Highly skilled and immensely trained, the
209th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron (SOCES) ranks among the best
the Air Force has to offer when it comes to decontamination and aircraft
mission is strictly a mobility effort with half of its members tied directly
into supporting the Active Duty Air Force Special Operations Command and
related Special Operations Forces (SOF) around the globe.
“The 209th SOCES is a unique Civil
Engineer unit with a mix of traditional and specialty CE skills and missions,” said
Senior Master Sgt. Joe Wood, Operations Superintendent. “The bulk of the unit
is made up of traditional CE craftsman such as electricians, plumbers,
carpenters, power production, and firefighting to name a few. In addition to
their primary Air Force skill, many of them have been trained in more
specialized Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) skillsets as
Unit members are intensively involved in
CBRN detection and decontamination leading them to be considered as a premier
Air National Guard CBRN unit.
They provide a specialized “playbook option”
to any branch of SOF tasked with working in such an environment. The 209th
SOCES gives Service members a toxic free area to operate in and a toxic free
area to return to if exposed to CBRN elements in the field.
Another instrumental component of the 209th
SOCES is the fire department with its continual training and practical exams.
This portion of the unit operates at the Combat Readiness Training Center in
Firefighters work on the same
installation as the Mississippi Army National Guard’s
1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG).
The 1108th TASMG and the 209th formed a
partnership through the years that fosters extending firefighter development
beyond the required training. Because of that, the 209th firefighters have an
in depth knowledge of the Army Rotary Wing aircraft that is more advanced than
most Air Force or Air National Guard fire departments.
The 209th SOCES Commander, Lt. Col. Kathleen
Vaughn said, “We could not have achieved the level of training in nearly all of
our career fields we’ve been able to accomplish without
the continued and selfless support afforded to us by the Mississippi Army
1108th TASMG and their leadership.”
said the core commitment is ensuring 209th SOCES members and assets are always
ready to deploy anywhere world-wide within hours.