136th Civil Engineers earned 2022 Deneke Award

  • Published
  • By A1C Charissa Menken
  • 136th Airlift Wing

The 136th Civil Engineer Squadron received the 2021 Colonel William L. Deneke Outstanding Civil Engineer Unit Award for excellence, May 12, 2022.

Among the many accomplishments which led to this recognition, Lt. Col. Mathew Joseph, 136th CES commander, shared what kind of work it takes to achieve an award of this caliber.

“The members of the 136th Civil Engineering Squadron are who makes an award like this possible,” he said “We had a great year between finishing up our Cuba deployment working Secretary of Defense-level projects, two new missions for the wing, setting new NGB (National Guard Bureau) benchmarks for the new mission base planning, and supporting state missions like COVID and the border’s Operation Lone Star.”

The 136th CES accomplishments included deployments, on-base maintenance and construction, base safety, and cutting energy costs as well as the unit’s ability to remain focused and dedicated to its work. The Deneke Award winner, chosen annually from nearly 100 civil engineer units throughout the 54 states and territories, is presented to the top Air National Guard civil engineer unit based upon installation and expeditionary engineering, emergency services, environmental leadership and community support.

Joseph said the partnership with NGB played a vital role in the squadron’s success by setting the standard for best practices and new benchmarks.
“We built a solid working relationship with the NGB staff, which paid dividends,” he said. “Everything with them is based on trust and we were able to deliver on all of our claims throughout the new mission selection process.”

Air National Guard civil engineer duties involve construction and maintenance of wing facilities; maintaining utility systems such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; maintaining pavements, roads and runways across the entire air wing. Additionally, CE operates heavy equipment and fire protection apparatus, are charged with explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and emergency management.

Joseph explained when CES is given a mission, it is their job to assess, delegate, and accomplish the mission. He further detailed how his Airmen were able to use innovative ideas to overcome unworkable solutions and turn them into on-time successes. He noted a recent mission in Cuba really showcased the versatility and strength of Air National Guardsmen, who were able to take their civilian skillsets and expertise and apply it to the military environment.

“If it weren’t for the diversity of our Airmen and their civilian capabilities, we never would have solved some of the hardest problems we had to overcome,” he said. “Then you have the Airmen with other innovative ideas like designing the new C-130J airfield striping and tie-down plan, saving us thousands of dollars and, more importantly time, allowing us to award the contract two days after we received the basing decision memorandum and accept the first J models two months later.”

The 136th CES supports operations across the State of Texas and our nation. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth is host to one of only four civil engineer regional training sites in the country, with unique facilities with highly-trained and qualified unit members who instruct visiting civil engineer personnel from across the Air Force enterprise. This training site provides hands-on instruction and implements equipment practice used for real-world, home-station activities and wartime tasking at deployed locations.

In a unique partnership, the 136th partners with CE from the Navy and Air Force Reserve’s 301st Fighter Wing to ensure needs of this base are met. The 136th Airlift Wing is home to the C-130J Super Hercules and is located in the central north Texas heartland.