Civil engineering squadron completes 2nd Jump Start deployment
By Capt. Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Officer
/ Published August 21, 2008
KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Louisville, Ky. -- Thirty members of the 123rd Civil Engineering Squadron returned to the Arizona desert this summer as part of Operation Jump Start, the National Guard-led mission to improve security along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The troops, who deployed to Naco, Ariz., from July 21 to Aug. 4, graded access roads and erected tactical infrastructure along a fivemile stretch of border in support of the Naco Border Patrol Station, said Lt. Col. Connie Allen, the unit's commander.
Besides placing 100 tons of gravel and installing a new culvert in a washed-out section of road, the Kentucky Airmen set 252 fence poles and 2,885 feet of concrete formwork, Colonel Allen said.
The team then placed 135 cubic yards of concrete, resulting in 2,640 feet of completed foundation for new fencing.
The project is designed to frustrate illegal entry into the United States by giving U.S. Border Patrol agents enough time to respond to suspicious activities, officials said.
Working with the Border Patrol proved to be one of the highlights of the deployment, said Maj. John Cassel, operations officer for the 123rd Civil Engineering Squadron.
"We felt pretty good about the mission because it gave us an opportunity to help out the Border Patrol folks," he said.
"It also provided us with a chance to do some good civil engineering training."
The squadron last deployed to Arizona in August 2006, when it erected 500 yards of steel fencing and placed 70 vehicle barricades along the border at Naco.