HomeNewsArticle Display

Lighting up the runway: 386th ECES maintains flightline

Staff Sgt. Raul Cancel, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems craftsman, works with Airman Nicholas Lee, 386th ECES electrical systems journeyman, and a contractor while replacing a solar-powered taxiway light at Ali-Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Aug. 14, 2019. The most common reasons lights require replacing are getting hit by an object and burning out over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)

Staff Sgt. Raul Cancel, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems craftsman, works with Airman Nicholas Lee, 386th ECES electrical systems journeyman and a contractor while replacing a solar-powered taxiway light at Ali-Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Aug. 14, 2019. The most common reasons lights require replacing are getting hit by an object and burning out over time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)

Members from the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pick out tools for a maintenance job at Ali-Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Aug. 14, 2019. The mission for all civil engineer Airmen is to ensure all buildings and facilities continue to run effectively and maintain combat-readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)

Members from the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pick out tools for a maintenance job at Ali-Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Aug. 14, 2019. The mission for all civil engineer Airmen is to ensure all buildings and facilities continue to run effectively and maintain combat readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)

ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, Kuwait (AFNS) --

Crouched on one knee, Staff Sgt. Raul Cancel, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems craftsman, works with his team to repair a faulty light on the taxiway. Grabbing a socket wrench from their black toolbox perched on the back of the team’s pickup truck, Cancel suddenly gets a notification from one of his team members.

“Tower called: we need to get off the flightline. Plane’s taking off soon.”

The group of Airmen jump in their truck on the side of the taxiway. While bathing in the frosty air conditioning, a C-17 Globemaster III suddenly soars past the truck from the left, and moments later, an eardrum-bursting sound roars across the bright skies of Kuwait as the hulking aircraft lifts off the tarmac.

Although the sound of the C-17 fills the base, it’s the distinct lighting across the airfield providing the paramount guidance that allows it to execute its mission in the first place.

“We are tasked with maintaining and repairing energized and de-energized electrical distribution systems and its components on (Ali-Al Salem Air Base),” Cancel said. “We also install, maintain and repair interior and exterior electrical systems for facilities on (Ali-Al Salem AB).”

Every day, 386th ECES Airmen meet in the morning to determine roles for the day. Some scatter to the flightline, others push across base. Either way, they fulfill requirements determined by a system that tracks every single airfield light across Ali-Al Salem AB.

“The electrical system’s main goal is to keep power outages close to a minimum, which is a very difficult task with temperatures over 115 degrees Fahrenheit,” Cancel said.

Managing this and other networks are several areas of ECES, all uniting for one common mission, according to Cancel.

“From powering heating, ventilation and air conditioning units to cooling down communication equipment and providing power to (Ali-Al Salem AB) main water pumps, these Airmen come together to give a meaning to the word ‘teamwork,’” Cancel said. “Teamwork and communication is key in our electrical systems career field, in which we are exposed to electrical hazards at any given time.”

This necessity for camaraderie helping Airmen quickly adjust to the deployed environment is why the Air Force began an initiative in late 2017 allowing Airmen to deploy in groups from the same shop.

Cancel and his noncommissioned officer in charge, Master Sgt. Luis Rosario, have been working together for eight years at the 156th Airlift Wing at Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, and now work side by side at Ali-Al Salem AB.

“It definitely helps having Airmen from my unit with me working in the same sections as well as others in the 386th ECES,” Rosario said. “We have an established camaraderie which makes it easier to communicate and accomplish greater things here at (Ali-Al Salem AB). My hope is for this wingmanship to pass onto other Airmen working with us to become a better and more cohesive unit during our time here and maintain long-lasting professional relationships for years to come.”

The mission for all civil engineer Airmen is to ensure buildings and facilities continue running effectively and maintain combat-readiness. Whether they’re stuck in a building or below the sweltering heat on the flightline, they ensure the mission continues without any obstacles. Without them, there would be nothing lighting the way toward mission success.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @USSOCOM: SOF Truth III: Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced. It takes years to train operational units to the level of pr…
Comptrollers from @TeamTyndall received the Gen. Larry O. Spencer Special Acts and Services Award for assisting mor… https://t.co/TIclfKmU2B
RT @F22DemoTeam: Everyone has a history. Some have a legacy. We are excited to introduce Maj. Joshua ‘Cabo’ Gunderson, commander and pilot…
A KC-135 and three F-16s from @EdwardsAFB conduct a flyover above @levisstadium during the #NFCChampionship. Fly… https://t.co/0K7GcYO1Ia
RT @AirNatlGuard: "We can always count on the training, professionalism and drive of every Airmen at the @176thWing and the Alaska Rescue C…
RT @LukeAFB: Starting the week off with a F-16 slow-mo! ✈ #slowmomonday #aviation #jets #f16 #fighterjet #usaf #sunrise https://t.co/toXXl…
RT @AETCommand: Airmen from the 29th AMU check over the first MQ-9 Reaper to be transported through ferry flight, Jan. 8, 2020, on @Holloma
RT @DeptofDefense: The cold won’t slow down the @usairforce! The Air Force is working with the @usarmyccdc to test cold weather gear and e…
RT @USAFCENT: GROUND SUPPORT | USAF Airmen assigned to the 379th AEMS worked alongside the 746th EAS to load cargo onto & launch a C-130 at…
RT @USAFHealth: #DidYouKnow, Air Force Expeditionary Medicine brings leading-edge medicine directly into battle providing injured personnel…
As he served, let us serve. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. https://t.co/SuE0D4UAnI
RT @AirNatlGuard: "We talk about lining ourselves up with our sister services and joint efforts to make sure we accomplish our mission; the…
RT @AFResearchLab: The year is 1947. The @usairforce officially broke the sound barrier with the Bell X-1 aircraft. This incredible feat w…
RT @theF35JPO: Congratulations to the @AusAirForce for completing their #F35 training mission at @LukeAFB! 🇦🇺 ⚡ Learn more 🔗 https://t.co/2…
RT @CENTCOM: A French Rafale conducts nighttime air refueling with a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary…
RT @DeptofDefense: Jumping from a plane becomes a big step toward friendship. 301 soldiers and airmen from @USArmyReserve, @usairforce, and…
Explosive Disposal Ordnance (EOD) Airmen are often assigned to some of the most dangerous missions and perform tact… https://t.co/xYc9Ip5psn
Start this year by supporting your #Airmen in their pursuit of #resiliency. Learn about common triggers of invisibl… https://t.co/6gJSfJKvcK
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…