Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | April 15, 2022

158th Civil Engineers hone skills at Silver Flag

By Senior Airman Jana Somero, 158th Fighter Wing

Tyndall Air Force Base welcomed 14 Green Mountain Boys from the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Civil Engineer Squadron to Florida for the annual Silver Flag exercise March 21 to April 1.

Hosted by Detachment 1 of the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, Silver Flag is a 10-day exercise to train and prepare Airmen across multiple career fields for real-world scenarios they may encounter on deployment. The training focuses on hands-on experience with contingency tools and equipment not usually used or obtainable at their home station.

“Here at Silver Flag, they take Airmen from different specialties and they give them tasks outside of their current Air Force Specialty Code,” said Maj. Mathew Lehman, the base civil engineer assigned to the 158th Civil Engineer Squadron at the Vermont Air National Guard. “You’ll have electricians doing small repairs, you’ll have water and fuels systems maintenance cutting concrete. They call it multi-capable Airmen.”

Instructors lead the first eight days of the exercise, and the last two days are student-led under instructor observation.

“They will train the first eight days for what they’ll do in the last two days,” said Lehman. “It will give them the confidence and the competence to do their job in a wartime environment.”

“I’ve been able to touch equipment that I haven’t been able to since tech school,” said Airman 1st Class Vanessa Tinoco, an HVAC technician assigned to the 158th Civil Engineer Squadron at the Vermont Air National Guard. “I am definitely grateful for this experience here. I’ve been able to work on a lot of equipment that I will see on deployment, but I wasn’t familiar with.”

Silver Flag also offers opportunities for joint readiness training. Throughout the exercise, 191 active-duty, Guard, and Reserve Airmen trained together in a realistic, simulated deployment from Kuwait to Iraq.

“Coming here to Silver Flag, we have units from all across the Air Force and as engineers,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Clohessy, the structures shop supervisor in the 158th Civil Engineer Squadron at the Vermont Air National Guard. “It’s nice because we all speak the same language. We all blend in without a hiccup. It’s been a real positive experience.”

The training format ensured that all Airmen could work together efficiently and easily in a future deployed environment.

“One of the beautiful things about working with so many different Airmen within the same AFSCs is that you get to build on some of that relationship and camaraderie that happens between active, Guard, and Reserve,” said Lehman. “Everybody is here doing the same job and producing at the same level.”

By the end of Day 10, all 14 Green Mountain Boys completed all tasks and training.

“They had a great attitude throughout the whole training,” said Lehman. “They knocked the whole thing out of the park and really made the Green Mountain Boys proud.”

National Guard News
An Airman from the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron jumps from a Pennsylvania Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook during airborne operations at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The pilots and crew chiefs of the Chinook worked to provide the Airmen with a stable platform as they moved over the drop area.
Fort Indiantown Gap hosts airborne training
By Brad Rhen, | May 20, 2022
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – For the first time in about a decade, paratroopers dotted the skies above Fort Indiantown Gap May 17-18.In what is believed to be the first airborne training conducted at Fort Indiantown Gap in 10...

Active, Reserve and Army National Guard components attend a vehicle recovery course at the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M), 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, Michigan, May 19, 2022.
Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers attend vehicle recovery course
By Master Sgt. David Eichaker, | May 20, 2022
AUGUSTA, Mich. – Soldiers assigned to all three components of the Army attended a wheeled vehicle recovery course at Fort Custer Training Center in May. The Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M) facility hosted the...

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ezekiel Wieland, 272nd Cyber Operations Squadron, 110th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, participates in a cyber-warfare training event, Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Michigan, March 8, 2022.
AI-powered app aims to discover talent in Guard, Reserve
By David Vergun, | May 20, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – Members of the Reserve and National Guard are highly skilled across various private-sector industries and have the potential to make substantial contributions to Defense Department missions, a DOD official...

Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Steven Borcherding, right, 176th Maintenance Squadron aero repair, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Lawrie, left, 3rd Maintenance Squadron aero repair, help the passenger of a May 16, 2022, Taylorcraft F-19 crash near Goose Bay Airport, Alaska.
Alaska Guard Soldier, Airmen help rescue plane crash victims
By David Bedard, | May 20, 2022
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Two Airmen and an Alaska Army National Guard Soldier helped rescue two plane crash victims near Goose Bay Airport west of Anchorage May 16.Alaska Army National Guard Spc. Zach Cherry,...

U.S. Army Spc. Tyler Martin, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter repairer with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, Virginia National Guard, conducts maintenance on a Black Hawk at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, March 18, 2022.
Virginia Guard keeps Black Hawks on mission in Kosovo
By Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright, | May 20, 2022
CAMP BONDSTEEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army helicopter repairers and maintainers play a critical role in keeping aviation assets flying through routine upkeep and conducting on-the-spot repairs, keeping helicopters safe and ready to...