55th CES keeps our ‘city’ running

  • Published
  • By Mark Jacobsen
  • Director, 55th Civil Engineer Squadron
I appreciate this great opportunity to reach the entire base populace with information about the 55th Civil Engineer Squadron. Our key flights are operations and maintenance, engineering, the fire department, emergency management, housing, environmental and real property. I would like to go into a little detail about the two flights which maintain, repair and improve Offutt's facilities and infrastructure.

We're an entirely civilian work force here at Offutt. In comparison to a civilian community, Offutt is a small city whose main industry just happens to be a little different than a normal city. The CE organization is somewhat equal to the public works department of a civilian community, but we are much more than that. The CE squadron is responsible for all facilities and infrastructure in our small city, whereas public works departments for municipalities are responsible for a very small number of city-owned buildings, like the courthouse, police station, etc. This year, we've constructed $58 million in new facilities, managed renovation and infrastructure projects valued at $65 million and directed a day-to-day maintenance program of $16 million.

The largest CE flight is the operations and maintenance flight. In simple terms, these folks make sure your power is on, water runs from the tap, toilets flush and roads are repaired and kept clear of snow. This is a huge job with nearly five million square feet of floor space and over three million square yards of paved surface to maintain.

We can always use your help in telling us when something is not functioning correctly or if new needs have arisen or are coming in the near future. To report leaky faucets, or other minor repair issues, you can call CE customer service at 294-6101 (after duty hours 294-3301). For renovations and large scale repairs, the best way to ensure proper accomplishment of needed work is via submission of an Air Force Form 332, Civil Engineer Work Request, through your unit's facility manager. Submission of the work request ensures proper staffing through various CE and other wing offices, and allows the submitter to track the status at any given time via a work order number. Properly staffed and approved work orders are sent to the appropriate shop for accomplishment. Should the work be beyond in-house capability due to complexity or size, the work request will be sent to the engineering flight for contract accomplishment.

Once a work request is in the engineering flight, programming documents are prepared to ensure the proper scope is identified, correct approvals are obtained and the work is prioritized against other identified efforts so that scarce Air Force funds are placed on the most important needs. That prioritization process culminates in the wing commander's facility board to decide how annual maintenance, repair and construction funding will be spent. The engineering flight prepares designs for those projects which are high on the priority list to be funded. During design, the proposed work is coordinated with the user and any needed waivers to criteria are obtained. Once designed, these projects are advertised for construction and are either competitively bid or negotiated. During construction, the engineering flight inspects the project to make sure the specifications are being followed. The engineering flight also prepares contracts for services such as custodial, refuse and grounds maintenance.

Civil Engineers always find a way to make things happen and our goal is to continue to provide Team Offutt with the quality facilities and service they deserve.