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460th CES best in AFSPC; EM flight adds to success

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley is already making waves at the Air Force Space Command and 14th Air Force levels earning several annual awards.

The 460th Civil Engineer Squadron was awarded the Air Force Space Command Outstanding Civil Engineer Unit in the small-unit category along with its emergency management flight earning the Col. Frederick J. Riemer Award designating the best EM flight in AFSPC.

"We were pretty stoked," said Lt. Col. Madison Morris, 460th CES commander. "(I'm) extremely proud of the squadron."

Morris said he thought his squadron performed exceptionally throughout the year, even with being manned at only about 60 percent.

Morris's squadron is responsible for providing emergency services such as the fire department, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. They also handle hazardous materials, run the emergency operation center and take care of the base infrastructure along with several other things.

All of this success wouldn't be possible without the solid group of Airmen and civilians Morris said he has working for him.

"(Everyone) definitely focused on the core values," Morris said. "This is the sharpest group of young Airmen that I've seen at any of my bases."

Being resourceful and innovative is what Morris said he felt led to his team being the best in AFSPC.

An example of their resourcefulness happened during the summer when 55 engineers headed to the Air Force Academy to participate in training to prepare for deployments and practice carrying out their contingency engineer mission.

CES didn't have the supplies and proper surroundings to perform the training at Buckley, they used assets from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; Colorado Air National Guard; Peterson Air AFB, Colo.; Fort Carson, Colo.; and the Academy to participate in a training course for several days.

The squadron showed their innovation by being the first squadron in the Air Force to execute their installation development plan under new guidelines. The project consisted of plans for the next three to five years, along with plans for the next 20 plus years.

Morris also commended the EM flight for being the best in AFSPC.

"That flight is a small flight. They're actually smaller than all the other flights in the MAJCOM (major command)," Morris said. "They're only about 40 percent manned, yet they still pulled in best EM flight in the command."

Morris said they've earned a lot of respect from the local community for their ability to take care of business and plan for the worst.

The EM flight is primarily responsible for ensuring the base is prepared for any natural or man-made disaster. They operate the EOC and work with unit representatives, making sure they are aware of what actions to take in the event of an emergency to keep everyone safe.

"No one in this flight missed an opportunity to go above and beyond," stated Armando Argiz, Buckley AFB Office of Readiness and Emergency Management. "From the lowest rank on up, everyone worked as a team to see us through the challenging times."

Argiz stated he's very fortunate to work with superb professionals, and while the competition was intense, he felt like his shop had a strong opportunity to be the best in AFSPC.

Some actions that led to the EM flight's success were the ability to provide 263 hours worth of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive training to 446 deploying Airmen with zero discrepancies.

They also combined four unit EM programs into one, to eliminate redundancy and save 108 work hours a year.
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