Cannon behind the scenes: excellence in engineering

Airmen 1st Class Tyler Fornal, Steven Theodorou, and Richard Largey siphon out oil from one of their generators and check key components while performing routine maintenance at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 8, 2011. All three Airmen are technicians in the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron power production shop, and are responsible for providing power to essential components on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Airmen 1st Class Tyler Fornal, Steven Theodorou, and Richard Largey siphon out oil from one of their generators and check key components while performing routine maintenance at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 8, 2011. All three Airmen are technicians in the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron power production shop, and are responsible for providing power to essential components on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Staff Sgt. David Harris and Senior Airman John Harris, both with the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems shop, utilize a lift-truck to perform a routine light fixture repair at the Fitness Center on Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 3, 2011. Electricians on base ensure that Cannon can continuously meet all mission requirements.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Staff Sgt. David Harris and Senior Airman John Harris, both with the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems shop, utilize a lift-truck to perform a routine light fixture repair at the Fitness Center on Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 3, 2011. Electricians on base ensure that Cannon can continuously meet all mission requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- *This feature is the third in a series of Air Commando highlights at Cannon.

The Air Commandos with the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron power production and electrical systems shops focus much of their work on maintaining a continuous flow of power at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

"It's unfortunate that most people don't know who we are or what we do until the power goes out," said Airman 1st Class Richard Largey, 27 SOCES power production technician. "We are the ones backing the electricians and supplying the generating capabilities that ensure our base is mission-ready."

Power production technicians at Cannon maintain multiple generators and backup generators essential to the overall power grid that keeps the base up and running.

"It is our job to provide electricity and power to everyone at Cannon," said Tech. Sgt. Hakan Duzagadusmez, 27 SOCES electrical shop NCO in charge. "We also ensure that our airfield is fully functional at all times, not just at our home station, but worldwide."

The total base infrastructure inventory includes more than 1,000 buildings, not to mention more than 1,500 military family housing units. All of these facilities depend on energy through collaboration between power production and electrical systems.

"We have generators on every critical facility which we service monthly to ensure optimized efficiency for the wing," said Staff Sgt. Brett Mason, 27 SOCES power production technician. "We are the ones supplying the power, and the electricians make the connections."

On Oct. 27, Cannon experienced a base-wide power outage which left many facilities without power for more than eight hours.

"During a power outage, we are the busiest shop on base," Mason said. "We don't stop performing our jobs until they are complete and the mission is back on track."

"We had to get with power productions and prioritize who had the greatest need for power when the grid went down," Duzagadusmez said. "We looked for mission essential components and were able to work alongside the power pros to get generators up and running."

The missions of the power production and electrical systems techs will continue to grow as Cannon does. The more the mission grows, the more personnel the base gains, and the more equipment the wing receives will only increase the need for Cannon's power and electrical shops.

"Because Cannon is part of Air Force Special Operations Command, we know how essential we are in a multitude of environments," Largey said. "We are ensuring our Air Commandos are trained in various aspects of our job for deployment at a moment's notice."

Both Duzagadusmez and Mason confirmed their respective shops are working on system upgrades that will vastly improve future mission readiness at Cannon.

"It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of Cannon and AFSOC," Largey said. "We are set in place for emergencies like the recent power outage. We are extremely confident in our abilities and know if an emergency affects the base, we are capable of ensuring the mission is secured."