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By Kristian DePue, Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
/ Published March 02, 2022
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dylan Yarbrough, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and construction equipment journeyman, is recognized as the “Wingman Leader Warrior” for February 2022, Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado. Yarbrough’s work contributes to the success of the Space Force and Air Force missions by ensuring essential facilities and travel networks remain functional and safe. Yarbrough and the 50th CES do their job so that others at Schriever SFB may do theirs. (U.S. Space Force Photo by LeKendrick Stallworth)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dylan Yarbrough is a pavements and construction equipment journeyman with the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron. With the 50th CES, Yarbrough maintains over $1 billion in property, ensuring suitable infrastructure and uninterrupted utilities in support of more than 190 Department of Defense satellites.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he spent most of his childhood in Cheyenne, Wyoming, as his father was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
“My father, M.K. Yarbrough, retired from the Air Force as a master sergeant in security forces after 21 years of service,” said Yarbrough. “I had a good up-bringing with parents who I credit for me becoming the person I am today.”
As of February, Yarbrough has been in the USAF for four years; he’s been stationed at Schriever Space Force Base since October 2019. Prior to joining the Air Force, the Yarbrough worked various jobs.
“I had no real interest in the jobs I worked,” he said. “I never made more than minimum wage but had no desire to move up in the organizations. I didn't have money for school to take me to a higher role or better career. I was lacking a sense of purpose and wanted to do something meaningful, something with value.”
The 50th CES provides fire and environmental protection; project planning and construction management; contingency planning and disaster response, and much more. The personnel assigned to the 50th CES continue the fine tradition of outstanding performance, garnering recognition and awards since the unit activated in 1992.
The members of the 50th CES get dirty and operate heavy machinery, earning the nickname, “Dirt Boyz.”
“In Colorado, a large part of my responsibilities are snow and ice control — operating snow removal equipment such as plows and push boxes, and the utilization of de-icing materials to ensure safe travel on base,” said Yarbrough. “Other duties involve planning, construction, maintenance, and repair of all travel networks, drainage systems, fences, signs and more. We also support other civil engineers with our heavy equipment capabilities.”
Yarbrough’s work is important to keep the garrison’s mission alive by providing the maintenance, service and improvements needed to ensure safety and functionality of the facilities the mission requires.
“I get to play with Tonka Trucks in real life,” said Yarbrough. “Who wouldn't enjoy that? I like that the results of my work leave behind something observable. Most of all, though, it's the community. The civil engineer and Dirt Boyz community is family. We’re all close and take care of each other. We get dirty together, and after a long day of hard work, we laugh and smile about it together. To me, that's the most important thing.”
“Senior Airman Yarbrough directly contributes to the garrison’s mission as a heavy equipment operator assuring roads are safe,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Levi Blair, 50th CES pavements & equipment non-commissioned officer in charge. “Yarbrough is responsible for ensuring preventative maintenance is complied with. Additionally, he directs a 12-person, $2.5 million equipment fleet in the removal of snow and ice from three million square feet of pavements, ensuring the safety of Team Schriever and 24/7 space operation superiority.”
As Yarbrough’s direct supervisor, Blair continued:
“The Senior Airman has worked ahead of his rank for many years. His drive, attention to detail, and ability to lead is second to none. He’s consistently demonstrated his ability to work outside his comfort zone to lead peers and make the mission successful. There is never a doubt when something needs done, he will make it happen.”
When asked how serving in the USAF has impacted him as a person, Yarbrough said:
“The Air Force has changed me for the better. For starters, it gave me a sense of pride and purpose, which I was missing before joining. Also, I lacked structure and discipline, and I now see how important those characteristics are — now that I've learned them. Communication skills, organizational skills, learning a trade, adopting the Air Force core values, and the list goes on.”