Kadena Civil Engineers earn top Air Force honors Published Jan. 13, 2009 By Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon 18th Wing Public Affairs KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Kadena's 18th Civil Engineer Group was awarded the Major General Robert H. Curtin Award as the most outstanding civil engineer unit in the Air Force. Competing in the large unit category, the 18th CEG, which is comprised of the 18th and 718th Civil Engineer Squadrons, won the most prestigious award in the civil engineer community. It was also the second year in a row that the Group was named best in PACAF. The list of accomplishments for the Group is impressive. From overseeing the largest concentration of military housing in the entire Air Force, to managing the completion of the new Ryukyu Middle School to initiating projects that will save the Wing millions of dollars in energy costs over the next 20 years, the 18th CEG kept the base running and able to support the 18th Wing's combat mission. The 18th CEG contributed to the wing's warfighting readiness by conducting combat skills training in support of deployments to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, deploying its members worldwide in support of contingency operations and providing critical ATSO training to Wing members in preparation for the March 2008 operational readiness inspection. The Group boosted the morale and quality of life of base residents by completing upgrades and improvement projects on the airfield, in the dormitories, work centers, child development centers and Okuma, among many others. "It is very tough to win this prestigious [PACAF] award in any given year," said Col. Richard Jarvis, 18th Civil Engineer Group commander. "But to do so in back-to-back years is a testament to the pride, effort, and excellence our men and women put into their critical jobs." Additionally, the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron won the Major General Clifton D. Wright Award for the most outstanding CE Operations Flight in the Air Force. Two members of the 18th CES were also recognized for their individual efforts. Randy Kimura from the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Controls Shop won the most outstanding CE Civilian Manager while Donald Anderson from the Alarms Shop was named the most outstanding CE Civilian Technician in the Air Force. The commander of the 18th CES expressed his pride in the accomplishments of his squadron, and the 18th CEG as a whole. "There is no higher level award," said Lt. Col. Michael Mendoza, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "We are the best." "I couldn't be prouder of the men and women of the 718th CES," said Lt. Col. David Wilder, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "I am glad the Air Force recognized what we already knew, that we are the best CE unit out there." At the Pacific Air Forces level, Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Hanneford won the Major General Joseph A. Ahearn Enlisted Leadership Award and Rexford Bellville won the National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year Award in the civilian category. Colonel Jarvis said that "one squadron can't do it alone. It is the combined effort of our 718th CES and 18th CES superstars that make this achievement possible ... I am humbled to have the honor to walk among giants."