HomeNewsArticle Display

627th CES finds their way with land nav

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron walk through thick brush on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The team traveled more than 1,500 meters in approximately two hours to reach their three coordinates using a compass, map and azimuth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron walk through thick brush on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The team traveled more than 1,500 meters in approximately two hours to reach their three coordinates using a compass, map and azimuth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron stop to discuss their route back during land navigation training to on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The group of 50 spent three hours in a classroom learning the basics of land navigation including map orientation and grade ordinates prior to putting their training to use. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron stop to discuss their route back during land navigation training to on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The group of 50 spent three hours in a classroom learning the basics of land navigation including map orientation and grade ordinates prior to putting their training to use. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Airmen from the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron hold an azimuth and map during land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The 627th CES typically conducts joint land navigation and convoy training with the Army prior to deployments where they will be working outside the wire, but this time they teamed up with the 627th Security Forces Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Airmen from the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron hold an azimuth and map during land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. The 627th CES typically conducts joint land navigation and convoy training with the Army prior to deployments where they will be working outside the wire, but this time they teamed up with the 627th Security Forces Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. 50 Airmen were split up into nine teams and used a compass and azimuth to navigate to three different coordinates and back to the start. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron conduct land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. 50 Airmen were split up into nine teams and used a compass and azimuth to navigate to three different coordinates and back to the start. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Staff Sgt. Jesse Reyes, 627th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, holds measuring tape prior to the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. More than 50 627th CES Airmen participated in the training here where they learned map orientation, grade ordinates and how to use an azimuth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Staff Sgt. Jesse Reyes, 627th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, holds measuring tape prior to the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s land navigation training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 16, 2017. More than 50 627th CES Airmen participated in the training here where they learned map orientation, grade ordinates and how to use an azimuth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

More than 50 members of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron participated in a land navigation course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 16 as part of their annual training requirement.

The group spent three hours in a classroom learning the basics of land navigation including map orientation and grid coordinates, prior to putting their training to use.

Master Sgt. Justin Cruz, 627th CES readiness and emergency management flight chief, oversaw the training and said the squadron was conducting their monthly Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force also known as Prime BEEF training.

“We do this monthly to prepare us for contingency training,” said Cruz. “Since our job [during a deployment] is to establish bare bases, sustain bases and to reconstitute them, this training keeps us ready to deploy at any time. That way when a tasking comes down, we’re prepared to carry our own weight.”

The 627th CES typically conducts joint land navigation and convoy training with the Army prior to deployments where they will be working outside the wire, but this time they teamed up with the 627th Security Forces Squadron.

For the second part of their training, the groups were supposed to travel 1,500 meters to get to three different coordinates with an expected completion time of approximately two hours.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Reyes, 627th SFS combat arms instructor, taught the land navigation classroom portion to the group as well as oversaw the hands on portion.

“The purpose behind this is to get the basic intent of land navigation, it’s going old school and basically not relying so much on technology,” said Reyes. “Land navigation is a trade and definitely a perishable skill, but it is something everyone should all have a basic knowledge of.”

The hands on portion took approximately two hours and each group successfully reached their coordinates using the knowledge they gained regarding map orientation, a compass and their azimuth, which is their point of direction.  

“The goal today was just to validate the basics learned in the classroom, simply getting from point-A to point-B,” said Reyes.  “The students did well, they oriented the map well, found their starting location from their coordinates and found their way back.”

Cruz said overall the training was very successful.

“I think they did great,” said Cruz. “First off, everyone had a positive attitude and they were all ready and willing to learn something new.”

For some of the Airmen, it was their first time learning land navigation, and it can be quite challenging as they navigate by pace count with a compass, while simultaneously navigating through thick brush in the forest stated Cruz.

“It’s a team effort and fortunately our command team fully supports all of our training and they are constantly trying to get us better resources to do more training,” said Cruz. “Our Airmen are always ready and willing to learn something new. ‘Is there room to grow?’ Always, but these guys always impress me, every day.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.