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Engineers Head North

Deployed members of the 123rd Civil Engineering Squadron.  (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Deployed members of the 123rd Civil Engineering Squadron. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Senior Airmen Nick Ketterer uses an odometer to measure the slope at the Fort Garry Horse site. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Senior Airmen Nick Ketterer uses an odometer to measure the slope at the Fort Garry Horse site. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Heavy equipment operators work together to move gravel and earth to construct a parking lot at the Fort Garry Horse Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Heavy equipment operators work together to move gravel and earth to construct a parking lot at the Fort Garry Horse Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Senior Airman Mark Thompson, a power production specialist, strips wires during electrical upgrades to the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Senior Airman Mark Thompson, a power production specialist, strips wires during electrical upgrades to the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Master Sgt. Larry Broyles trims ceiling tile during a facilities upgrade at the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Master Sgt. Larry Broyles trims ceiling tile during a facilities upgrade at the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Tech. Sgt. Sean Cecil installs fluorescent bulbs into a light fixture for one of the newly renovated classrooms at the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

Tech. Sgt. Sean Cecil installs fluorescent bulbs into a light fixture for one of the newly renovated classrooms at the Mintos Armory. (Photo by Senior Airman Jason Ketterer, Kentucky Air National Guard.)

WINNIPEG, Canada -- Three-dozen Civil Engineers from the 123rd Airlift Wing upgraded Canadian Armed Forces facilities during ExerciseWinged Beaver here in July.

Over the course of two weeks, the Airmen completed renovations and improved the usability of facilitiesat the Canadian Army's Fort Garry Horse and Mintos Armories.

In addition to helping neighbors and allies, CE team members said the Airmen benefited from hands-on training and teamwork through the exercise.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning services, electrical work, carpentry and basic construction improved the Canadian facilities while giving the Airmen the opportunity to gain new skills and refine existing ones.

According to Senior Master Sgt. John Green, a project leader during the deployment, younger Airmen were initially tentative about operating some of the seldom used or unfamiliar heavy equipment like the bulldozer.

However, that uncertainty soon turned to enthusiasm, he said.

"They got some real good training, and we progressed (on the mission) at the same time," Sergeant Green said.

 "They feel a lot more comfortable with it now."

Lt. Col. Connie Allen, who commands the engineers, said the exercise required participants to work outside their typical specialties.

By working together and conducting cross training, the Airmen learned new skills that will better prepare them for future operations, said Tech. Sgt. Todd Edelen, a project leader during the exercise.

"Overall, everybody worked really well together, got the job done and finished just a little bit ahead of schedule," he said. "Everyone did a really good job."

Colonel Allen agreed.

"They did another fantastic job," she said. "Their host is going to be very happy with the work they did.

"(Our Airmen) just need to know how much I appreciate them," Colonel Allen added.