trained, and prepared to compete with and deter peer-to-peer adversaries in every domain.

“We maintain readiness through regular training and practice in between exercises,” Biery said, “Our readiness section starts spinning up with our own smaller events well before the main wing exercise starts.”

Smaller training events allow Airmen the ability to push themselves even farther during wing-wide exercises, which improves squadron readiness, trust in leadership and Airman readiness.“Our unit’s goal is to organize, train and equip Airmen to go and fight,” Biery said. ”It’s important to have the knowledge and skills to be prepared to go and accomplish the mission when the time comes.”

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