Habitat for Humanity of Guam partners with the 114th Fighter Wing
By Staff Sgt. Luke Olson, 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 04, 2016
GUAM -- Airmen from the 114th Fighter Wing deployed to the U.S. territory of Guam to assist Habitat for Humanity of Guam(HFHG) on the construction of two single family homes in Inarajan, July 9-25, 2016.
This type of mission is a first for both HFHG and the 114th FW and is brought together by a civil-military Innovative Readiness Training program created by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
"The Habitat organization has chapters in our communities across the United States, so hopefully more exposure to what they do can enhance our member's participation moving forward," said Maj. Jody W. Page, 114th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. "The Air National Guard teaches them valuable skills in homebuilding that are exactly what is needed from the volunteers that make projects such as these possible."
The IRT program provides real world training opportunities for our service members and units to prepare them for wartime missions while supporting the needs of America's underserved and non-profit communities.
"The IRT and its partnership with Air National Guard units has been a blessing to HFHG and has created a positive impact on the Island of Guam and communities by providing hope at the opportunity of more affordable housing," said Alicia Aguon, native of Guam and HFHG executive director. "It's such a great program to allow service members to get the training they need and go out into the community to provide that 'hand-up' and assist less fortunate people in the communities of Guam."
The HFHG has produced 22 homes from 1994 to date. This year alone they have produced two homes through national and local channels and the partnership with IRT is helping them build two additional homes as well. This progress has opened the door for not only more housing in Guam, but also for additional jobs within the organization which will help expand their reach to the less fortunate.
"After the completion and partnership of this IRT project, HFHG will get to compete with all of the other affordable housing programs nationwide," said Aguon. "The national reach is very important to provide more potential funding to possibly open up a supply warehouse and/or ReStore in the future, similar to what HFH has done on the mainland."
The mission consists of providing a real world construction training environment for four Civil Engineer Squadrons from the ANG: 102 CES, 114 CES, 134 CES, and 143 CES from June to mid-September to complete the project. The 114th CES handled the third phase of the house build.
During their portion of the house build, the members of the 114th CES had the opportunity to support HFHG and sharpen many different skills throughout their Air Force Specialties including: masonry, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, pavements and grounds, and project management.
"The typical goal is to get as much Air Force Specialty Code training in as we can during our annual training," said Maj. Page. "One of the greatest things about these civil engineer projects is that we get to complete this hands on training while providing a lasting benefit to a military installation or community."
In addition to the deployment mission at hand, Page made a point to integrate physical fitness, learning about the culture and military history of Guam into the Airmen's time away from the job site.
"We have a lot of young Airmen and these deployments for training can provide tremendous benefits for team building and retention efforts," said Page.