Engineers return home

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ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A contingent of Ellsworth engineers are back from a month-long deployment to the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

The base was destroyed by Hurricane Michael on October 10th when it made land fall near Panama City. The 28th Civil Engineering Squadron answered the call for help, sending twelve people under the command of Capt. Eric Timpe.

"Devastation is a pretty accurate word to describe what we saw down there," Timpe said. "It's something I have never seen before."

The group had two main goals.

"We were tasked with building a tent city," said Master Sgt. Chris Holman. The tents were built to provide housing for more than 1000 people while homes and other structures were repaired.

The group is part of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force, or Prime Beef for short. They respond to emergencies and often find themselves doing jobs outside their specialty areas.

"We're the quintessential, can do force that will make it happen what we have on hand," said 1st Lt. Chris Jankowski.

So the next time someone asks you where the beef is, tell them the Base Engineer Emergency Force is out saving lives.