AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
From flight planning to preparing for the construction of new buildings, the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron’s geobase professionals ensure Airmen from a variety of career fields are able to perform their jobs with precision.
Staff Sgt. Arich Bosshart, 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron geobase NCO in charge, and Senior Airman Jessica Kraus, 379th ECES geobase technician, provide the cartography skills needed to produce detailed maps, here.
“Point blank, you can’t complete a mission if you don’t have a map,” said Bosshart. “Whatever you need, we do our best to get it done. For our airfield maps, we can add areas that show where planes are going to land, where they’ll take-off, the distances between different kinds of transitional surfaces … whatever you need we’ll be able to put it on the map and get it to the customer.”
Thanks to geospatial information system equipment, automated computer-aided design and drafting software, and the technical know-how, these two can craft maps down to the millimeter.
“We have what’s called a ‘common installation picture’ that they manage,” said Master Sgt. Charles Stubblebine, 379th ECES engineer flight superintendent. “That provides all the planning details for all of the construction that happens on the installation. We can’t even start a construction project unless you have data to analyze. They are responsible for making sure that data is accurate. It really provides the foundation for getting the planning started.”
Bosshart and Kraus collect data such as: elevation, latitude, longitude, and existing infrastructure obstacles that could affect a new structure. Without the data they provide, problems could arise during a project.
“If you just went out and said ‘hey, we want to put this structure here,’ without our data you could end up putting it on top of a water line,” said Kraus. "If that water line breaks under the building you have to rip the whole building up to be able to get to it again. Or, the building is now on uneven ground and you don’t know how to make the ground even because we didn’t go out there and survey it to tell you what level is.”
From updating installation and airfield maps to surveying construction projects, Bosshart and Kraus work together to ensure no detail is overlooked.
“You can go out there with a measuring tape and try to measure it out but chances are you’re not going to get it right,” said Kraus. “If you need something done with precision, our job is the one that will get you precision.”