White Rectangle

152nd Civil Engineer heritage and historic preservation: 40 years at Tallac Historic Site

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. MIchelle Brooks
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

On the wooded shore of Lake Tahoe, approximately three miles northwest of the city of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., lies a former resort that offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time. Maintained and operated by the U.S. Forest Service and nonprofit the Great Basin Institute, the century-old resort is known as Tallac Historic Site. It had been a summer retreat for socially elite Bay Area families in the early 20th century, and for 40 years now, the Nevada Air National Guard civil engineers have been an integral part of the historical preservation and renovation of this site.

The 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) was back at the site September 10-16, 2023. The engineers completed a project to completely reroof a shake roof on the Pacheco Cabin at the Pope Estate on the grounds, and also removed debris from the site.

The Nevada civil engineers have made an annual fall trip to Tallac Historic Site since 1983, completing a myriad of jobs while creating their own history and heritage through their work at the site. The Airmen that have worked there have lasting memories of time spent at Tallac.

Master Sgt. Dominic Tanzi, 152nd CES operations management noncommissioned officer in charge, has worked at Tallac with CES since 1998. Tanzi was at the site on September 11th, 2001.

“I was working at the site on 9/11 and everything was very still and quiet in Tahoe. I looked out over the lake and saw fighter aircraft fly over, and I knew everything would change, “ said Tanzi.

Tanzi can connect his time at the site with a major turning point in our nation’s history, other Airmen can reflect on their time there as foundational for their career with the Guard.

“My first trip with the Guard was to Tallac in 2009 and I was an Airman 1st Class,” stated Master Sgt. Anthony Hinen, 152nd CES water systems fuel maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge. “I learned so much during that trip through mentorship. Now I get the opportunity to mentor younger Airmen here.”

Some of the newest members of 152nd CES were at Tallac this past September, having the opportunity to train and receive mentorship from Tanzi, Hinen, and others, in addition to creating their own memories of Tallac.

“This being my first TDY (Temporary Duty Travel), it is nice being around the people I work with at drill. It’s all sorts of different shops, not just my own, so it's a unique experience to learn and get to know people better.” said Adan Albarran Ayala, 152nd CES structural specialist. “It’s a way to build bonds you can’t build in other ways.”

The bonds made during these trips also occur off the jobsite. After work, the engineers barbecue together and enjoy time at the lake.

Senior Airman Jason Frentiu, 152nd CES heavy equipment operator, went on his first trip to Tallac Historic Site with the squadron. “We get opportunities to build relationships and tighten our culture as a squadron. It is an awesome experience to be part of.”