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Dirt boys pave their way
"Dirt Boys" from the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron spread concrete on an area during a project at an air base in Southwest Asia, June 15. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Liliana Moreno)
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Getting dirty in the desert

Posted 6/24/2011   Updated 7/5/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Veronica McMahon
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

6/24/2011 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Getting dirty has always been a favorite pastime for kids growing up. Whether it is driving trucks, building sand castles at the beach, or sinking their boots in the mud, children usually welcome the idea of playing in the dirt.

For some people, childhood fun translates to their deployed military mission.

Roughly 20 Airmen here in the desert spend their days getting dirty - they are called the 'Dirt Boyz.' Belonging to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, this group of Airmen are responsible for many dirty and sometimes dangerous jobs around base and the flightline.

"We get into a little bit of everything," said Master Sgt. Adrian Roth, 379th ECES Dirt Boyz NCO in charge. "Working with heavy equipment and laying pavement are some of the main things we do. But since we've been here some other things we've done (are) assisted laying high voltage lines for new dorms, repaired parts of the airfield, placed all barriers for force protection and dug all the trenches on base."

The Dirt Boyz typically begin their shift with a briefing on the day's jobs. Then they get to work.

"After we meet with the boss we go out and battle the heat or whatever weather it is outside," said Airman 1st Class Daniel Konik, 379th ECES Dirt Boy. "No matter the weather, we are getting dirty, sweaty and getting the job done. It's all part of being a dirt boy."

"Many of these guys grew up doing dirt work," Sergeant Roth said. "So working out here together is doing what they enjoy."

"Operating equipment is definitely my favorite," Airman Konik said. "That's why I love this career field. I've been into trucks since I was a little guy."

Airman Konik said he even finds driving the bulldozer around the rubble somewhat soothing, and feels right at home. He, along with his peers, says he would do no other job than this.

Whether they're laying concrete or clearing a storage area, the team members work together to accomplish the tasks quickly and professionally.

"These guys are good," Sergeant Roth said of his crew. "They come into work with a smile everyday without complaining. They all work together to get the job done."

"I love this career field," said Staff Sgt. Kory Peterson, 379th ECES Dirt Boy. "This job gives me a sense of accomplishment. While deployed we get a lot more work than I do in the states and I think it's good because it gives a lot of these young guys some good experience."

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