123rd named top civil engineering unit in ANG, Air Reserve Component

Col. Scott Chambers, the National Guard Bureau’s deputy director of logistics for installations, addresses members of the 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron in the Fuel Cell Hangar at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 11 2016. The unit was just named the top civil engineering unit in the Air National Guard and the Air Reserve Component. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Col. Scott Chambers, the National Guard Bureau’s deputy director of logistics for installations, addresses members of the 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron in the Fuel Cell Hangar at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 11 2016. The unit was just named the top civil engineering unit in the Air National Guard and the Air Reserve Component. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron was recognized as the top CE unit in the Air National Guard and Air Reserve Component for 2015 during a ceremony here Nov. 6.

The ANG Colonel William L. Deneke Award and the Society of American Engineers Curtin Award were both presented to the unit by Col. Scott Chambers, the National Guard Bureau's deputy director of logistics for installations.

Chambers praised the squadron, which also won the Deneke award in 1985 and 2005, as "part of what's making (The Air National Guard) successful in an era of scarce resources."

Col. Jeffrey Wilkinson, vice commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, thanked the unit's Airmen for doing "amazing, phenomenal work every day."

"You're making a big difference," he said. "This recognition is not only well-deserved for what you have accomplished, I think it emulates the entire Mission Support Group as a whole. I want to say 'thank you' to the Civil Engineering Squadron and congratulate you on a job well done."

The award was earned for the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, 2015. During that time, the unit oversaw more than 15 major projects and 1,500 work orders with a 90 percent completion rate, finished a multi-year $2.6 million road relocation project, provided mobile emergency operations support for the Kentucky Derby, and ranked number one of six units in the region for base energy conservation.

Both awards come on the heels of another national honor for the unit. Earlier this year, the squadron's 123rd Explosive Ordinance Disposal flight was awarded the Senior Master Sergeant Gerald J. Stryzak award as the top EOD unit in the Air National Guard.

Col. Kathryn Pfeifer, commander of the 123rd Mission Support Group, said all three honors are indicative of a squadron that always seeks excellence.

"I was not surprised to hear that the 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron was named the winner of the 2015 Deneke Award as the top Civil Engineer Squadron and the EOD Flight as the best EOD unit across the Air National Guard," she said. "Their level of effort and professionalism is never in question and exceeded all categories. The men and women of the Civil Engineer Squadron, both civilian and military, work tirelessly throughout the year to train to be the best."