Wright-Patt Snow Parade exhibits show of force against winter elements

The 88th Civil Engineering Group showcased its winter weather strength on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base flightline, presenting an array of trucks with brushes, shovels, solvents and other inclement weather cleaners during the Snow Parade Oct. 3.

Ground crews drove the heavy equipment around the runway, showing off the distinctive qualities of each truck that is needed during the months of adverse weather.

“This is really a great opportunity for our folks who really keep our infrastructure together when we’re dealing with adverse weather, snow, sleet or all of those things that might impact our installation,” said Col. Tom Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander. “We’re not only seeing the hardware, but we’re meeting the people who make sure this base is operational through all those situations.”

A variety of heavy-duty trucks with attachments was exhibited and demonstrated for spectators.

A few of the parade highlights were the large high-speed rollover, high-speed broom and the ribbon blower. These specialized pieces of equipment are used in distinct areas, while some are dual purposed and utilized throughout the year.

“The ribbon blower, high-speed rollover and the high-speed broom are all just for the flightline. Everything else, like push Boxes are mainly for parking lots, then the regular plows are for the street and parking lots, like you would see out on the highway,” said Zachariah Shoumaker, equipment operator, 88th CEG.

Additional equipment showcased were the push boxes and regular plows.

Ground crews operate on what the environmental conditions will allow and what safety will dictate.

Crews say the job has its perks and they enjoy their work even with an operational runway that is more than 12,000 feet by 300 feet wide to clear.

“We’ve got a great band of people working in our civil engineering group,” said Sherman. “These are people who work for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and fall under the 88th Air Base Wing.”

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