Power pro keeps Yokota energized

Power pro keeps Yokota energized

by Senior Airman David Owsianka, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Yokota Air Base

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The power turns off, the lights go out; you cannot work or see anything. Who are you going to call? Well, it's not the ghost busters. It's actually the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron power production team.

The mission of the power production shop is to provide mechanical generated electrical power for mission critical facilities, anti-vehicle barriers and aircraft arresting system.

"Our shop plays a critical role in the survivability of Yokota's mission," said Tech. Sgt. Sonthala Phabmisay, 374 CES electrical power production NCO in charge. "If the power goes out, our mission ceases to exist. Without the AAS, fighter aircraft will be unable to use our runway and the base denial system provides extra security for the base. We make sure these systems are fully functional."

The power production team inspects and provides necessary repairs to these important items.

The generators section, which consists of approximately 90 generators spread throughout Yokota and geographically separated units, provides backup power for mission-critical buildings.

Power production shop members perform two- and four-week inspections on generators. During the inspections they check water pressure, coolant temperature and oil pressure while ensuring the generators remain fully operational.

"We are a big emergency support team," said Senior Airman Michael Wood, 374 CES electrical power production journeyman. "We provide energy for the base. If any part of the base has a power shut down, we are here to provide support and ensure the mission is able to be completed."

Power production Airmen perform inspections on the anti-vehicle barrier system weekly, monthly and quarterly. The system is used as an extra line of defense for base denial to mitigate or prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering the base.

Members of the power production team also ensure the working capability of the AAS by checking it daily as well as certifying the system annually with a live test.

The AAS, available for J-hook equipped fighter aircraft, is a 1.25-inch steel cable attached to 1,200 feet of high-strength nylon tape wrapped in a metal reel. As the reel spins it activates a hydraulic pump which compresses brake pads to safely slow the aircraft in a controlled manner.

The power production shop plays an important role in keeping Yokota operational.

"I believe every base needs to have a power production shop," Phabmisay said. "If your base has fighter aircraft, you need us for the AAS; if you have critical facilities on base, you will need backup generators in case of a power outage; if someone tries to illegally access the base, we need to know that our vehicle barriers properly work.

"Power is the key to a mission," he added. "Without power, you are pretty much dead in the water."

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