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19th CES builds readiness during 96-hour bivouac exercise

A convoy of military vehicles enters an urban terrain village

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron enter an urban terrain village during a convoy exercise mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen conduct tactical combat casualty care during an exercise mission

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct tactical combat casualty care and security operations during a convoy exercise mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen perform clearing and security operations

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct clearing and security operations during a convoy exercise mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman fires simunition rounds during a training exercise

Col. Bernard Smith, 19th Mission Support Group commander, fires simunition rounds during the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron’s convoy exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen serve as opposing forces

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal flight participate in an engagement with simulated enemy forces during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman participates in a simulated engagement

An Airman assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal flight participates in an engagement with simulated enemy forces during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman gives instructions

Tech. Sgt. Tyrone Greer,19th Civil Engineer Squadron, instructs Airmen on movement tactics and close contact drills during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman moves forward during a training exercise

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct bounding drills during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen take part in firing drills

Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron participate in firing drills during a bivouac exercise, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. During the four-day exercise, Airmen received refresher training on combat arms; small shelter system set-up; tactical combat casualty care; land navigation; convoy operations; integrated base defense; vehicle search procedures; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear processes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman controls a robot
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Staff Sgt. Christopher Gilbert, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron, remotely operates a robot during a nighttime IED/UXO exercise mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Korinne Takeyama)

Airmen conduct land navigation
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Staff Sgt. Brandon Tran, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron, instructs Airmen on Improvised explosive device detection and response during a convoy exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Troy Pietz)

Airmen conduct land navigation
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct land navigation operations through the woods during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Troy Pietz)

An Airman performs land navigation in the woods
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Senior Airman Hunter Acker, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron, leads a team to checkpoints through the woods during a land navigation exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen practice land navigation
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron practice land navigation during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen practice land navigation
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron practice land navigation during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen carry a simulated patient
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron carry a simulated casualty during a convoy exercise mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman waits for assistance
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An Airman assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron waits for assistance after simulating a tactical combat casualty care scenario during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 21, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman conducts a search of another Airman
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An Airman assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conducts a personnel search procedure during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further enhance the squadron's expeditionary skills and build more competent Multi-Capable Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen conduct a CBRN simulation
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear simulation during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 19, 2021. During the four-day exercise, Airmen received refresher training on combat arms; small shelter system set-up; tactical combat casualty care; land navigation; convoy operations; integrated base defense; vehicle search procedures; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear processes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

An Airman fires an M-4
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Staff Sgt. James Long, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron, conducts proficiency firing on the M4 carbine during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 20, 2021. The exercise served as an opportunity to further strengthen the squadron's skills and competency in an expeditionary combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen set up a military shelter system
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Capt. Chad Colocar, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight commander and exercise camp mayor, helps build a small shelter system during a bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 18, 2021. During the four-day exercise, Airmen received refresher training on combat arms; small shelter system set-up; tactical combat casualty care; land navigation; convoy operations; integrated base defense; vehicle search procedures; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear processes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

Airmen set up an expeditionary kitchen
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Airmen assigned to the 19th Force Support Squadron put together a single pallet expeditionary kitchen in support of the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron’s bivouac exercise at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 18, 2021. The partnership between the 19th FSS and 19th CES set the foundation for further cooperation during future bivouac exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jayden Ford)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron conducted a back-to-basics bivouac training event to build upon their foundational skills and sharpen the unit’s expeditionary and combat readiness, Oct. 18-21.

During the four-day, three-night field exercise, Airmen received instruction on weapons familiarization and proficiency firing; tactical combat casualty care; land navigation; convoy operations; integrated base defense; vehicle search procedures; and shoot, move, and communicate drills. This training then culminated in a hostile environment exercise lead by the squadron’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.  

Members from the squadron saw the exercise as an opportunity to hone their skills on not only the fundamental aspects of their core mission but expound upon their readiness mindset while fostering stronger unity throughout squadron.

"We have a good baseline for our tactics and expectations for our squadron," said Capt. Chad Colocar, 19th CES operations flight commander and exercise camp mayor. "We do this to stay proficient in basic base defense operations, convoys and other procedures. This is something we frequently do to stay competent in our fundamentals."

Civil engineer Airmen play a critical role in deployed environments, by often times, being the first boots on the ground – tasked with opening and constructing a bare base under contested conditions.

"We can be sent anywhere, anytime, to do anything that is requested of us, so we need to be ready for it," said Master Sgt. David Salser, 19th CES infrastructure superintendent and exercise coordinator. "We're Airmen first, and that's what this training is teaching us to be so that we can help our fellow Airmen and get the mission done."

As the Air Force looks toward tomorrow's fight across multiple domains, the 19th CES will continue to build and develop Airmen that are called upon in today’s fight, ensuring their readiness by committing foundational skills to muscle memory if needed in a contested arena. 

"The intent behind this exercise was to train for the possibility of whatever can happen," Salser said. "If we only train for the things that are likely to happen, then we wouldn't be ready for the possibility of anything that could happen."

Colocar noted that this exercise was foundational for civil engineers at LRAFB, adding that many real-world experiences from conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan were built into the training curriculum to give exposure to younger Airmen.

Moving forward, the 19th CES continues to look outside the box and expand upon how civil engineer Airmen can further train to be a capable, guiding force across the Air Force.

"There were a lot of lessons learned," Colocar said. "Next time we do this, we know what things we can improve on as well as what we can set as a new standard operating procedure. We inevitably are hoping to set the baseline of what Multi-Capable Airmen should look like."

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