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Civil engineer recognized for Tyndall aid

Task Force Phoenix Airmen repair a damaged rooftop at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 28, 2018.

Task Force Phoenix Airmen repair a damaged rooftop at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 28, 2018. Task Force Phoenix is responsible for large-scale clean up and reconstruction after Hurricane Michael ravaged the 325th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in early October, service members and their loved one stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, are continuing to recover from the effects.

In an effort to assist in a timely and efficient manner, 17 service members assigned to the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, flew to support their wingmen from Oct. 21 – Nov. 18.

As members of Task Force Phoenix, Shaw’s CES Airmen worked alongside U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and civilian civil engineers to maintain infrastructure, clear debris, and ensure buildings are preserved while permits were completed.

“We were restoring water, power, and heating, ventilation and heating systems, putting tarps on roofs, boarding up windows and beginning the process of mold remediation,” said 2nd Lt. Kevin Stolle, 20th CES lead programmer and TF Phoenix OIC. “Additionally, throughout all the above, TF Phoenix was clearing debris from all over base.”

The team successfully cleared more than 650,000 cubic yards of debris and preserved 365 buildings, worth more than $683 million in assets.

“After Hurricane Michael, they were at their own base working non-stop,” said Stolle. “Many of them had their homes destroyed and loved ones to take care of. Any sort of order in their life was wiped out and yet they were there working. We allowed them to take a step back to take care of themselves and their families. Our arrival and our hard work took a burden from our brothers and sisters and allowed them to take care of what they needed to take care of while we took care of their base.”

The team received recognition from numerous general officers and 20th Fighter Wing leadership for their efforts.

During a visit to Tyndall in early November, Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, ACC command chief spoke with the Airmen and support teams working to rebuild the installation.

“We are really proud of what you guys have done as a team,” Holmes said in a Tyndall AFB publication. “It’ll be something you can look back on. You can be proud of the way you ran at the sound of the guns to help your fellow Airmen and your families when they were in need. I think the Air Force is really proud of you and I want you to know I am.”