JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The 502d Air Base Wing held an activation ceremony for the 502d Civil Engineer Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Oct. 26. The group was activated effective Sept. 1 with Brenda Roesch as the director.
“Today marks an important chapter in the evolution of our wing and the history of JBSA,” Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, 502d ABW and JBSA commander and presiding officer of the ceremony, said during the activation ceremony.
The activation restructures the 502d CEG to improve command and control, streamline operation, reduce overhead costs and ultimately vest authority, responsibility, accountability and resources in a single commander. The new organization structure streamlines support functions into a single organization while retaining critical customer service centers at each JBSA location.
“The success of this group plays a fundamental role in our nation’s ability to project power and maintain strength and stability of our Armed Forces and country,” Lenderman said. “We are the gateway to the Air Force. Every enlisted Airman in the United States Air Force walks through gates of JBSA. We are the home of military medicine; every medic in the Department of Defense is trained here. We also train 100 percent of the C-5 pilots and military working dogs.”
JBSA is home to numerous units: Army North, Army South, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Recruiting Service, Air Forces Cyber, 25th Air Force, Installation and Mission Support Center, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, 37th Training Wing, 12th Flying Training Wing and 688th Information Operations Wing.
“And that is just scratching the surface,” Lenderman said. “In total, this group supports over 450,000 personnel and 266 mission partners. Over 1,400 of the best engineers in the U.S. Air Force wake up every single day and make miracles happen. Every day they keep JBSA up and running.”
The 502d CEG provides fire protection, disaster preparedness, explosive ordnance removal and environmental support for all of JBSA. The group also maintains JBSA’s infrastructure and power along with the fuel, water and sewage systems. In addition, they keep the installations pest- and weed free and manage recycling.
“We are the one running to the dangers: the fires, unexploded ordnance, hazardous waste spills,” Roesch said. “We are the ones getting dirty fixing things. When everyone else is saying ‘these are awful work conditions; its 78 degrees,’ our guys are working in 140 degree attics to fix it. They are the ones catching the bats people are scared of and then getting bit. They are up to their necks in sewage some days.”
“It’s beyond hard and you all keep doing it, and we are making a huge difference for our mission partners,” Roesch said, adding that the engineers’ work ethic, dedication and motivation was humbling.
The 502d Civil Engineer Squadron dates back to Feb. 15, 1979, when it was first stood up at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, as the 3800th Civil Engineering Squadron. It was later re-designated as the 502d Civil Engineering Squadron Oct 1, 1992, then as the 502d Civil Engineer Squadron March 1, 1994. The squadron, however, deactivated the following October during the overall mission reassignment from the 502d ABW to the 42d ABW.
The 502d CES was reactivated April 30, 2010, at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston under the 502d Mission Support Group and later reassigned to the 502d Installation Support Group at JBSA-Lackland.
When the 502d CEG was activated, the 502d CES was reassigned from the 502d ISG to the 502d CEG. In addition, the 802d and 902d CES – which were both inactive since Dec. 3, 2013 – were activated and also assigned to 502d CEG.