Snow removal crews work 24/7
By Elizabeth McClain, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron
/ Published March 22, 2007
F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. --
During a snowstorm, the 90th Civil Engineer snow removal teams work around-the-clock to ensure all main access roads, parking lots and missile sites are kept clear of snow and ice.
Even with a crew of 31 heavy-equipment operators, there is still not enough manpower to clear all the areas at the same time so priorities are made.
Each September a snow and ice control committee, consisting of unit commanders or their representatives, determine in what order areas will be cleared.
"This December was record breaking with 24 inches of snow fall. The crews put in an average of 30 to 40 hours in overtime alone to keep the base and missile fields clear," said Jeff Evans, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron horizontal shop chief.
Two types of priorities are life support and mission support. Life support refers to keeping the roads passable for emergency people and equipment. Mission support refers to keeping the roads clear for agencies such as the weapons storage area, 37th Helicopter Squadron and missile operations.
The goal is to ensure safe access for all mission requirements during and after snow fall. Military and civilian heavy equipment operators sometimes work long hours, both on base and in the missile field, to make it happen.
When the snowplows and sanders are working around base, it is important to keep in mind a few safety issues. The large snowplows and sanders are not able to stop as quickly as cars do. They also have blind spots that may prevent them from seeing other cars. Snowplows and sanders are equipped with beacon lights and signs warning other drivers to stay back 100 feet.
Adhere to the snow removal route signs that are posted along the streets, and park opposite to the snow-route side of the street.
Housing occupants should keep vehicles off the street when snow removal is needed. The streets in base housing are very narrow, leaving little room for snow removal equipment to operate.