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Structures: jack of all trades

  • Published
  • By Chris Willis
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Some artwork is hard to define, but the artwork created by the 341st Civil Engineer Squadron structures shop serves a greater purpose. The shop here at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, is known for being able to create new pieces or replace them on site.

The 341st CES operates, constructs and maintains major facilities valued at $2.2 billion, and missile complex site facilities valued at $1.6 billion covering 13,800 square miles.

"We can do anything maintenance, like putting in a small ceiling tile to putting in a large overhead door into a building," Staff Sgt. Jacob Richey, 341st CES carpenter shop NCO in charge, said.

Civil engineers sometimes have to think outside the box, because many facilities don't always have the same setup.

"You can ask 20 people in the shop to build a picture frame," Gary Lum, 341st CES structures section work leader, said. "You're going to get 20 different frames but all of them will do the job."
The structures shop has personnel made up of civilian and active duty, and encompasses four sub-sections: carpentry, metal, locksmith and sign shop. The shop works on projects ranging from removing huge walls to the little things like making small plaques that require a lot of detail work.

"We can go and do whatever needs to be done wherever it needs to be done, sometimes with limited supplies," Richey, said. "It is like we are a maintenance Swiss army knife."

By providing such a large scale of support, the shop needs to be a jack of all trades.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Morrish, 341st CES metal shop NCO in charge, likes the fact that he is always learning something new.

"What is really fun about our job is you get to practice your hand on many different things," Morrish said. "One day you could be welding or fabricating metal and the next day building a wall."