Civil Engineers Return

Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo., once again boasts a civil engineer squadron to upgrade, repair, and maintain the 21st Space Wing’s five-acre underground command facility there. Complex officials activated the 721st CES on July 17, states the wing’s July 27 release. The unique squadron, manned completely by Air Force civilians, is now responsible for maintaining the facility’s water, power, and ventilation—all buried 2,000 feet into a mountainside. “Today more so than the past, we need the reliability, survivability, and the durability the complex provides,” said Col. Joseph Turk, commander of the 721st Mission Support Group, the squadron’s parent unit. The Air Force inactivated the 721st CES in 2004, and outsourced its role to a private contractor. The squadron’s return to active status is due to a Presidential directive in April 2011 for the US military to in-source certain maintenance tasks, according to the release. (Cheyenne Mountain report by Lea Johnson)