Vermont Civil Engineers
By Airman 1st Class Dana Alyce-Schwarz
158th Fighter Wing
The Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) has a reputation of a high standard of excellence and received recognition for that effort in the form of the Colonel William L. Deneke Outstanding Civil Engineering Award.
This marks the third time the VTANG Civil Engineering (CE) squadron has received this award. It is given each year to the Air National Guard unit that shows the most outstanding accomplishments and achievements.
"It's more about the recognition, we work to fulfill our mission more than win an award," said 1st Lt. Matthew Lehman, the Deputy Base Civil Engineer. "We've worked very hard this past year and it means a lot to everyone on the team that our efforts have been noticed."
The CE squadron, consisting of approximately 100 members throughout the Fire Department, Emergency Management, Explosive Ordinance Disposal as well as the Civil Engineers, outperformed more than 80 other Air National Guard units in 2013. The VTANG has previously won twice before in 2010 and in 1979, making it the second unit to receive the Deneke Award since its inception in 1978.
To be selected, a CE unit submits a full list of its accomplishments, including deployments, on-base maintenance and construction, base safety, and cutting energy costs. The unit's ability to remain focused and dedicated to its work lead to its success.
"We train to be ready for the mission," said Chief Master Sgt. John Talcott, the Chief Enlisted Manager for CE. "Mission success leads to team success. Our members work hard and we're happy that they can be recognized for that effort." Winning the Deneke Award served as an extra bonus to the CE team's morale; members can now feel how much they are a part of the bigger picture. Lt. Col. Keith Hodsden, the CE Squadron Commander, emphasized the importance of the team members who perform their duties and meet their goals every day.
"I always tell my leadership staff that every member of the team is essential," Hodsden said. "If you support them in their mission and their morale, all you need to do is step out of the way and they'll do good work."