403d Civil Engineering Squadron inactivated at Keesler - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

403d Civil Engineering Squadron inactivated at Keesler

Officials, retirees and personnel used this ceremony as a way to celebrate what the squadron has meant to the base over the past 60 plus years. (Photo source: WLOX) Officials, retirees and personnel used this ceremony as a way to celebrate what the squadron has meant to the base over the past 60 plus years. (Photo source: WLOX)
The 403d Wing CES was inactivated during a ceremony on base.  (Photo source: WLOX) The 403d Wing CES was inactivated during a ceremony on base. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to Sasnett, all of the inactivated members of the squadron have found other positions either in the military, or in civilian jobs. (Photo source: WLOX) According to Sasnett, all of the inactivated members of the squadron have found other positions either in the military, or in civilian jobs. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A civil engineering squadron at Keesler Air Force Base marched its way into the history books Sunday, at least for now. The 403d Wing CES was inactivated during a ceremony on base.

There's a lot of history at Keesler Air Force Base. Now, the 403d Civil Engineering Squadron is part of that history. Officials, retirees and personnel used this ceremony as a way to celebrate what the squadron has meant to the base over the past 60 plus years.

"That's one of the things we like to do here. We like to highlight the beginning and the end of an organization," said Maj. Quinton Sasnett, commander of the squadron.

According to Sasnett, this isn't necessarily the end. He said it's just a result of a lack of demand at the moment.

Civil engineering squadrons are responsible for keeping Air Force facilities combat ready and for training personnel in a wide range of disaster preparedness. Right now, there's just not as big of a need.

"It happens. So, we reactivate, we inactivate. A lot of it just depends on when and where those things need to happen," said Sasnett.

For Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Williams, the day is bittersweet. If, someday, he heard that the squadron was being reactivated, he wouldn't hesitate to get back on board.

"I would definitely be first in line. Maybe not as a full-timer with the squadron anymore, but I would definitely try to come back," said Williams.

He spent two decades serving next to more than 100 others in the squadron. After that long, he said the group really became a family. That makes the inactivation much more emotional.

"We've become really close, tight-knit. It's just what we're about, you know? It's what the military's about. Taking care of each other," said Williams.

His time with the squadron has left him with some memories that he hopes to never forget.

"We've done some great things. We've helped some communities. That's really what it's all about. It's what we love to do," Williams said.

According to Sasnett, all of the inactivated members of the squadron have found other positions either in the military, or in civilian jobs.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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