Expeditionary Engineering Division (CEXX)
The US Air Force is challenged by a variety of threats throughout the world. As a result, it must be prepared to fight battles of great scope, range, and intensity. It must be prepared to counter large modern forces, as well as light forces, insurgents, and sophisticated terrorist groups wherever and whenever they threaten US interests. To meet this wide range of threats, the worldwide air base network must be capable of supporting the projection of air power. Air Force Regulation 93-3 states that combat air operations depend on adequately developed and supported bases. Bases must have adequate facilities and civil engineering resources to launch and recover mission aircraft, support high sortie generation rates, provide essential CS functions, and assist in defending against enemy attack.
The Expeditionary Engineering Division (CEXX) is responsiblie for providing Prime BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Force) and RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer) total force management. This division validates AF Civil Engineer (CE) military wartime requirements, manages CE Unit Type Code(s) (UTC) equipment requirements. In addition, CEXX administers AF Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP); conducts 24-hour readiness response operations and provides contingency training guidance and products; develops Silver Flag Exercise Training Curriculum and plans and hosts Readiness Challenge. RD&A (Research, Development, and Acquisitions) consultation and user technical representation, as well as supporting Readiness Modernization activities and CE capabilities enhancement efforts.
The Expeditionary Engineering division is responsible for managing all Air Force-level Prime BEEF and RED HORSE programs, including technical and standardization issues for active duty, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard. This division also prepares Air Force instructions and pamphlets and coordinates equipment standards for Prime BEEF and RED HORSE current and projected missions. The Expeditionary Engineering division serves in a consulting role in support of the research, development and acquisition program, assisting users in identifying and justifying equipment requirements and validating technical requirements and solutions needed to support worldwide peacetime and contingency operations by all civil engineer forces.
The Expeditionary Engineering division also administers the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP). The contract is designed for sustainment support and can provide all the services and operations inherent in these functional areas including limited aircraft crash-fire-rescue, and explosive ordnance disposal.
As the focal point for CE wartime and peacetime contingency planning, the Expeditionary Engineering division develops and coordinates doctrine, operational procedures and mobility/deployment planning guidance; writes the civil engineer, air base operability portions of the Air Force War and Mobilization Plan; assists major commands in developing, sourcing and posturing in support of theater operations plans; develops planning guidance for bare-base operations; and operates the Civil Engineer Readiness Operations Center in support of worldwide contingency operations.
The Expeditionary Engineering division also develops and revises contingency-related training curricula and systems to ensure all Prime BEEF forces are prepared to perform their wartime mission. It assists in developing training programs for individual and team training at home station, technical training school and special training sites, contingency training products/guidance and Silver Flag curriculum oversight are often key areas the division is responsible for.
The Expeditionary Engineering division serves as the focal point for planning and executing the biennial civil engineer, PERSCO and services wartime execution competition, 'Readiness Challenge.'
The Air Force combat engineer's role is to ensure that the engineering-related aspects of air-base operations are responsive and effective. The following are basic wartime missions of Air Force engineers, as described in Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 1315.6:
- Emergency repair of war damage (includes rapid runway repair (RRR), facility repair, and utility repair).
- Force bed down of Air Force units and weapons systems.
- Operations and maintenance of Air Force facilities and installations.
- Crash rescue and fire suppression.
- Construction management.
- Supply of material and equipment to perform the engineering mission.
To accomplish these missions, Air Force engineers are organized into three basic types of units with complementary wartime missions - RED HORSE units, Prime BEEF units, and Prime Readiness in Base Support (Prime RIBS) units. An engineering and services (E&S) force module combines Prime BEEF and Prime RIBS capabilities to support a flying squadron.
An E&S force module is married to deploying aircraft to the greatest extent possible. The overall objective is to have Prime BEEF CS and Prime RIBS squadrons and teams inextricably bonded to a deploying flying squadron. When a specific Prime BEEF or Prime RIBS CS squadron or team is tied to the home station or other deploying aircraft, that CS squadron or team will be tasked to accompany its flying squadron to the wartime location--regardless of the degree of wartime host-nation support in theater. If a CS squadron or team is not tied to the home station or other deploying aircraft and assured host-nation support is available, the CS squadron or team may be reapportioned to some other wartime location. The basic E&S module consists of 282 people from a 200-person Prime BEEF CS engineering force package, a 48-person Prime BEEF CS fire-fighter force package, and a 34-person Prime RIBS CS force package.
DESERT SHIELD Air Force Construction Support
During Operation DESERT SHIELD, each service was responsible for providing its own engineering capability for receiving and supporting troops. Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, US Air Force elements moved into excellent existing air base facilities and were soon ready for operations. Yet these facilities could not handle the size of the air forces deployed during the crisis -- especially when a second wave of deployments began in November -- without additional engineering support and temporary construction.
The Air Force deployed a Prime BEEF (base emergency engineer force) team with or shortly after almost every flying squadron. These teams of 24 to 200 people specialized in rapid runway repair and force bed-down. They were supplemented in the theater by one and a half RED HORSE (rapid engineer deployable, heavy operational repair squadrons, engineer) civil engineering squadrons. Each RED HORSE squadron had 400 people and could complete major construction projects.
Prime BEEF, RED HORSE, and Prime RIBS (readiness in base services) teams, the key elements of base support, accommodated 1,200 aircraft and 55,000 Air Force personnel at more than 25 locations. The 3,700 engineers and 1,450 service personnel in these units erected air-conditioned tents, dining facilities, showers, and latrines; established water and electrical systems; constructed air traffic control structures and aircraft shelters; and extended runways, ramps, and aprons. During the Gulf War, they erected more than 5,000 tents; paved more than 2 million square feet to expand aircraft parking areas; and constructed 39 munitions storage, maintenance, and other facilities.
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