JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST– Turning an active runway into a mile-long air stage overnight may seem like a daunting task, but it’s all in a day’s work for members of the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Just hours prior to the event, civil engineering craftsman will place more than 5,300 feet of barrier wall, 7,600 feet of stanchion rope and 1,125 feet of snow fence on the flighline–transforming the airfield into the 2012 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Open House & Air Show.
“This represents the culmination of what the public expects of the military,” said 1st Lt. Allen Vaughn, chief of operations support for CE. “It’s us bringing everything together seamlessly, having everything put in place while being responsible and timely.”
The squadron’s responsibilities for the open house might best be compared to a department of public works, health department and communication’s hub rolled into one, Their goal is provide all of the infrastructure support needed to handle the more than 300,000 anticipated attendees throughout the two-day event.
In the interest of public health, crews will place hand-washing stations and hand-sanitation stations throughout the event grounds. Teams have also been designated to oversee the safe preparation of food from vendors
“We are also working closely with our bio-environmental teams to test and treat all of the drinking water so that it’s clean and safe for the public to drink,” said Vaughn.
This year’s open house and air show is the first since 2008. JB MDL is hosting the event to thank the local community for their continued support and celebrate more than 95 years of defending our nation’s air, land and sea.
Every branch of service on base will be present to engage with the community and explain the way they fit into the “joint base puzzle.” Community members will get a first-hand glimpse at the joint base’s warfighting capabilities and total-force integration.
“The biggest challenge is really bringing all of these little pieces together to make the big picture,” said Vaughn. “We want the picture to show how we can combine our assets with those of our local community and showcase the true joint base story, and we’re on track to do just that,” said Vaughn.
Community members from the tri-state area are invited to view the world-renowned Air Force Thunderbirds flying team, the U.S. Army’s premier parachute team, the Golden Knights, and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force assault demonstration, which includes F/A-18 Hornets, CH-53 Super Stallions, and AH-1W Cobras with Pyro who will rock the flight line with large explosives as part of a simulated assault.
Visit www.jbmdlopenhouse.com for more information.
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