509th CES enhances construction skills on generator install

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dylan Nuckolls
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Training is vital to Airmen’s growth and maintaining their readiness in their career fields. The 509th Civil Engineer Squadron took an operational need and turned it into a troop training project for dozens of Airmen by completing a construction project on Whiteman’s flight line.

The construction project required the 509th CES to install a new back-up generator for the aircraft fuels pump house, ensuring fueling capabilities for the B-2 Spirit fleet.

“I feel this project is a perfect example of what CES is able to accomplish when we come together,” said Staff Sgt. Angus Bailey, 509th CES electrical power production supervisor. “Being able to execute a project like this from start to finish is something you would expect from a specialty team. Doing this gave us that training, insight, and experience.”

The project was an opportunity for Airmen to train in unique aspects of their jobs, which are normally only performed overseas.

“This project involved new construction which is something CES personnel often perform in a contingency environment,” said 2nd Lt. Stone Miller, 509th CES project manager. “Troop training projects allow for an abundance of realistic training while also getting a new product.”

The project consisted of designing and building a new concrete pad complete with in-place electrical connections and the installation of the 750 kilowatt generator. The project required experts from six different shops to complete.

The project management section provided general oversight of the project and worked with the GeoBase shop to create design drawings. The electrical shop installed the electrical infrastructure, while the pavements and equipment shop performed the initial site work. The structures shop pored the concrete, placed the rebar and fabricated the maintenance catwalk for the new generator. Lastly, the power production shop was responsible for the procurement, removal of the old generator and installation of the new generator. 

Communication between the six shops ensured the project didn’t hit major issues, according to Miller.

“The communication was absolutely vital for successful completion of the project,” said Miller. “No portion of this project was truly single discipline, which means effective coordination is required to ensure everything was in place for each step in the project.” 

Approximately 35 members contributed more than 1,000 man-hours to the $350,000 construction project.

“All of those who participated in the troop training project performed at a high level,” said Miller. “The team was quick to overcome any hurdles through successful communication and critical thinking.  Most importantly, everyone learned a significant amount during this project.”

Fulfilling a need for the base and getting training out of it, the new generator construction project is a win-win for Whiteman Air Force Base and the 509th Civil Engineer Squadron.