LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Ms. Yamilka Pinero-Medina, 47th Civil Engineering Squadron Energy Manager, was chosen by wing leadership to be this week’s “XLer,” June 6, 2017.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Thomas Shank, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit, Laughlin, and the mission.
“We are so proud of the work Ms. Pinero-Medina has done,” said Shank. “We are so happy that she is a part of Team XL.”
Pinero-Medina single-handedly managed energy contracts for the base and has spearheaded new projects to improve Laughlin’s power infrastructure by keeping the power running during the summer months or during a severe thunderstorm; which Chief Master Sgt. George G. Richey, 47th Flying Training Wing Command Chief, found an interest in.
“It didn’t dawn on me at first, but energy is a vital part of the mission,” said Richey. “If we can’t keep the lights on, we can’t keep the planes flying.”
One of Pinero-Medina’s biggest projects at Laughlin has been putting the elevated power lines underground. This project will not only keep the lines safe from sudden power surges or downed lines, but will also assist in CES’ ability to install streetlights throughout the base.
“It’s a big part of our five-year upgrade plan,” said Pinero-Medina. “The base has a deficiency in lighting, so replacing the power lines with lights not only makes us safer, but more efficient with our space.”
Pinero-Medina’s focus to maximize CE’s efforts allowed her to negotiate a contract that did not hinder day-to-day mission operations. The contract replaced two transformers vulnerable to surges, including one that services several buildings on Fourth Street.
“We try to work fast and around the [base’s] schedule to restore outages and perform upgrades,” said Pinero-Medina. “Speed and efficiency are important to what we do.”
Due to Pinero-Medina’s efforts, Laughlin will be the first base to adopt new clean energy initiatives set by the President of the United States and Colonel Shank to reduce the base’s carbon footprint.
“This is something we’re hoping to see implemented in the next year or two,” said Shank. “Clean energy is what our government wants us to be looking at.”
For her efforts in managing the energy contracts, overseeing the burying of the power lines, and helping enact new climate-friendly initiatives, Pinero-Medina was awarded this week’s “XLer” award. However, she credits her extended family at CE for assisting her in getting these jobs done.
“My supervisor, deputy commander and commander have all been a great help to me,” said Pinero-Medina. “Everyone here in civil engineering has been tremendous in helping me when I need it most.”