Air Guard’s 118th Civil Engineers returning from Iraq
NASHVILLE — Members of the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 118th Civil Engineering Squadron will return home Friday after a four-month deployment in Iraq providing critical water and power, and improving base defenses and facilities of U.S. personnel.
The mission of the 118th CES was to increase the war fighting capability by improving local facilities occupied by U.S. and allied forces while maintaining the existing infrastructure and continually improving the base toward contingency standards. In addition to facility management, the unit provided emergency services including fire protection, emergency responses and explosive ordnance disposal.
A total 64 people deployed to Iraq including engineers, fire fighters and emergency managers. They arrived in September of 2007 joining up with members from 23 separate Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve bases comprising the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineers Squadron.
In four months the Tennessee Air Guard unit moved more than 33,000 tons of cargo and 130,000 passengers. Additionally they completed over 2,100 work requests and $17 million dollars in facility improvements. The most significant improvements included the opening of a new passenger terminal, a new recreation center, new living quarters, and many miles of paved roads.
The 447th Expeditionary CES also had the largest Explosive Ordinance Destruction component in Iraq and completed over 700 missions, destroying over 48,000 pounds of explosives and ultimately saving untold numbers of civilian and military lives.
118th unit members didn’t forget to extend a little southern hospitality while in Iraq. Working with fellow Guardsmen back home in Alabama, they arranged for more than 70 pounds of BBQ to be packaged and shipped over, offering a special taste of home to soldiers and airmen.
Published in The Messenger 1.17.08