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Civil Engineer Squadron finishes construction rotation at Crow Reservation

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Kern, an electrical power production specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, attaches drywall to the ceiling during annual training in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Kern, an electrical power production specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, attaches drywall to the ceiling during annual training in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

A welcome sign is pictured in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, traveled to Montana to help build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

A welcome sign is pictured in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, traveled to Montana to help build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Corey Buerkman, an engineering craftsman with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, cuts ceramic floor tile in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Corey Buerkman, an engineering craftsman with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, cuts ceramic floor tile in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Boen, a pavement and construction equipment specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, trims siding during annual training in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Boen, a pavement and construction equipment specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, trims siding during annual training in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Benjamin Reed, the operations management superintendent with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, updates the unit’s construction progress on a situation report in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Benjamin Reed, the operations management superintendent with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, updates the unit’s construction progress on a situation report in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Stevn Henke, left, a section sergeant, and Spc. Dan Rose, a concrete and masonry specialist, both with the 230th Vertical Engineer Company, Montana Army National Guard, cut drywall in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The soldiers teamed up with the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron to help build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Stevn Henke, left, a section sergeant, and Spc. Dan Rose, a concrete and masonry specialist, both with the 230th Vertical Engineer Company, Montana Army National Guard, cut drywall in Crow Agency, Mont., July 24, 2017. The soldiers teamed up with the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron to help build homes for Native American veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Drew Foes, an electrical power production specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, applies drywall compound over screw heads in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Drew Foes, an electrical power production specialist with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, applies drywall compound over screw heads in Crow Agency, Mont., July 27, 2017. The squadron helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

Airmen and soldiers with U.S. National Guard pose for a group photo in Crow Agency, Mont., Aug. 4, 2017. The Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, augmented by 182nd Force Support Squadron services specialists, 182nd Medical Group medics and soldiers with the Montana Army National Guard’s 230th Vertical Engineer Company, helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

Airmen and soldiers with U.S. National Guard pose for a group photo in Crow Agency, Mont., Aug. 4, 2017. The Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, augmented by 182nd Force Support Squadron services specialists, 182nd Medical Group medics and soldiers with the Montana Army National Guard’s 230th Vertical Engineer Company, helped build homes for Crow Nation veterans as part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training civil-military relations program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)

CROW AGENCY, Mont. --

Thirty-five Airmen with the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron completed their two-week annual training constructing homes for Crow Tribe veterans Aug. 6 in Crow Agency, Montana.

The Peoria-based squadron provided services including drywall, windows, doors, siding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and HVAC to four partially completed homes, two new homes and 10 remodels.

“All the homes we’re building right now are all for veterans, so they’ve all served in one of the military services here for us,” said Master Sgt. Ben Reed, the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron’s project operation superintendent. “So, this is just a way for us to give back to the community and take care of our veterans in a new spot, in a new location throughout the country.”

The squadron was one of several units that participated in the Crow Reservation project made possible by the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program, a civil-military relations cooperative.

According to irt.defense.gov, the training initiative supports military readiness while also providing quality services to U.S. communities.

“It involves taking a unit and providing a training program to go out to local communities to provide a service to the local community and also quality training to our guys,” said Reed.

The program not only serves as a way to give back to the community, but as a unique training environment.

“This trip is a huge benefit in terms of [Air Force Specialty Code] training. It’s really difficult to get this level of training on station on a weekend basis,” said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Gunther, the squadron’s chief enlisted manager. “But what really motivates these guys and what really makes them happy is to actually do their job, and this is where they get to do it.”

The assignment, what Gunther said he considers a humanitarian operation, paralleled the Air National Guard’s mission to be the first choice in homeland operations.

“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to provide housing for some of the local citizens of the reservation. Hopefully, it’s going to provide housing for six families, and they’re going to be able to enjoy the new homes for them and their families,” he said.

The 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron served on the second-to-last rotation. The IRT’s “Montana Crow Tribe Housing 2017” assignment began in May and is scheduled to finish in August.

For more information on the Innovative Readiness Training program, please visit http://irt.defense.gov.