By Airman 1st Class Andrew Bertain | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Col. Thomas Falzarano, 21st Space Wing commander, toured the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Aug. 7, 2019.
While visiting, Falzarano toured multiple sections of the squadron to meet the many CE Airmen and to learn about all of the vital roles they play on the base.
The 21st CES contains five major sections: Fire Emergency Services (CEF), Installation Management (CEI), Engineering (CEN), Operations (CEO) and Readiness and Emergency Management (CEX), all vital for the well-being of the base itself and the people on it.
“The first thing everyone sees is the base itself, and that is all CE,” said Falzarano. “On any given day, if you don’t get the mission done, or if [Chief Master Sgt. Jacob Simmons] and I fail to give you the resources you need, the mission is going to fail.”
During his visit, Falzarano received briefings on the squadron’s mission and capabilities. He met Airmen one-on-one, toured each section of the squadron and was able to participate in multiple activities with the Airmen.
When visiting CEF, Falzarano rode along in a crash fire truck during a training exercise where a mock-up aircraft was set on fire and he watched how the Airmen handled the situation and put the fire out. During the ride along, the unit was called for a real world in-flight emergency at the Colorado Springs Airport. The aircraft landed safely, the emergency was terminated and the training exercise resumed. After the training fire was put out, Falzarano spent some time getting to know some of the Airmen, and ended the tour with a group picture.
Falzarano then met CE’s pavement and heavy equipment operators, better known as “Dirt Boyz,” and helped fix part of a parking lot entrance of Building 3. This included evenly spreading and then forming the asphalt in the pothole, followed by learning how to seal and compress the patch with a roller.
The rest of the tour included visits to the primary switching station to learn about how the base receives power and meeting the explosive ordnance disposal Airmen, which included a bomb demonstration and a pull-up contest between an EOD technician and the wing commander. Falzarano came in a close second!
Lt. Col. Timothy Fryar, 21st CES commander, said he was grateful that Falzarano spent the day with CE, and had never seen a wing commander spend the whole day learning about what they do.
“The diversity of CE is crazy, it contains 13 Air Force Specialty Codes, so for him to be able to spend a full day with us, talk to the Airmen and find out why we are here and why it’s important is so critical,” said Fryar. “He will take this information and have a better understanding and appreciation for what we do every day. That way if we are ever under question, he is there as our defender, and that’s what every squadron needs.”