Sustaining the force: updating Osan’s electrical grid

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dwane R. Young
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

At 6 A.M, Oct. 11, 2022, most of Osan Air Base went dark starting the work day for the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Maintenance, Inspection and Repair Team (CEMIRT) and Airmen from the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron (CES).

During the long weekend, the 51st CES seized the opportunity to schedule planned power outages, enabling CEMIRT to continue their month-long work of maintenance and updates to Osan’s substations and generators.  

CEMIRT is a division of the USAF Civil Engineering Center that provides routine and emergency inspections, maintenance and repairs to power generation systems, electrical distribution systems, aircraft arresting systems (AAS), industrial control systems (ICS) and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to Air Force installations around the world. 

“We have electricians, power production and HVAC guys all here to inspect and help maintain the health of Osan’s electrical system,” said Rick Willet, CEMIRT team lead and equipment specialist.

While at Osan, CEMIRT has also been working with CES Airmen conducting infrared scans with thermal imaging cameras of power lines, underground cables and switches to identify potential problems. 

“Our mission is to sustain Osan’s power to ensure that we can fight tonight,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Forrester, NCO in charge of electrical systems. “Performing this maintenance and upgrading our components will help to prevent power issues that can negatively impact our mission.”

The 51st CES provides daily maintenance on base, remains on-call on the weekends to respond to electrical emergencies, and with the help of trained professionals like CEMIRT are taking proactive steps to sustain Osan’s power.