Let there be light

By Senior Airman Kristin High 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Imagine going to work and there were no lights or power. How many jobs on Barksdale would be affected?

If the dining facility had no power, they wouldn't be able to cook. The maintenance shops wouldn't be able to function correctly. Almost every aspect of Barksdale would be null if the lights never worked.

Today's Air Force is known for its technological advances and computer savvy career fields, but where would the Air Force be without power or updated electrical systems?

"Our job is quite essential," said Airman 1st Class Ravon McCoy, 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems apprentice. "Electricity is needed in just about everything that anyone does on a daily basis."

Airmen of the 2 CES electric shop play a vital role on base, from wiring basic lighting in a room to lighting the entire airfield for the Global Strike mission. The electric shop maintains, troubleshoots and repairs all base-wide high and low voltage electrical distribution, lightning protection, fire alarm notification and airfield lighting systems for Barksdale.

"Recently we fixed more than 50 hangar lights within 24 hours for the visit from the Secretary of Defense," said McCoy. "We also helped to restore power to half of the East Side housing after a transformer blew."

Beyond daily missions and other tasks on Barksdale, the Airmen from the electric shop also play a key role in deployments.

"We're usually the first on site," said Staff Sgt. Shane Derrick, 2 CES electrical systems craftsman. "We set up bare bases, or bases that have minimum essential facilities to house, sustain and support operations. We establish and maintain electrical stations to ensure deployed bases constantly have power."

From home station to deployment, the mission for the 2 CES electricians never ends. Their hard work and dedication to Team Barksdale along with attention to detail, help keep the lights working.

"CE makes the world go 'round," said McCoy. "Our job influences so much that people don't realize it until something is broken. It's nice to have a hand in helping to keep things flowing."