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27SOCES participates in ENMU homecoming
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Hanson, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron structural journeyman, marks off measurements on a strip of repurposed metal while constructing a float at the 27 SOCES shop at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept. 24, 2012. The float was made for entry into Eastern New Mexico University’s homecoming parade in Portales, N.M. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Whitney Tucker)
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27SOCES participates in ENMU homecoming

Posted 10/1/2012   Updated 10/1/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Whitney Tucker
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

10/1/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Members of the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron rallied together to construct a float and show their community spirit during Eastern New Mexico University's homecoming parade in Portales, N.M., Sept. 29.

The float, which was constructed in a matter of days, depicted ENMU's Greyhound Stadium in the various stages of conception as imagined by Air Commandos from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

"We designed the float to take observers through all the phases of production," said Staff Sgt. James Pipher, 27 SOCES structural craftsman. "Each section represents a different phase from draft and design, to construction and completion."

"Divided into eight-by-eight sections, the first portion of the float was decorated with a desk to symbolize planning and coordination," Pipher continued. "Next, we used heavy machinery to represent the construction phase. For the last section, we built a small model of what the finished product would look like and included aspects such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning."

In addition to building and debuting their creation in record-breaking fashion, the 27 SOCES team was able to manufacture the float using recycled materials from their work center.

"Just as this float will be deconstructed and reused, we gathered supplies from preexisting projects," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Perry, 27 SOCES structural craftsman. "From planks of wood to scraps of metal and foam, we were able to create a float we could be proud of, while putting old bits and pieces of material to good use."

Joining their fellow Air Commandos for the weekend's festivities, Airmen from various agencies clambered onto floats, vintage automobiles and fire engines of all shapes, sizes and affiliations to demonstrate their enthusiasm for Cannon's civilian neighbors.

The importance of continually striving to strengthen the bonds between Air Commandos and members of the local community was aptly demonstrated as the two collided in a melting pot of military and civilian agencies from all walks of life.

"We constructed this float to represent the Society of American Military Engineers, the 27 SOCES and to rally behind our friends in the local community," Pipher said. "Though a float covered in service members may seem out of place at a college homecoming parade, it is a physical representation that we stand together."

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