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News | July 28, 2023

Lead the Way: Engineers restore power to JBAB

By By Senior Airman Anna Smith Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs

In times of crisis on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, the swift actions of the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron provide critical support to achieving mission success.

Members of the 11th CES, 316th CES and civilian contractors joined together in a substantial effort to restore power to JBAB housing communities after an unexpected electrical issue caused a widespread outage on July 24-25, 2023.

The power outage affected several areas on JBAB, including two Child Development Centers and the Youth Center, leaving military personnel and families without electricity. Engineers responded quickly to the situation, working in coordination with Hunt Housing to assess the problem and develop a plan for restoration.

Under the leadership of Lt. Col. April Clemmensen, 11th CES commander, the team promptly assessed the extent of the electrical problems and identified key areas that required immediate attention.

“When something like this happens, our first priority is safety of our residents, installation partners and our technicians,” said Clemmensen. “As soon as we are certain the system is stable and safe, we start checking the infrastructure until we find out what could be causing the outage, fix it and bring power back up.”

In this circumstance, it was not an easy feat to restore power to all those who lost it.

“There were three separate components that failed at different areas across base,” said Clemmensen. “The first component was quickly replaced, restoring power to the CDC, Youth Center and some parts of Hooe and Rickenbacker housing.”

The other components, however, were not a simple resolution and required the team to work continuously from Monday evening into the early hours of Tuesday morning to restore energy to the Billy Mitchell Estates housing community.

“These team members used their expertise and perseverance to ensure that we restored power for our installation partners and residents so they can continue to execute missions that have impacts worldwide, whilst also knowing their families are being taken care of,” said Clemmensen. “In a perfect world, we would never lose power, but we’ve got an amazing team that went all in to make it right as fast as possible.”

This was not solely the 11th CES effort. After 20 hours on the job and parts of the installation still without power, all hands came on board to assist. JBAB reached out to neighbors at the 316th CES on Joint Base Andrews for a helping hand.

“There is an unbelievable partnership and sense of community here unlike any place I have ever been,” said Master Sgt. Eric Tucker, 11th CES operations superintendent. “Without their support none of it would have been possible.”

The 11th and 316th CES are always ready to go at a moment’s notice. Acting quickly for situations like this allows Airmen to increase their knowledge while also being able to demonstrate those skills they have mastered.

“I am very proud of our hard-working Airmen (military/civilian) and contract partners who worked incredibly hard to get to this point over the past 24 hours, including many who were out until 3 a.m. this morning, led by the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. April Clemmensen,” said Col. Ryan Crowley, JBAB and 11th Wing commander. “Their dedication and mission-focus to restore power was a true representation of ‘The Chief’s Own.’”

Unfortunately, many residents experienced food spoilage due to the outage. Affected JBAB residents should first file a claim with their renter’s insurance. However, if the renter’s insurance has a deductible or an amount that was not covered, please visit Scroll down and click the button “File Non-Household Goods Claim.” Please follow this hyperlink to a PDF for further directions: Air Force Claims Service Center.