Airmen From the 786th Civil Engineering Squadron are working around the clock to ensure pods housing evacuees from Afghanistan have power during Operation Allies Refuge.
At the start of the operation, civil engineering Airmen were pulling 18-hour shifts to get the pods running and have switched to 12-hour shifts with 24-hour operation in the past two weeks.
“Being motivated the entire time is extremely important because we’re making an impact, and that supports your ability to keep going,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Tyreece Watkin, 786th CES electrical systems apprentice.
Airmen have been providing and maintaining electricity for evacuees, medical, admin, and command control pods and ensuring they have access to lights, heat, and ventilation.
“At one point, there were six power outages inside the pods, and we resupplied power to one of the areas where the medical pods are, and the people were so thankful,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ernie Williams, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy electrical systems technician.
A civil engineering electrical systems Airman’s duty usually consists of servicing airfield interior electricity and exterior electricity, which can be many things from underground utility holes to streetlights. During Operation Allies Refuge, the mission is similar to situations an airman would experience while deployed or training.
During this experience, I’ve learned that planning is vital,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Vania Payne, 786th CES electrical systems journeyman. “We trained for this, and everything we’ve learned in training is applied here. It’s important so we can do our job adequately.”