Malmstrom’s water and fuels systems maintainers

  • Published
  • By Airman Collin Schmidt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Keeping Malmstrom Air Force Base's water running and sub-surface infrastructure in optimal condition can be a monumental task, according to Malmstrom's water and fuels systems maintainers. Regardless of the size of the mission, they work day in and day out to keep these systems running and Team Malmstrom members happy by keeping water flowing and fuel ready at hand.

"On a daily basis we take care of work orders placed by Airmen around the base," said Staff Sgt. Ramon Aarons, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels systems craftsman. "The majority of what we do is a lot of plumbing work with everything from fixing toilets, sinks and showers, to full indoor and outdoor plumbing systems."

In addition to fulfilling daily work orders, the team maintains and inspects the base's fuel containment and delivery systems. Throughout the winter and summer seasons, the maintainers will inspect fire hydrants, inspect the base's water supply daily, and ensure sewer and natural gas fuel systems are working properly. They also perform utility locates, which keep off-base contractors from digging in areas that contain underground pipes and conduit.

The maintainers also service 90 miles of the base's interior and exterior water, sewage and natural gas fuel systems on a daily basis throughout the year.

"We are the front line in making sure the water supply, fuel supply and everything associated with those systems for the base stay at optimal working levels every day," said Aarons. "It can be challenging at times with manning and our workloads, but we accomplish this mission every day to the best of our abilities."

Since the beginning of 2016, the maintainers have completed 280 direct scheduled work orders which included servicing routine maintenance items, emergency calls and extensive preventative maintenance.

"We aim to repair and respond to calls as soon as possible," said Tech. Sgt. Clifford Cochran, 341st CES NCO in charge of water and fuels systems. "Our goal is to keep residents living in dorms and base housing happy and their inconveniences to a minimum."

"For me, the best part of the job is being able to go out on (service calls) with the team and spend time with them," said Aarons. "Whether we're replacing a fire hydrant or repairing a water main, it's almost like a bonding time for the shop. As cold or hot as it may be, we're all putting in work together to get the job done."