Power production maintains alert operations

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Malmstrom Airmen are responsible for 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles spread across a 13,800 square mile missile complex scattered throughout Montana.

To ensure all 150 missiles are on 24-hour alert, Airmen from the power production shop must maintain emergency generators to instantly supply backup power to all of the launch facilities, where protected ICBMs rest inside the ground, prepared for launch at a moment’s notice.

Eric Brewer, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron power support systems mechanic, is tasked with tearing down and rebuilding the generators, sometimes even from scratch.

“My job is to complete heavy repairs or full rebuilds on the launch facility emergency generators,” Brewer said. “What I do directly supports the best warfighting ability that provides the deterrence that the country that I love needs, and allows us to defend or retaliate when needed.”

Brewer, originally from the Indiana-Kentucky border, joined the Air Force in 1985 as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic after his civilian welding career was slowing down. He retired in 2005 as a master sergeant and has since worked for the base in power production.

“I have always loved working with motors,” Brewer said.

Brewer said his grandfather owned an engine shop and growing up he was either passing his grandfather tools or helping him dig deep into engines.

He has currently served a combined 32 years with the Air Force and his continued enthusiasm, commitment and dedication earned him the 2016 Air Force Outstanding Civil Engineer Civilian Manager of the Year award at the major command level.

This award recognizes his contributions to the Air Force and his desire to execute his duties with pride and excellence.

“I can only say I was humbled and honored to receive the award and I did not know I was being put in for it,” Brewer said. “I enjoy this place, the people, and I try to help Airmen out as much as I can.

“My goal is to make everything work and save the government money,” he continued. “I am just a man serving his country and I don’t need the recognition.”

Master Sgt. Joshua Vance, 341st CES electrical power production NCO in charge, said he submitted the award package for Brewer because he is the epitome of service before self and excellence in all we do.

“He has the strongest work ethic I have ever seen and anything you ask him to do, he gets it done,” Vance said. “I don’t think I have ever seen him leave early or call in sick and I figured it would be wasteful to not recognize him for everything he does.”