An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Jack-of-all-trades: Master of most

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Alexander Krussell, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, structural craftsman, demonstrates metal inert gas welding at Peterson Air Force Base, Jan. 26 2017. Krussell is just one of 19 Airmen assigned to the structural shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Alexander Krussell, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, structural craftsman, demonstrates metal inert gas welding at Peterson Air Force Base, Jan. 26 2017. Krussell is just one of 19 Airmen assigned to the structural shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Alexander Krussell, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, structural craftsman, demonstrates metal inert gas welding at Peterson Air Force Base, Jan. 26 2017. Krussell is just one of 19 Airmen assigned to the structural shop.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Amn. David Gomez, right, and Airmen 1st class David Hungness, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, structural journeymen measuring material before cutting at Peterson Air Force Base, Jan. 26 2017. They made trim for a new office window. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The thermometer reads 10 degrees with light snow falling as Airmen head for work after delayed reporting due to heavy snow the night before. Roads and parking lots are cleared thanks to the Airmen from the 21st Civil Engineering Squadron’s structures shop.

The structures shop individuals have a wide range of skill sets which help them excel in their responsibilities at Peterson Air Force Base. Some of the skill sets include:
• Locksmith
• Masonry
• Welding
• Carpentry
• Sheet rock
• Partial concrete
• Sheet metal work
• Metal fabrication
• Duct work

“The role of the structures shop is to support every mission on base by maintaining the buildings on Peterson Air Force Base,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Krussell, 21st CE structural craftsman, “We help other career fields on base so they accomplish their mission.”

The steel works section of the shop does field repairs as well as in house repairs. They fix the gates when they get damaged and weld gas lines for the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning shop. Steelworks Airmen are trained to accomplish any kind of welding.

“We do metal inert gas and tungsten inert gas, electro arc welding depending on the type of metal,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Price 21st CE structural craftsman, “You can’t weld aluminum the same way you would weld steel. Their bonds are not the same.”

When an F-16 Thunderbird crashed June 2, 2016, in Colorado Springs, the carpenters were tasked to build the saddles that would be put on the trailer to transport the aircraft to the facility that would house it during the investigation.

“We can build anything from the ground up when it comes to carpentry,” said Krussell. “We can build floors, walls, roofs and much more.”

The lock smith maintains every lock on the base for every building and every door. When the Thunderbird was moved the lock smith had to go and change every lock in the building to make sure it was secure.

The airmen assigned to the structures shops not only work in their areas of expertise, they are cut-trained to help out with other departments in CE.

Cut-training is where Airmen are trained in some duties of another career field such as learning how to use heavy equipment.

“The dirt boys are another career field in CE that we work closely with,” said Krussell. “They’re operators of heavy machinery and they train us so we’re able to help them.”

Airmen from the structures shop were sent to Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station to help with cleanup after a devastating flood and mud slide that left debris up to the main portal of the mountain on September 13, 2013.

The shop also helps with snow removal after a heavy snowfall, clearing part of the runway and taxiways, roads and parking lots around the base.

One of the more colorful responsibilities that these airmen have is to maintain all the flags on Peterson. They are the ones who puts up the flags along the boulevards across the base during special occasions, some holidays and replace them when damaged.

The scope of responsibilities here is the reason CE Airmen are called jack-of-all-trades.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui