JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC. –
The geo-integration office for the 628th Civil Engineering Squadron have unique responsibilities on Joint Base Charleston.
Surveying the base and it’s infrastructure, drafting, designing floor plans for buildings, and assisting with the ride out team during hurricanes are a few of their responsibilities.
“We are housed within the 628th Civil Engineering Squadron, but we support all functions, facets and tenants of the installation,” said Caleb Brewer, the geo-based program manager assigned to the 628th CES. “So whether that be direct support upon request from one of the tenant organizations or supporting them directly through the activities of the Civil Engineering Squadron, it's our mission to support all aspects and all tenants with the geographical information system or with our data holdings of all the infrastructure on the installation.”
The Geo-Integration Office has maps and layouts of a variety of structures, said Brewer. It also surveys the power lines, water lines, sewer lines, and storm water infrastructure.
“The geo-integration office supports the mission by providing all types of maps,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Williams, team lead for the 628th CES Weapons Station geo-integrations office. “It doesn't matter if it's a utility map or a base map, anything you can ask we can find a way to provide it. We also do surveys where we go out to survey the land or survey the blueprint of wherever is requested and provide it to our customers.”
The geo-integration office mainly helps with the 628th CES but other times they help other units and some of JB Charleston’s mission partners as well.
“The airfield for the 437th Operation Support Squadron is probably one of our bigger groups we work with, just with airfield management and making sure their airfield maps stay up-to-date and obstructions stay listed,” said Brewer. “We've supported the Navy down at Pier X-ray with the Nuclear Power Training Unit. Two years ago, we had an on-site survey where they were repositioning a barge and we were making sure they didn't anchor down on top of any of the submarine moorings. With Marines, we've mapped out a compass course for them for one of their training exercises on the south annex of the Weapons Station.
Along with the assistance the geo-integration office has provided, it also has faced some challenges, said Brewer.
“It's your day-to-day challenges,” said Brewer. “It's the access to training. It's weather driven, whether we can get out and survey. It’s whether we've got the flexibility to move around that has made this kind of the same challenge everybody else faces.”
Overcoming adversity is not impossible, however.
“Working with our military members and some of the ingenuity that comes into play there, especially when you're out on a survey job and something's not quite going right,
and generally somebody will pull an idea out of their back pocket and it ends up working” said Brewer.
Not only does the geo-integration office have an important responsibility during the regular duty day, but they also have a big hand in hurricanes and ride out teams.
“We field a five-man team for the ride out crew”, said Brewer. “We have two people for the air base emergency operation center, two people for the weapons station EOC and one person in our civil engineering unit control center. That enables us to run 24 hour shifts and both EOC’s.”
“It's with the Unit Control Center. Constantly assessing damage as it comes in on the recovery side,” said Brewer, “along with managing the different products that wing leadership or group leadership are wanting to see, such as a timeline or target to get people back in. Are our roads open? Are our utilities up? What buildings are safe to enter? What buildings are not safe enter? They're managing all that, feeding it from the UCC over to the EOC for ops tempo and the briefing tempo over there, along with managing just everything going on with our UCC partners.”
Whether generating layouts or blueprints to buildings, assisting with new construction, helping the hurricane ride out team, or surveying the land, the 628 CES geo-integration office is there to help in any way possible. “We're more than happy to help whoever comes through those doors,” said Williams