LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Senior Airman Hernan Sandoval, 47th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer journeyman, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of July, 9, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.
Sandoval, from Brownsville, Texas, helps create and update maps of Laughlin, encompassing more than 5,000 acres of land and approximately 800 facilities.
“We do the surveying around base to assist with projects and [update] our data, which we use to create up-to-date maps,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval went above and beyond for his unit by filling a NCO position for more than a month, leading a team of three and closing 25 work orders. Among other tasks, he managed the set-up of three thousand feet of fence to make the 2018 Fiesta of Flight open house and airshow a safer place.
“This was the first time I was put in charge of leading a shop for more than two or three days at a time,” Sandoval said. “We are definitely low-manned, but regardless of the situation, we still need to close out every work request that we take in. Some deadlines were a little tougher to meet than others, but we managed to get everything done through the hard work and determination my fellow Airmen were able to put in.”
His primary duty was to ensure his fellow Airmen were taken care of, and he assisted them when necessary.
Sandoval also aided the 47th CES with was a project that required him to measure how much water had been added to the base’s golf course pond from an unauthorized source. He surveyed the pond and estimated 227,000 gallons was added, which increased the amount of pond water by five percent.
“Our golf ponds on this installation are our water overflow backups and having too much water in them prevents us from knowing how much water can be captured in those ponds,” Sandoval said.
Another project the 47th CES undertook with the help of the health promotion coordinator was the revising of the designated tobacco areas (DTA) on base. According to Sandoval, Air Force installations must remain up-to-date on rules and regulations concerning where the use of tobacco products are permitted. Sandoval believes the 47th CES and the health promotion coordinator are teaming up to make Laughlin a healthier place through the relocation of DTA.
Along with completing his day-to-day tasks, Sandoval helped his unit eliminate training gaps, benefitting 53 other engineers. He is also a member of the base honor guard, where he performs in details and helps train other members.
Sandoval said being awarded the XLer was, beyond all else, motivation to him.
“It was motivation to keep me going, and to keep striving to be the best Airman I can be. I will continue to help who I can, when I can and however I can,” said Sandoval.