2012 Deployment for Training: San Clemente Island

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Luiz Vicentini
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
Thirty-nine Airmen from the 102nd Civil Engineer Squadron (102nd CES) were called for a two-week Deployment for Training (DFT) here on May 11, 2012, to provide civil engineering services for the Navy Complex known as Maritime Operations (MAROPS).

This was the first time the 102nd CES has deployed to San Clemente Island, and this unique experience was a positive example of joint military forces operations.

"The training operations currently in place on this island are only possible with the support we receive from the different service branches to keep our facilities up and running", said Navy Chief Petty Officer John Johnston, MAROPS compound manager.

Johnston said maintaining MAROPS buildings during these missions is crucial to the Navy's ability to train their task groups on a weekly basis.

During the deployment, each Airman was assigned to a task-specific group. The 102nd CES performed five major tasks in the Range Complex:

Earth Moving Project next to MAROPS Airfield:

The Roads and Grounds unit was responsible for ground work, operating heavy mobile equipment, and crushing large boulders to be used for base landfill at the MAROPS complex and other naval sites on the island. Technical Sgt. Richard Wehr was the NCO in charge of the team involved in this task.

Electrical and Structural Updates at Urban Warfare Training Complex:

Two groups of Airmen were assigned to this site. The first group was in charge of electrical installations, updating electrical panels, adding outlets, and wiring circuitry and boxes for buildings. Master Sgt. Paul Johansen and Tech. Sgt. James Roderick were the lead members of the electrical team.

The second group was responsible for structural additions and renovations, such as adding trusses, roofing and wall frames over several buildings. Master Sgt. Thomas Jones and Master Sgt. Brian Kirby were the lead members of the structures team.

Galley Renovation at MAROPS Compound:

The Galley Dining Facility was considered the top priority and the most challenging operation.

The project included creating a flip footprint, moving a kitchen to the opposite side of the building, installing a brand new plumbing and water pipe system, and the addition of electrical conduits to feed the new kitchen.

Due to the complexity and workload of this task, every Airman had the opportunity to apply their construction skills to this project. Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Nadeau and Master Sgt. Stephen Mulford were the senior NCO's overseeing this operation.
IT updates and Electrical Service runs for two Weapons Cleaning Units (WCU):
The workload for this assignment was broken into two separate buildings:

Cables were run to feed satellite television and Internet in the MAROPS dorms and administration buildings, and to feed two weapons cleaning units in the Support and Storage building. Senior Airman Aramis Tirado and Staff Sgt. Eric Smith were the lead members of IT team. Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Nadeau was the lead member of the electrical team for WCU installation.

Land Survey Project:

Topographic information was collected from the MAROPS compound to create a contour map for buildings, and determine elevation slabs to create a site plan in support of new developments for future land use. Information collected during this survey was essential for MAROPS staff to use as a reference for future construction and land usage. Master Sgt. Varoujan Garabedian was the lead member of the Engineering Team.

"The schedule was very challenging, and yet, (102nd CES) not only finished their tasks, but reached out beyond their scope of work, exceeded our expectations by providing us with mission essential updates in and out of our facilities," said Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Kastl, MAROPS compound staff manager.

For some, this was the first DFT in their career. For others, this was a final opportunity to improve training skills acquired through years of military service. Technical Sgt. James Roderick dedicated more than 20 years of Air National Guard service.
"I will miss everybody from the CES, because I built friendships that will last a lifetime. We are indeed a family in the unit," said Roderick during a farewell ceremony at MAROPS.

The DFT ended with a well-deserved three-day trip to San Diego. Airmen shared their experiences and stories from their time spent on San Clemente Island, and came home with a mission accomplished and future DFT assignments to look forward to.

Island Overview:
Since 1934, San Clemente Island has been owned and operated by various naval commands, covering more than 14 Range and Operational areas clustered within the 60-mile radius of the island. The island's land, air and sea ranges provide the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and other agencies with readiness training, tests, evaluations, research and development activities.