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Gulfport home to specialized civil engineers

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 firefighting. Specialized civil engineers1.jpg


The units 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 well.”


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 Gulfport.


 Firefighters work on the same installation as the Mississippi Army National Guards 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 weve been able to accomplish without the continued and selfless support afforded to us by the Mississippi Army National Guards 1108th TASMG and their leadership.”

    She said the core commitment is ensuring 209th SOCES members and assets are always ready to deploy anywhere world-wide within hours.
Revised: 1/9/2017 5:40