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Snow Patrol’s off-season

Snow Patrol’s off-season

Snow plow equipment sit in melting snow at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, March 19, 2019. As the weather warms up, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron "dirt boyz" stop plowing snow and begin maintaining the roads and security fencing around the base and missile field buildings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers)

Snow Patrol’s off-season

From left, Senior Airman Christopher Crowe and Airman 1st Class Jonathan Burtick, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and constuction equipment journeyman and apprentice, respectively, change a road grater's cutting edge at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, March 19, 2019. The road grater peels ice off the ground in order to clear streets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers)

Snow Patrol’s off-season

Senior Airman Christopher Crowe, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and constuction equipment journeyman, uses a K-12 saw to cut concrete at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, March 19, 2019. Pavement and construction equipment Airmen, also known as "dirt boyz", take care of snow removal during the winter and security fencing and pavement throughout the base and missile field buildings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Throughout winter, everyone knows that roads and parking lots are plowed, but what do the Airmen in the shop do when the snow begins to melt?

The 5th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and construction equipment crew, also known as ‘Dirt Boyz’, does a whole lot more than just plowing snow.

“Around this time of the year [when the snow is melting], we’re filling in a lot of potholes since all the water can break the roads,” said Senior Airman Christopher Crowe, 5 CES pavement and construction equipment journeyman. “We also do airfield maintenance, among many other jobs.”

While melting snow creates issues around base, the crew knows how to best keep the base up-and-running.

“Clearing storm drains are important since there can be flooding from frozen drains,” said Staff Sgt. Reuben Krueger, 5 CES pavement and construction equipment craftsman. “We also take care of the missile field. Right now, we’re doing flood mitigation by getting rid of all the snow.”

Since flooding can occur throughout the missile field, the Dirt Boyz remove any snow that, when melted, can cause the facility to flood and create many problems. During the other seasons, they fix the fencing around each site and take care of the roads both on-site and nearby.
 
“Our main mission is to keep the airfield and missile facilities open,” said Krueger.

The Dirt Boyz work around-the-clock to ensure all snow is taken care of through the winter. Once summer hits, they care for the roads, fencing and any other pavement and construction jobs that arise.

“I like the variety; there’s so many different things to do,” said Krueger. “Sometimes, it’s something different every day and there’s always problems that need to be solved and fixed. We’re here to make sure that happens.”
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