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Selfridge CE Airmen: 'This job is what I love to do'

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
For one, it was common sense. For the other, a meeting in Afghanistan led to some new opportunities. For each, the Michigan Air National Guard offered just what he was looking for.

Master Sgt. Harold Bauzon and Staff Sgt. Luke Lavigne both serve as engineering assistants with the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. For each Airman, the mix of architectural and engineering work he is called to perform for the military makes for an ideal career.

Bauzon joined the U.S. Air Force in 1997.

"I was talking to a recruiter and said I wanted to be an architect. The recruiter put me in to the Air Force as an EA (engineering assistant) and I never looked back," Bauzon said.

Bauzon served on active duty with the Air Force for four years and then transitioned to service in the Michigan Air National Guard. Among his most prized possessions is a coin he earned while on active duty and assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. While he was there, a B-2 Spirit bomber dropped bombs in a live operation for the first time in the history of that aircraft and all Air Force personnel assigned to the base was awarded a command coin in commemoration of the event.

"There have been a lot of missions with that aircraft, but there will never be another first one," Bauzon said.

Bauzon said his decision to join the Michigan ANG after he left active duty was just a "common sense approach" to life.

"Of course having a job and income are very important," he said. "But this job is also what I love to do. The military has given me a place to do that."

Lavigne served for six years in the 158th Civil Engineer Squadron, with the 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard. About three years ago, he volunteered to take a deployment to Afghanistan. Once there, he was assigned to another Air National Guard civil engineer squadron there - the 127th from Selfridge.

While serving overseas, he got to know his fellow Citizen-Airmen from Michigan. After they all returned home, the Michigan Airmen let Lavigne know about some job leads in Michigan. Seeking opportunity, Lavigne left Vermont for Michigan. Now, he works as a civilian surveyor for the Air Force at Selfridge, while also serving in the 127th CES as an EA, reporting to Bauzon.

"I like the variety of the job," Lavigne said. "It is the right mix of outdoor and indoor work for me."

Along with about three dozen other Selfridge Airmen, Bauzon and Lavigne are spending the last half of May on a two-week deployment to Raymond, Maine, where they are working on a variety of construction projects at Camp Hinds, a Boy Scouts of America camp. Together, they are providing a variety of drawings and reports to assist in the construction of various parking lots, roads, small buildings and other projects at the camp through an Innovative Readiness Training mission. The IRT allows non-profit groups to utilize military construction crews under certain circumstances. The military benefits from the training opportunity and the nonprofit benefits by gaining construction assistance. The nonprofit provides the building materials.

"This has been a great project for us," Lavigne said. "We are working with both our CE group and a detachment of Marines to help them keep their construction projects moving forward. And this will be a big benefit for the Boy Scouts."

Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operation Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.