99th CES wins Readiness Challenge IX

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Megan Estrada
  • 57th Wing Public Affairs

The 99th Civil Engineer Squadron represented Air Combat Command and won the ninth iteration of the Air Force CE Readiness Challenge. The challenge took place at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, between April 18-22, 2023.

The Readiness Challenge is a capstone event to test the readiness of Air Force Civil Engineers across the full spectrum of Integrated Base Response and Recovery operations.

“Readiness Challenge is the most realistic training our Airmen will get in preparation for combat operations,” said Brig. Gen. William Kale, AFCEC commander. “With events like these, we’re prioritizing Airman readiness, ensuring the Air and Space Force lethality.”

This competition enables squadrons like the 99th CES to dig into their skill sets and continue to build on their ability to adapt and function in a challenging and degraded environment in preparation for the pacing fight in the Pacific.

“Combat readiness is never an issue with the 99th CES, but this challenge provided an added level of pressure to assess how the squadron will perform while operating in a contested and resource-constrained environment,” said Col. Joshua DeMotts, 99th Air Base Wing commander. "Our Diamondbacks crushed it during this Readiness Challenge and I could not be prouder of their effort and enthusiasm to get after the pacing challenge this week. The 99th continues to be laser-focused on the high-end fight because we know China is getting ready for us. We must do everything we can to be ready for them.”

Eight teams and 300 competitors from major commands around the world competed in the CE Readiness Challenge's IBRR exercises. The challenge evaluated each team's capacity to carry out crucial operations in a simulated combat environment.

“We trained intensely for this challenge and came to win. We had chemistry, work ethic, communication, and skill. I have the utmost respect for everyone here,” said Capt. Austin Kelly, 99th CES readiness and emergency management flight commander. “It has been an honor to represent and lead the 99th CES Airmen.”

CE spent months preparing and practicing for this challenge, and their efforts were rewarded when they placed first in the competition.

“Teamwork, that’s how we won. We had a 41-person team that came together and used their individual talents to elevate our group with seamless cohesion,” said Tech. Sgt. John Seaton, 99th CES Metals Shop noncommissioned officer in charge. “Time to fill up that trophy case at the 99th CES!”