Airmen with the Civil Engineer Squadron of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) assisted in building a fish-cleaning station for Camp American Legion Sept. 17-25.
Camp American Legion is located in the lush, northern woods of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The camp features activities such as swimming, boating, and hiking with a main objective of providing Wisconsin veterans and their families a place to relax, regenerate, rehabilitate, and reintegrate as a family.
The 128th ARW Civil Engineer Squadron has participated in Camp American Legion projects since 2014. This year, they returned to the camp, alongside volunteers from Oshkosh Defense LLC, to build a fish-cleaning station on the shores of Lake Big Carr.
In July 2016, the Airmen prepped the site by installing a septic tank, drain systems and a concrete slab foundation. In September, the Airmen returned to the site to begin building the structure. The dimensions of the station are 13 feet high by 16 feet deep. Other features of the station include a push-button, handicap-accessible front door, a stainless-steel fish-cleaning station with hanging hoses and electrical outlets, and other building materials. Local community businesses and other charitable funds donated the construction materials and supplies for the project.
Senior Master Sgt. Kyle Fugar, a member of the Civil Engineer Squadron since 2002, worked on the project alongside his civilian coworkers of Oshkosh Defense LLC. In his civilian career, Fugar is an energy manager with the company.
"To be able to support the camp and other veterans is an awesome and worthwhile experience," Fugar said. "It was also a great opportunity to involve my co-workers from Oshkosh Defense to volunteer alongside my squadron and learn the firsthand aspects of our mission capabilities."
Along with helping a charitable foundation, this real-world construction project also benefited Airmen because it provided an opportunity for interactive job training.
"I'm gaining knowledge and even going beyond my own Air Force job skills, while also helping veterans and their families," said Airman 1st Class Michael Thanscheidt, also a Civil Engineer Squadron member.
Whether installing siding, repairing piping or building a structure, the 128th ARW Civil Engineer Squadron is a skilled team that strives to use its capabilities and training opportunities to benefit the community.
"This was another success of the Civil Engineering team that excels from the experienced Airmen down to our newest additions," said Lt. Col. Heath Duncan, 128th ARW Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "These are the kind of projects that truly resound with people — ones where we not only learn and develop skills, but also give back and make a tangible difference where it's needed."