Don’t worry, 78th CE will keep the lights on for you

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
Some might think the 78th Civil Engineer Squadron decorated a little early when walking through the doors to its building.

Behind a large glass window, red, yellow and green blinking lights cover a 7-foot by 18-foot section of the wall. But this isn't a set of flashing lights set to holiday-themed music. It's a representation of the exterior electric distribution for Robins Air Force Base.

Billy Bandy, an electrical engineering technician, is one of the people in charge of maintaining the board.

"The map itself is from the old CE building," he explained. It was brought to the current building in 1991 and runs on its own server.

The board itself is made up of tiny individual mosaic tiles with about 1,700 LED lights representing closed and open connections. 

The yellow lines represent underground cables. While most of the base's cable is underground, there are a few areas, noted in blue, where there are overhead wires. Above the board is the motto "reliability our goal - maintainability our asset."

The base high voltage shop takes its task seriously. 

Although the map isn't on real time and Bandy updates it, making sure the power doesn't go out is the most important task.

"We control and maintain everything inside this fence," Bandy said. During the road work on First Street, the shop was able to cut power to one large section where the construction was being done without losing power in any of the neighboring buildings.

There is no loss of power in any of the buildings when the crews are doing maintenance on the cables.

The map board is a visual reminder of how important it is that CE keeps the lights on.