Architects of excellence: 434th CES wins outstanding unit award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexis Morris

The 434th Civil Engineer Squadron was recently awarded the 2023 Major General Robert H. Curtin Award (Air Reserve Component).

Named after a prominent former director of civil engineering for the U.S. Air Force, the award strives to recognize the best CE squadrons each year at three distinct levels across the department: active duty small unit, active duty large unit and air reserve component. This year, Team Grissom edged out competition from across the force, including the Air National Guard’s 177th Civil Engineer Squadron, Atlantic City International Airport, New Jersey, who was named runner-up for the reserve component category.

“I’m super proud of our team and what we do,” said Senior Master Sgt. Edward Black, 434th CES operations superintendent. “I think we built a good reputation within [Air Force Reserve Command] and have continuously been able to have a bigger footprint. That’s a big deal and it couldn’t happen without the guys and girls of this unit.”

With manpower generated by over 250 military and civilian personnel, the squadron’s 2023 proved to be anything but static. Between designing and executing a $75M airfield renovation project, conserving over 3,000 trees to maintain the base’s long-standing status as a National Arbor Day Tree City and mobilizing 62 Airmen to provide engineering support to four combatant commands, the Hoosier Wing-based team exemplified the “ingenuity, talent and relentless dedication required” to be chosen for the award, according to Headquarters Air Force’s Office of the Director of Civil Engineers.

While they were acknowledged for their win during the 2023 Air Force Civil Engineer Functional Awards Banquet at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, on March 6, 2024, the squadron anticipates to have the award in-hand within the weeks to come – a physical reminder of the unit’s excellence and fortitude.