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Reservists build homes for Native American families

Air Force reservists from the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and the 459th CES at Andrew AFB, M.D., begin construction on a modular home in Gallup, N.M. earlier this month. During their annual tour training April 5-18, the reservists joined the Southwest Indian Foundation to provide shelter to homeless Native American families in the Four Corners area. (Courtesy photo)

Air Force reservists from the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and the 459th CES at Andrew AFB, M.D., begin construction on a modular home in Gallup, N.M. earlier this month. During their annual tour training April 5-18, the reservists joined the Southwest Indian Foundation to provide shelter to homeless Native American families in the Four Corners area. (Courtesy photo)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Sixteen reservists from the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron joined Airmen from the 459th Civil Engineer Squadron from Andrews AFB, Maryland, to support the Southwest Indian Foundation in the construction of modular homes in Gallup, New Mexico, April 5-18.

The homes are built to provide shelter for homeless Native American families in the Four Corners area. The SWIF has worked with the Air Force and other government agencies in providing homes since 1998.

"The project was a perfect training opportunity, giving us hands-on experience that we wouldn't otherwise be afforded at our home stations," said Capt. Kyle Slick, 419th CES. "At the end of our two weeks, you could see everyone walking a little taller knowing that the work they'd done would provide a means of survival for families living in poverty."

The 419th CES team - including structural experts, plumbers, and electricians - took the lead on the project, laying the groundwork for the next five months of rotations, where other Reserve units will complete the homes before they are delivered.