he Airfield Engineering Section (AES) evolved out of the Base Construction Engineering Section in 1989 as a result of gaining the additional responsibility of Airfield Damage Repair (ADR) with Major Ray Baker assuming command as the AEO from the last BCEO, Lieutenant-Colonel Don MacKinnon. AE maintained the traditional CE roles, which began with the inception of the base in 1953, of infrastructure and ground maintenance, new construction, the provision of utilities, and fire protection, as well as providing a demonstration capability in the wartime role of ADR.
At its peak in 1991, AES had an established strength of 119 military and 205 civilian personnel. AE maintains approximately 600 buildings and facilities, with a replacement value of DM 350 million, and spends in the order of DM 19 million each year in the maintenance and operation of the basic. Between 1988 and 1991, AE received $20 million worth of equipment and vehicles to perform it's ADR role. In 1991 AES established a NATO record in Rapid Runway Repair under the care and guidance of Lieutenant Clem Rouleau and Sergeant Vic Nilson who later accompanied their RAOS (Repair Airfield Operating Surface) Troop to Croatia.
Our personnel and equipment have participated in several major operations over the past two years in Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq and Yugoslavia. During Op Scimitar/Friction, 30 members of AE under command of the AE Ops O, Captain Rick Boivin, the AEO and AESM, deployed to Qatar to provide military engineering support to the deployed units.
Master Corporal Paul Mitchell received the Commander CFE Commendation for his excellent work in Doha. In all the airfield engineers, comprising both construction and field-type, were in high demand throughout and performed exceptionally well. Immediately following the war, members of our EOD Troop deployed to Kuwait to help in the removal of explosive ordnance in and around Kuwait City. Since the war members of the EOD Troop have accompanied UN weapons inspectors to Iraq, to ensure that country's compliance with the UN cease fire agreement. Sergeant Mark Argent and Master Corporal Terry Campbell participated in three such UN tours while Warrant Officer Tom Stewart and Master Corporal Paul Mitchell were among those held hostage for a week during the internationally covered parking lot standoff. InApri11991,41 personnel deployed to Yugoslavia on Ops Harmony along with many of the unit's heavy vehicles in support of 4 CER. The AESM, Master Warrant Officer Jim Harris, gained international recognition for his mine awareness teaching to both civilians and other UN participants while in Croatia.
The section has also gained notoriety over the year for its Wednesday Schnitzel Day and friendly service of Frau Erman Ziegler and Herr "Ziggy" Ziegler behind the counter. Herr Mike Georgi and his Roads and Grounds Stall' have maintained a base appearance that we can all be proud of, not to mention the conduct of daily safety inspections of its runways.
AE will cease to be a section in August, 1993 and at that time will become a detachment of the CE Section in Lahr. The Airfield Engineers salute the Base which it has served faithfully for 40 years. Whether standing long hours in a crash vehicle keeping a watchful eye over hot refueling operations, to planting flowers to enhance the base appearance, replacing a broken toilet or cleaning-up after a devastating wind storm, repairing a torn screen or maintaining the operational integrity of the airfield, the list goes on. The Engineers have been there and have Ben proud to serve. From September -December 93 approximately 100 military and civilian personnel under the command of Captain Kevin Horgan, will remain to ensure the base is handed over to the German government in the same excellent condition it has been maintained in for the past 40 years.