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News | Aug. 17, 2018

251st CEIG recognized for historic contributions

By Airman 1st Class Amber Mullen

The 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, the 220th Engineering Installation Squadron, and the total force, United States Air Force engineering installation community were recognized for their hard work and accomplishments, August 6, at the U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska.

Over the past five years, the United States Air Force and Air National Guard engineering installation units worked on providing the infrastructure and cable installation for the new USSTRATCOM Command and Control facility. The Command and Control facility is a 1.3 billion dollar weapons system and is the second largest building in the Department of Defense.

“The Command and Control facility is a weapons system that will take our country into the next generation of warfare,” said Vice Admiral David M. Kriete, the deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command.

Airmen with the 251st CEIG were on the forefront of this infrastructure project, which was the largest one in engineering installation history. The 251st CEIG, the 220th EIS and their supporting units sent more than 200 Airmen to support the project. The engineering installation community had over 330 personnel deploy to Offutt Air Force Base from 2013 to 2018 in support of this large construction task.

“We could not have done this without the support from all of our officers and enlisted folks,” said Col. Wade Rupper, the commander of the 251st CEIG.

Service members completed up to six month tours which consisted of 12 to 20 hour days in order to progress the facility to an operable status. The average tour was over 90 days per person. Chief Timothy Day, the project manager assigned to the 220th EIS, was the lead Air National Guard member and worked on the project the longest. Many Airmen returned for more than one tour over the course of the five years.

“We sent the right people to do the right job for America, for the Air Force, and for the Air National Guard,” said Rupper.

USSTRATCOM’s mission is to deter strategic attack and employ forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of our nation and our allies. Through building the new facility, the 251st CEIG was able to provide USSTRATCOM with vital infrastructure to complete their mission effectively.

“We thank each and every member that has gotten us to this point,” said Kriete.

By using the resources of the Air National Guard, the 251st CEIG was able to save USSTRATCOM nearly $250 million as compared to contracting out the project.

The members of the 251st CEIG worked on the project through joint occupancy with internet technology, construction companies and other engineering and installation units. Through the many challenges they faced with the installation process for the new facility, they were able to overcome them and persevere.

“Flexibility has been our greatest asset,” said Rupper. “People thinking on their feet has helped tremendously with this project.”

The Airmen of the 251st CEIG and the engineering installation community demonstrate the Air Force’s core values of service before self and excellence in all we do. These service members demonstrate what it means to be an Airman and serve selflessly.

“What great support we got from Offutt Air Force Base over the last five years,” said Rupper. “This community could not have been supported more than we have here at Offutt.”