An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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
Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, laughs with Gen. Orestes Vargas, Peruvian Army chief of staff, in Lima, Peru, in late March 2024. The West Virginia Guard partners with Peru, Qatar and Gabon via the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
West Virginia Guard Expands International Partnerships
By Edwin Wriston, | April 16, 2024
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - West Virginia National Guard leaders traveled to Peru and Qatar to build and expand international partnerships through the State Partnership Program.The West Virginia National Guard partners with Peru,...

Maj. Josh Favaro, executive officer of the Virginia National Guard’s 229th Brigade Engineering Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives the Expert Soldier Badge from Sgt. Maj. Justin Walkup, the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team operations sergeant major, March 15, 2024, at Fort Walker, Virginia.
Virginia Guardsman Earns Expert Soldier Badge
By A.J. Coyne, | April 16, 2024
RICHMOND, Va. - Maj. Josh Favaro, executive officer of the Virginia National Guard’s 229th Brigade Engineering Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, earned the Expert Soldier Badge March 15 at Fort Walker.In doing...

Members of Higher Headquarters Company 117th Military Police Brigade, Michigan National Guard, deplane at the unit’s welcome home ceremony from a deployment to support Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay in the Southern Command Area of Responsibility, Detroit, Mich, April 9, 2024.
Michigan Guard Military Police Soldiers end Guantanamo Mission
By Master Sgt. Helen Miller, | April 15, 2024
LANSING, Mich. – The water spray arch of two Detroit Metro Airport firetrucks marked the homecoming of 62 Michigan National Guard Citizen-Soldiers with the 177th Military Police Brigade following their deployment to Joint...

Pfc. Cassandra Vazquez receives an Army Achievement Medal from the Georgia Army National Guard command team of Maj. Gen. Dwayne Wilson and Command Sgt. Maj. John Ballenger during a battle handoff ceremony April 13, 2024, in Fort Stewart, Ga.
New Georgia Army Guard Soldiers say ‘Send Me’ Overseas
By Maj. Charles Emmons, | April 15, 2024
FORT STEWART, Ga. - On April 13, 194 new Soldiers joined the Georgia Army National Guard during a battle handoff ceremony that followed basic and military occupational specialty training. Most will now report to one of the...

A 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II refuels a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk during training over Alaska Jan. 11, 2021. A 210th RQS Pave Hawk carried out two medical evacuation missions April 4-5, 2024, one of them with a 211th RQS HC-130 and both with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angels.
Alaska Air National Guard Helps 3 Alaskans During 2 Missions
By David Bedard, | April 15, 2024
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen evacuated a mother and premature baby and rescued an injured snowmachiner in two missions at remote locations across Alaska April 4-5. The first mission...