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21 CES holds open house for families of Airmen

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 21st Civil Engineer Squadron wanted to provide resources and a community to 21 CES Airmen who were preparing to deploy, civilians and their families, so they hosted an open house for 21 CES at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 13, 2018. Some 21 CES Airmen and civilians brought their families to the open house, where kids could play on the bounce house, see the fire trucks and how an explosive ordinance disposal robot works. (Courtesy photo)

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 21st Civil Engineer Squadron held their first open house for 21 CES Airmen, civilians and their families at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 13, 2018. Part of the open house included a barbecue cook-off, where nine judges voted on the best barbecue. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Firetrucks, a barbecue cook-off, a bounce house and robots was the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron’s recipe for success at their first open house at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 13, 2018.

The overall goal of the open house was to bring all Airmen and civilians from the 21 CES shops and flights together to meet each other and have a fun day with their friends and families.

“I think the challenge of being such a big squadron is that the flights and shops don’t do enough with everyone together,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Phillips, 21 CES commander. “The open house was our way of saying, ‘Hey, you’re not a plumber or explosive ordinance disposal guy, you’re in CES, which includes everybody and hopefully that message came across.

“The open house had brand new Airmen to civilians and everybody in-between. That was the theme: everybody has a seat at the table.”

Key spouses and helping agencies were also available to educate and inform 21 CES Airmen being deployed and their families on the resources available to them.

“The Airman & Family Readiness Center, the legal office, the finance office —those types of helping agencies came to the open house,” Phillips said. “The agencies went around to each table, sat down with the Airmen and their families and had one-on-one talks with them.”

Around 100 guests came to the open house. This number isn’t including Airmen or civilians, said Phillips and Owen Graff, 21 CES unit program coordinator.

“The biggest highlight of the event was bringing the squadron together as a family,” said Graff. “The support that everybody has for each other was also a highlight. The helping agencies were fantastic for taking time out of their day to come and provide valuable information to not just people that are deploying but also to their family members.”

Phillips said this event also allowed families to gain a better understanding of what their parent or spouse does every day at work.

“This was an opportunity for us to showcase all the things we do around the base and how important mom or dad is to make sure the mission happens,” Phillips said.

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