Mon, Oct 03, 2005
Airfield Damaged By Rita Powered Up And Running
Two airmen with the 147th Civil Engineer Flight wing aiding
relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, along with a
civilian contractor, took some time last week to help get Southeast
Texas Regional Airport near Port Arthur, TX, up and running
Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Milliard, the non-commissioned
officer in charge of the engineer flight, and power production
craftsman Staff Sgt. Al Martinez were conducting an airfield damage
assessment September 25 with civilian contractor Claudette Manning,
when they were approached by BPT manager Hal Ross.
Ross, according to an Air Force release, told the crew even when
the debris and tree limbs littering the field were removed, the
facility would not be able to reopen as power was still down at the
airport,and the backup 100kw generator wasn't working.
Sgt. Martinez took that as a challenge.
"In five minutes, he had the generator up and running," Sergeant
Martinez and the others spent the next several hours of a
typically hot and humid southern Texas afternoon reestablishing the
power grid at the field, by connecting several other generators
that soldiers had brought to the airport.
The Airmen also restored power to the airport's ILS system and
air conditioning system, in order to dry out water-damaged wiring
as well as to provide relief from the heat. Martinez was also able
to restore power to the fuel farm, field lights, and the Beaumont
VOR located on the field.
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