Civil engineers fortify neighboring bonds

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Desiree Moye
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 482nd Civil Engineering Squadron, along with the city of Homestead Public Services Energy, launched an innovative partnership involving local infrastructure engineers and base CE technicians.

“The Mutual Operations Agreement involves training opportunities for the reservists and provides a benefit to the city by having the [electrical power production technicians] assist us with utility projects,” said Barbara Quinones, HPSE director.

The 482nd CES Electrical Power Production flight is responsible for the production and distribution of electrical power to facilities and equipment. This includes mission critical facilities, airfield operations, security entry points, and beddown areas to name a few. It is important that our EPP Airmen receive hands-on training to effectively perform the tasks required whether at home station or at a deployed location according to Master Sgt. Michael Chrisman, 482nd CES electrical power production NCO in charge.

“The engineers from HPSE have years of experience when it comes to power plant operations and maintenance,” said MSgt. Chrisman. “Our Airmen are receiving real world experience, the skills and knowledge they are obtaining will increase their effectiveness in mission critical environments.”

HPSE supplies water and delivers sanitation solutions and energy services to the municipal of Homestead. Departments included in the joint partnership are Electric Power Generation, Electric Control Systems, Electric Line Work, Water Treatment Plant, Water and Sewer Line Work, Emergency Management and Facilities Control Systems.

After being approved through the municipal council and base leadership in 2016, the agreement had yet to come to fruition due to reservists being deployed for most of 2016 and 2017.

In this partnership, personnel assigned to the EPP flight of 482nd CES offer their skills and time while accomplishing necessary job requirements. Electrical, pole climbing and sewer operations are a portion of the vast knowledge necessary to advance to the position of journeyman and craftsman. By working side by side with the city employees, the CES crew are able to hone their skills in these areas.

So far the joint collaboration has occurred in May and August. In the future, staff from HPSE and CES will connect during monthly reserve drill weekends, if mission permits. These weekends will involve continued work in the power plant and other areas.

“Community involvement is a critical link in the success of any reserve base,” said Lt. Col. Scott McPherson, 482nd CES commander. “Through this maintenance training, the service personnel involved build stronger ties with the city of Homestead. These recurring connections have long-lasting effects with our neighbors outside the base gates.”