by Airman Connor J. Marth
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/17/2015 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Key
leaders from Idaho Power visited Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho,
March 10, to better understand Air Force processes and safety
The group toured the base's structural maintenance, metal, fabrication, and corrosion technology shops.
"We share many of the same departments and jobs as the Air Force just
without the aircraft and weaponry," said Eric Wrazin, Idaho Power area
material lead. "When it comes to sanding and treating metal, we can
learn a lot from each other."
So why is a power company visiting a military base?
By refining their procedures, Idaho Power will be able to more
efficiently reuse their resources and remain the leader of energy
production for Idaho.
"A big reason we are one of the cheapest utilities, as far as power
rates are concerned, is because we do all of our own maintenance,"
Wrazin said. "We are one of the few utilities that actually take our
transformers and completely refurbish them before sending them back
Although Idaho Power does a lot of their own work, MHAFB is always willing to help community leaders improve their systems.
"The documentation, shift change procedures and tool organization that
the structural maintenance and corrosion shops have is very foreign
outside of the military, but it can actually be very helpful information
for us," said Rich Mckinnies, Idaho Power fleet shops leader. "These
improvements will ultimately help us save money for our customers and
Wrazin, a retired U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt., wanted to share his
experience of professionalism he remembers from his Air Force career
with his employees at Idaho Power.
"Having a visual on everything is different than trying to explain it to
them," he said. "I think it's important to expose our team to the
military way, so they can experience how a very tight and regulated ship
A common issue with large corporations is finding an efficient way to
adhere to national regulations, like those administered by the
Occupational Safety and Health Association.
"Our standards are enforced and tracked by our own quality assurance
team and commanders, so it's a very high profile job," said Senior
Airman David Byrd,
Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft metals technology journeyman.
"In order to keep our aircraft and team safe, we have to do things the
right way every time -- that's what the higher ups at Idaho Power want
their people to see."
MHAFB hopes to continue to foster relationships with the community to
build a strong bond where the military and civilian worlds can help
improve each other.
"What it comes down to is reliability, and it's the same thing with the
Air Force," Wrazin said. "When you need us, we'll be ready."