19th CES takes home 8 AMC-level awards

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Aaron Irvin
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- After a demanding and challenging 2021, the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron’s hard work paid off, bringing home three unit and five individual awards across Air Mobility Command.

With nearly 300 military and civilian personnel, the 19th CES managed a first-of-its-kind disarm operation on an undocumented World War I bomb, safeguarded the wing following a once-in-a-century winter storm, repurposed 586 tons of waste, and established the wing’s first Emergency Response support team in four years, all while supporting the Department of Defense’s largest C-130 airlift mission.

“We’ve had a phenomenal year and faced a lot of challenges with COVID-19,” said Lt. Col. Korinne Takeyama, 19th CES commander. “There was no challenge we couldn’t overcome with grace and professionalism. We really couldn’t see the year going any better.”

For the second year in a row, the 19th CES was honored with the Maj. Gen. Robert Curtin Outstanding CE Award in the active-duty small unit category.

An overarching highlight that aided the squadron in securing this distinguished award included its advocating for military construction projects around the installation, as they were able to secure $45 million in funding for four major construction projects. Additionally, they bolstered a world-class green savings program by cutting electric waste by three percent, natural gas by 16 percent and water by 24 percent.

“It hasn’t been the work of one person or one flight; it took the whole squadron coming together to make it work,” Takeyama said. “Without those team efforts and the culture of support that we built; I don’t think we would have gotten here.”

Additionally, the emergency management flight won the Col. Frederick J. Riemer Award, as well as two individual awards, marking the first year in which a single AMC base took home all emergency management awards.

Throughout the year, the emergency management flight produced combat-ready personnel to support three combatant commands over the course of three deployments. The 19th CES operations also assisted rapid contingency responses by preparing 196 personnel to support five areas of responsibility.

“This was a huge effort from EM throughout the last year,” said Chief Master Sgt. Troy Pietz, 19th CES senior enlisted leader. “They keep a lot of things running on this installation and ensure we are all trained and up to speed.”

Furthermore, the 19th CES was also awarded the Maj. Gen. Robert Thompson Resource Excellence Award, highlighting exceptional customer support, high quality standards and achievement throughout the unit.

Their efforts included supporting three wings, seven flying units, 13 nations and nearly 1,300 students. Additionally, they managed a $694,000 recycling program, saving roughly $183,000 which was directly applied to dorm rehabilitation.

“There is no challenge too big or small that this squadron can’t handle as a team,” Takeyama said. “We couldn’t be more proud of this team and the work that they have accomplished over the past year.”

In addition to the three unit awards, the 19th CES also earned five individual awards including:

The Chief Master Sgt. Larry R. Daniels Award at the Superintendent level was awarded to Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Burke.

The Maj. Gen. Eugene A. Lupia Award at the Airman level was awarded to Senior Airman Alysha Hickey.

The Military Emergency Manager of the Year award was awarded to Senior Airman Candace Carrico.

The Civilian Emergency Manager of the Year award was awarded to Jeffrey Sharpmack.

The Military Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Senior Airman Taylor Gunion.

The 19th CES award winners will now move on to represent the Black Knights and AMC in eight Air Force-level competitions.