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Power Production Keeps Aircraft Lifeline Up To Date

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel O'Brien
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Wing

The 332d Air Expeditionary Wing Civil Engineer power production flight performs herculean tasks. They keep power running for two different sites, and while keeping the lights on for nearly 2,000 individuals is an important job, there’s actually one task that these Airmen consider even more vital.

“We do a lot of checking and double checking on the Aircraft Arresting System,” says Master Sgt. Oscar Perez, 332d Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of Power Production.  “We take this job incredibly seriously because if it’s not up to par, the [U.S.] Air Force can lose a very expensive weapon system, not to mention a whole lot of money, and someone could possibly lose their life. It needs to work right and work right the first time.”

The Aircraft Arresting System is a cable that runs across the flight line which is caught by an aircraft’s tail hook in the event of an emergency where the aircraft has lost the ability to stop under its own power.

“The jets are our most crucial piece of equipment out here. That’s how we accomplish the whole mission,” says Master Sgt. Peter Saechao, 332d ECE Facility Systems Superintendent. “Once you start losing them, you degrade your capabilities. Defending the base, protecting your allies, deterring hostile nations, all of it starts to suffer.”

Jets don’t fly alone. They fly in pairs. That means if you lose one, you lose two until repairs are completed or a replacement arrives. That’s why the Power Production team is out on the flight replacing the system as it comes up on its 10th year in use.

“It’s like a tire change. Every 10 years it has to be replaced,” says Perez. “This one has come up due for an update this month so we’re out here early getting the job done.”

It’s a system that is incredibly vital and one you hope you never have to use. But, Saechao says, if it ever is needed, aircrews can count on the work put into it.

“These men and women are incredible. A month, two months ago none of them knew each other. Now they’re out here doing a fantastic job, working together as a team. This system has a lot of different parts and no one specializes on a single one; they have to be flexible and multi-capable and they’ve all risen to that challenge.”