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Face of Defense: Airman Keeps Civil Engineering Unit in Afghanistan on Task

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Divine Cox, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Nov. 22, 2017 — Maintaining the structural integrity of an entire airfield is no easy task, and the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron stays busy ensuring the airfield here remains operational at all times.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Beverly Murtiff, the 455th ECES customer service lead, ensures that every job tasker assigned to the squadron gets done.

“I am the central hub for the squadron,” she said. “We take in all of the work orders via email or phone call and deal with all of the customers.”

Murtiff said that along with other additional duties, she was also the unit’s travel representative.

“As the unit travel representative, I organized the arrival and departure of all [civil engineer squadron] airmen,” she said. “I was responsible for making sure the incoming and outgoing personnel were paired up with the correct dates allowing for adequate turnover before departure and I guided them on their out-processing and then submitted paperwork to buy their tickets home.”

Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Akers, 455th ECES first sergeant, said Murtiff has a positive attitude, is professional and performs her duties at a high level in an austere combat environment.

Facilitating Airpower

“It is important that the 455th ECES is here because the squadron facilitates the projection of airpower through its five key competencies,” Akers said. “Current maintenance of the airfield ensures Bagram’s airfield remains operational. Master planning and project and construction management are the foundation for future missions. All this is possible thanks to highly motivated and well-versed subject matter experts like Staff Sgt. Murtiff.”

Hailing from Farmville, Virginia, Murtiff enlisted into the Air Force on Sept. 15, 2001.

“I joined the delayed enlistment program in 2000 and was supposed to go to basic training on the morning of Sept. 11,” she said, “but the World Trade Center attack happened and I didn't end up leaving until the fifteenth.”

Newly married, Murtiff is deployed from the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron out of Beale Air Force Base, California, and is on her third deployment away from home.

“My first was Tallil Air Base, Iraq, in 2003 and my second was al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates, in 2014-2015,” she said. “Deploying is my job; it’s what I signed up for. I serve in the military and I know that deployments are a normal occurrence and I will do whatever I am called to do.”

Mission

The 455th ECES mission is to provide impeccable airfield maintenance, construction and operation for the senior airfield authority through five key competencies: airfield pavements, lighting and infrastructure, aircraft arresting system maintenance, engineering, master planning and survey support, project and construction management, and force protection escorts.

Murtiff said her job is important because the customer service section is where the jobs begin.

“Without the customer service section, a lot of things would not be taken care of on their own and not centralized into one location,” she said.

“My favorite part about my job is all of the people,” Murtiff said. “We have a great team here in our squadron and on this rotation. I am looking forward to finishing it out with all of them.”
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