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A fire engine is parked in the department loading bay at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. Engines are always parked facing out so when an emergency call happens they are ready to go. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
Beale firefighters stand at parade rest for an official photo at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. The 9th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighters are credited with receiving the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ralph E. Sanborn, Fire Department of the Year Award for medium sized fire department across the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
A wooden American flag is mounted on the wall surrounded by patches of various fire departments that Beale firefighters have worked with, at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 27, 2020. Beale firefighters train and assist local fire departments in times of local crisis or during upgrade training. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)
Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, 99th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, sprays disinfectant liquid on a rag to sanitize a U-2 Dragon Lady’s cockpit Mar. 23, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. The cockpits on Beale’s fleet of U-2s will be sanitized on a regular basis to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, 99th Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chief, disinfects the side of a U-2’s canopy Mar. 23, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Airmen are sanitizing the U-2 Dragon Lady’s cockpit regularly, ensuring the safety of U-2 pilots and Airmen working on the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
The Commissary on Beale Air Force Base California, Mar. 23, 2020. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)
Airman Leon Guico, Left, 9th Medical Group (MDG) health administrator, and Senior Airman Christopher Miracle, 9th MDG optometry technician, guard the Entry Control Point (ECP) at the Clinic on Beale Air Force Base, California, Mar. 12, 2020. The ECP was set up at the Beale Clinic to protect Airmen and their families from the growing COVID-19 threat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Lynn Bergmann, 9th Medical Group (MDG) patient safety program coordinator, right, and Denise Ross, 9th MDG Patient Advocate, left, pose for a photo in front of the clinic’s marquee on Beale Air Force Base, California, March 11, 2020. National Patient Safety Week occurred from 8-14 March 2020.
Lynn Bergmann, 9th Medical Group (MDG) Patient Safety Program Coordinator, center, and Denise Ross, 9th MDG Patient Advocate, right, speak to an Airman about patient safety on Beale Air Force Base, California, March 11, 2020. Educating Beale personnel was one of several things Bergmann and Ross did to promote Patient Safety week.
A beaker of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) is stationed in a testing area at Beale Air Force Base, California, March 4, 2020. Airmen observe the beaker and the film of white paper inside to see and smell if the LOX has any discoloration, discrepancies or smell. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

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Chief's Corner

I am an American Airman

Too often I hear the statement, “The Air Force has no tradition…certainly not like the other services.” Or there’s the comment, “The Air Force changes everything all the time.  New uniforms, AFI’s, etc….how can we expect to maintain any heritage or tradition?”
I submit there is one decisive, deliberate, and motivating action each of us can take.  No matter the position you hold, the grade you wear, or if you are active duty, guard, reserve, retired, every single one of us can implement this small, yet powerful change today.  The change refers to a facet of our current culture.
Malcolm Gladwell speaks about culture change in his book, ‘Tipping Point’.  In his book, the author posits that even the smallest adjustments to habits, routines, or attitudes can have a significant impact on the culture or perception of an organization, population, or product.
Therefore, I challenge everyone to stop referring to members of our Air Force as ‘TROOPS’. 
According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of the word troop is:
a. A group of soldiers
b. A cavalry unit corresponding to an infantry company
c. A flock of mammals or birds
I understand a definition is literal, however, there are two problems with the way we throw this term around to refer to our Airmen.  First, the word troop is actually plural…referring to a group of soldiers.  Lastly, and most poignantly, the word troop is actually rooted in a tradition and heritage of another service.  And before we start the “But Chief, we were born out of the Army” conversation, I would ask you to consider a few points. 
We were born out of the Army for a reason.  We fulfill several needs that no other organization can: to keep up with advancing technology and to take warfighting to an entirely different level, both geographically and mentally.  The Army and Navy were long-time competitors for military leadership and neither service thought that the other should take on the new tasks of strategic deterrence missions associated with the advent of the atomic bomb.  This, along with many other great reasons, is why our Air Force, and our AIRMEN were created.
Think about it.  The United States Air Force was created for some of the most sophisticated warfare challenges of the time. 
So, let’s continue the tradition born in 1947 and call each other what we truly are.  Please, call me Airman.

Chief Hall

 

 

ArticleCS

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, uses a chainsaw to cut down a tree Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The unit uses a variety of equipment to cut trees and clear brush including chainsaws, wood chippers, and stump grinders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, watches as a tree he cut down falls Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. In order to foster a safe environment, the shop has a variety of protocols they follow while cutting trees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Staff Sgt. Jason Jones, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, sharpens his chainsaw blade Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. While cutting trees the Airmen wear a variety of safety equipment including hard hats, ear protection, steel toe boots, gloves, and chaps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Staff Sgt. Jason Jones and Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technicians, limb a downed tree Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. While cutting trees the Airmen wear a variety of safety equipment including hard hats, ear protection, steel toe boots, gloves, and chaps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, cuts up a downed tree Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Once the trees have been cut down some the wood is sold by the environmental office and the profits are used for environmental projects on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, cuts up a log Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The shop cleared the area around Three Bridges which is primarily populated with oak trees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Senior Airman Stephen Runge, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, cuts up the base of a tree Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. In order to foster a safe environment the shop has a variety of protocols they follow while cutting trees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Staff Sgt. Jason Jones, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, drags away a tree limb Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The unit uses a variety of equipment to cut trees and clear brush including chainsaws, wood chippers, and stump grinders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Lumber jacks of all trades: 9th CES Dirt Boyz cut trees, clear brush

Staff Sgt. Michael Carlsen, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment technician, picks up brush Nov. 28, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Once the trees have been cut down some the wood is sold by the environmental office and the profits are used for environmental projects on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- --

The 9th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and heavy equipment, more affectionately known as Dirt Boyz, often perform various forms of construction on base. One aspect of their job many people don’t know about is tree maintenance.

 

The unit actually started a large tree maintenance project on Nov. 26 near the Three Bridges area. The project, which is scheduled to last until Jan. 1, 2019, will be a daily undertaking for teams of up to six people.

 

“We are going to go in and do a clearing of the larger trees and the brush,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn Welsh, 9th CES pavements and heavy equipment technician. “There are roughly 30 to 50 large trees. The trees vary from the size of a 50 gallon drum to the size of a coffee can.”

 

Downing even one tree is time consuming, but the team has a process to help speed up the clearing of the area.

 

“We cut down the tree and get the bulk of it on the ground,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Carlsen, 9th CES pavements and heavy equipment technician. “Then we chop off the limbs into a manageable size so we can get them into the dump truck and truck them away.”

 

According to Welsh, the Dirt Boyz do almost all of the tree maintenance on the base and do so with a large inventory of equipment.

 

“A majority of the time we use chainsaws that come in a variety of sizes,” Welsh said. “We also utilize a wood chipper to chip up all of the brush, and a stump grinder to grind the stump down to below ground.”

 

With all of the equipment the shop uses, safety is paramount and there are a variety of precautions the team utilizes to ensure everyone goes home whole.

 

“We follow the common sense rule of if it looks like it might be a problem it is probably a problem,” Carlsen said. “We make sure everyone knows when and where the tree is coming down. We also makes sure we have proper gear. We have hard hats, ear protection, steel toe boots, gloves, and chaps.”

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