OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
Offutt’s pavement team has been working since November to keep snow off the roads, patch potholes and complete a myriad of other duties to ensure the mission continues.
And with a winter that included more than 50 inches of snow. They were not lacking for opportunities to excel.
“We had the eleventh most snowfall in history here this past winter,” said Richard Durr, 55th Civil Engineering Squadron equipment operator supervisor, “So we have been working a lot of weekends.”
In fact, the pavement team has only had three weekends off since November.
“We try to recover as best as we can, but the guys are pretty much running out of gas,” Durr said.
This 12 person team is responsible for all pavement repair on the installation, in addition to snow removal.
“Any equipment requirements that come through, forklifts, loaders, also fences and gates, are our responsibility,” Durr said.
And while those who work at Offutt and live in the Midwest come to expect a harsh winter weather, an historic flood that impacted the area immediately after was unanticipated. This emergency put an additional strain on an already very busy shop.
“When we do snow we’re on 12 hour shifts, so we spent a lot of time here this winter and then it rolled right into the flood,” Durr said.
However, Durr added that it is a team effort and they wouldn’t be able to accomplish their mission without the support of other CE members.
“We get a lot of support from other shops and we supplement our manpower with whoever we can grab,” he said. “It’s a CE group effort maintaining the flying mission here at Offutt.”
And thanks to their efforts the 55th Wing has remained mission capable throughout the entire winter and even during the flood.
“I couldn’t be more proud to serve with these professionals,” said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander. “Mission success is dependent on so many factors, and this group is certainly an important piece of making it all happen for the Warhawks.”