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20th CES performs groundbreaking work

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Robinson, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction journeyman, uses a K-12 saw to cut through asphalt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Robinson, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction journeyman, uses a K-12 saw to cut through asphalt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018. Robinson utilized the saw to perform a modified cut and repair a pothole above a busted water pipe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Robinson, left, and Senior Airman Reid Johanns, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) pavement and construction journeymen, work together to repair a broken water pipe at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Robinson, left, and Senior Airman Reid Johanns, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) pavement and construction journeymen, work together to repair a broken water pipe at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018. The pavement and construction Airmen worked alongside the 20th CES water and fuels flight to repair a broken water pipe under Rhodes Avenue, ensuring a safe and efficient fix. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Reid Johanns, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction journeyman, uses a mini-roller at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Reid Johanns, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction journeyman, uses a mini-roller at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 12, 2018. The mini-roller compacted the sub layer above a repaired water pipe, prior to the laying of asphalt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Airmen assigned to the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction equipment flight, also known as the “Dirt Boyz,” and the water and fuels systems flight came together for an emergency repair scheduled from April 11-13.

A broken water pipe under Rhodes Avenue required the two units to communicate and work as one, ensuring a safe and efficient fix.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Robinson, 20th CES pavement and construction journeyman, said the repair was vital to the base because the water pipe burst under one of the main roads, resulting in base residents having to use back roads which increased their commute times.

During the repair, the Dirt Boyz excavated and revealed the pipe so the water and fuels Airmen could do their respective jobs.

“Our main part in the job was to excavate the ground to allow water and fuels to do their job,” said Robinson. “Once they finished the pipe repair, we compacted the site and applied the asphalt.”

By working alongside each other, the flights ensured access to the main road and allowed easier commutes for base residents, said Robinson.

“The squadron is responsible for emergency preparation and response activities to save lives and mitigate property damage,” said Tech. Sgt. Freeman Gleaves, 20th CES heavy equipment noncommissioned officer in charge.

Airmen assigned to the 20th CES Dirt Boyz and water and fuels flight continue to work hand-in-hand in the completion of joint tasks.

Consisting of more than 400 military and civilian service members, the various 20th CES units provide 24-hour service across 16,000 acres of land and approximately 1,000 facilities.