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Airmen to help renovate Latvian orphanage

139th Airlift Wing shield.

139th Airlift Wing shield.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Approximately 30 Airmen from the 139th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base are going to Latvia to assist with the reconstruction of an orphanage July 9, 2015 for approximately two weeks.

The Airmen will be modernizing the Naujene Orphanage near Daugavpils, Latvia, including fixing windows, painting, plumbing, electrical, flooring and structural repair. The orphanage is built to house over 50 children.

The mission is part of a Department of Defense and Department of State program called Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA). It allows U.S. military personnel to train overseas while providing humanitarian aid.

The orphanage is being restructured exclusively by Air National Guard engineers in conjunction with engineers from the Latvian National Armed Forces.

Reconstruction on the orphanage began in June with the 190th Air Refueling Wing from Topeka, Kan., followed by the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, Pa. The 139th Airlift Wing will be the final unit to work on the orphanage.

Reconstruction is scheduled to be completed near the end of July followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony.

"This is a great opportunity for the [CE] team to perform construction in conjunction with the Latvian Armed Forces, work closely with the Latvian embassy personnel, and actively engage in humanitarian efforts," said Lt. Col. Grace Link, commander of the 139h CES.