Airmen provide power to the people
on Saturday, 17 January 2009

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by Senior Airman Brok McCarthy
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

1/16/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Twenty members of the 379th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems shop at this air base in Southwest Asia give power to the people while giving them the energy they need to get through every day.

Responsible for repairing and maintaining all lighting fixtures, street lights, power outlets and other low voltage jobs for all flightline and base facilities, most people do not notice the sheer magnitude of power these Airmen have. 

"Most everything is electrical in nature," said Master Sgt. Stuart Fawler, the NCO in charge of the electrical systems shop. "Our work ranges from new installs to basic things like 'Oh, I have a tripped breaker. Could you come reset it.' Basically, if it lights up, heats you up or helps you get your job done, we had a hand in making it work."

The shop is split into three shifts with teams of at least four people ready to respond to power outages. A large part of their work comes from replacing light bulbs with a basket crane because the fixtures are at least 10 feet off the ground, said the native of Joplin, Mo., who is deployed from Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Williams, electrical shop crew leader, who is deployed here from Langley, Va.

Regardless of the job size or how visible the result of the work will be, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Williams, electrical shop crew leader, who is deployed here from Langley, Va., said his favorite part of the job is being able to look at something and know he had a direct impact on how it is being used to complete the base's mission.

"It feels good looking over what you just did," said a native of Blytheville, Ark. "It doesn't matter if it's as small as fixing a light, when you flip the light switch and it comes on, it feels pretty good knowing your customer is happy."

He also said it's gratifying to know just how big an impact he and the rest of his shop have on the mission here.

"Without us, this base would be just a replica, not the real thing" Sergeant Williams said. "Everything would just be sitting here and would look like it, but that's just about it, you would't be able to use it." 

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Last update: Saturday, 17 January 2009

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