NEWS | March 22, 2021

Never leave an airman behind

By Senior Airman Cory Davis 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

 Members from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Civil Engineer Squadron flew to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas on Feb. 23, 2021, to assist with the repairs from Winter Storm Uri that hit the U.S., Feb. 15th- 20th. 

 

The snow storm was severe enough to break many weather records in recorded history, causing infrastructure to need repairs. 

 

“A majority of the problems that occurred were burst pipes and suppression systems,” said Senior Master Sgt. Niccolo Hill, flight superintendent of the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron at Dyess AFB. “Snowfall occurred as well, but due to regulations we don't have snow plow capability here. We were innovative in finding ways to plow snow to ensure emergency services can get to places they need to go.” 

 

Hill said finding Airmen available for a disaster response like this had it challenges. 

 

“We actually had a couple bases that couldn't even provide bodies, said Hill. “Some up north that have been hit were devastated. Lee Air Force Base had been hit with the winter storm and have been tapped for deployments, unable to send help.” 

 

Tech. Sgt. Pierre Givens, structural supervisor assigned to the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron, said that there are multiple job specialties that have arrived to assist in the Dyess AFB repairs. 

 

“There are people from all over the country that have arrived,” said Givens. “Support from different craft such as plumbers, utilities, a little bit of aero-space ground equipment and back structures. It’s multi-craft collaboration and efforts to get the base back to recovery.” 

 

Hill said by networking, Dyess AFB was able to find volunteers help get the base 

 

When a guy's down we're going to be there for them,” said Hill. ”That's how we do things in the Air Force. Even if I've never even met them. As soon as we got on the phone, it was as if we've been deployed together and been in the same foxhole. And we were friends over the phone. We were there to help each other out.” 

 

Hill was grateful for the support that has been given from different entities from the Air Force. 

 

“I just want to give a shout out to those bases and say thank you,” said Hill. " I'm appreciative about how we do things within the CE realm. When a guy's down, we're going to be there for each other. That's how we do things in the Air Force, no matter what. We were there to help each other out. That's what I want to instill in my Airmen. 20 years from now when I'm not wearing a uniform, and they're instilling in their airmen.” 

 

Airmen from multiple bases including Joint Base Charleston's own Tech. Sgt. Pierre Givens, Senior Airman Sonny TrevizoStaff Sgt. Colton HunkeapillarSenior Airman Robert Lucas and Senior Airman Louis Cortez own are restoring readiness and continuing rapid global mobility by helping Dyess AFB repair damaged infrastructure.