Linebacker of the Week: Staff Sgt. Jose Lara

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Breanna Christopher Volkmar
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jose Lara, a water and fuel systems maintenance supervisor assigned to the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, was recognized as the 36th Wing’s Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 12, 2023.

The Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week recognizes outstanding enlisted, officer, civilian and total force personnel who have had an impact on achieving Team Andersen’s mission, vision and priorities.

As a water and fuel systems maintenance supervisor, Lara performs preventative maintenance, routine, urgent and emergency work tasks for water systems across $9 billion worth of infrastructure. He inspects and maintains 15 sewage lift stations, six million gallons of water storage, five million feet of water pipe and three million feet of sewer systems. Lara also oversees 12 water wells, producing two million gallons of potable water daily that supports 9,000 base occupants. He manages the section preventative maintenance program, supports 800 fire protection systems, 585 backflow preventative devices, 521 fire hydrants and three thousand water valves.

Since arriving at Andersen AFB in 2021, Lara hit the ground running where he led a team of seven military and 15 civilians and he was instrumental in the repair of four water well projects, replacing 1,800 feet of pipe and components increasing the production capacity to 1.7 million gallons of water daily. These accomplishments have revived the water system and his section was recognized as the 36 CES Team of the Quarter award for the second quarter. He also quickly responded to an emergency water break, stopping a 500 gallon per minute loss. His actions prevented a six month delay for the $24 million expansion project and was lauded for his efforts by the Headquarters Civil Engineer command team and CES Top Three Performer of the Month award.

“I would say the face of gratitude is the best part of my job,” said Lara. “The happiness it brings to people is the best part because you’re doing the one thing that nobody wants to do.”

Additionally, Lara sets himself apart from his peers by assisting as the 36 CES booster club event coordinator, organizing six fundraisers earning $20,000 towards squadron events and holiday party. He has also crushed three college courses and completed all requirements for his Electrical and Mechanical Community College of the Air Force associates degree.

“There are a lot of bad examples in the world so I feel like a lot of people get discouraged when it comes to the assignment you’re at or the job you have to do,” said Lara. “So if I exemplify how happy I am to be here, to do my job and how grateful I am, it just helps change their mindset and that way we continue to build outstanding Airmen.”

The term Linebacker is rooted deep within Team Andersen’s history. Operation Linebacker II took place on Dec. 18, 1972, and was the largest number of heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II. During the operation, B-52s from Andersen flew round-the-clock bombing missions over North Vietnam to destroy major targets in Hanoi and Haiphong in an effort to bring the Democratic Republic of Vietnam back to negotiations.

The recipient will have the opportunity to sign a “Linebacker” football jersey that will be displayed in the Wing Headquarters building.

Way to go, Lara!