Air Force civil engineers contributed to all aspects of military activities throughout the decade. Air Force civil engineers were among the first responders at ground zero on September 11, 2001. They supported bases from which combat air patrols were launched during ONE. By the end of October 2001, Air Force civil engineers were on the ground in the countries surrounding Afghanistan to bed down troops involved in OEF and deployed into Afghanistan itself to build forward bases. Air Force civil engineers also were in place early in Southwest Asia (SWA) building and maintaining forward bases needed to support OIF. During the early phases of combat, more than 4,500 Air Force civil engineers\ deployed to the area of responsibility (AOR). They expanded 10 existing bases and established 12 new bases to accommodate troops and aircraft needed for the fight.19 Air Force civil engineers continued to support these long-term military commitments throughout the decade. They also served in new roles in combat situations as airborne RED HORSE, supporting Army personnel as “in lieu of” forces, and as expeditionary Prime BEEF units. Air Force civil engineers also were active in rebuilding missions and served worldwide on Air Force civil engineers served as advisors and instructors in setting up new emergency services and military units in Afghanistan and Iraq. No longer were Air Force civil engineers necessarily deployed with their units to erect tent cities to support Airmen and aircraft; by 2010, 53 percent of deployed Air Force civil engineers were tasked to joint expeditionary forces.
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