Case Studies

Inglett & Stubbs International

Securing Safer Electricity and Power Distribution for the Troops

For almost a decade Inglett & Stubbs International (ISI) has been going where few electrical contractors have been. As a leading global government contractor, ISI travels to some of the most remote military outposts in the Middle East with one goal in mind: delivering safe power, electrical infrastructure, communications and systems maintenance for the U.S. military.

The journey started with ISI’s parent company, Atlanta-based Inglett & Stubbs, a commercial electrical contractor founded in 1954. In 2003, Inglett & Stubbs had the opportunity to step out of its usual Atlanta market and into generator maintenance, installation and repair for military operations overseas.

Protecting Men and Women in Uniform

In response to the urgent need for skilled American electrical contractors in desert territory nearly 7,500 miles from home, Inglett and Stubbs assembled a team of 12 specially trained electricians and project managers. The company’s initial mission was to provide generator maintenance at a few sites in Afghanistan.

“Before this point generator work was just a fraction of Inglett & Stubbs’ business,” explains Phillip Davidson, marketing director for ISI and Inglett & Stubbs. “It wasn’t our prime specialty, but we did have some knowledge from our critical power teams. We recruited additional skilled individuals, including David Lytle, now president of ISI. Lytle was brought on board to run international operations using his strong background in industrial markets.”

Although the initial mission was to perform generator repair, ISI soon realized that there was more work to be done overseas. “Originally, the U.S. Army had local contractors doing electrical work, but they quickly realized it wasn’t being performed up to U.S. standard code and there were lives at stake,” shares Davidson. “The installations were not only out of code, but also unsafe due to incorrect grounding systems. There were several deaths as a result of faulty electrical systems.”

As the original generator maintenance and repair contract was set to expire, ISI won a countrywide electrical services contract in 2004. “Our original work was well received and recognized, which led to more opportunities to provide code-compliant and safe installations for our soldiers,” notes Davidson. “With this new contract to provide countrywide electrical services, ISI was officially created as an independent company from Inglett & Stubbs.”

Developing a Trusted, Longstanding Presence

One of the most significant projects ISI has constructed is the 56-megawatt turbine power plant at Bagram Air Field (BAF) in Afghanistan. It was designed and constructed by ISI in three phases using a combination of diesel and turbine generators with a total project cost of $73 million.

“ISI has successfully operated and maintained this plant since its commissioning in 2008,” Davidson explains. “Our contract at BAF also supports all communications infrastructure and medium voltage electrical distribution at the air base. We operate as the utility company for most of the base.”

The company continues to install and maintain existing generators at remote forward operating bases, as well. “We go directly to the camp and install generators, transformers and provide power distribution,” continues Davidson. “These bases are small, remote and often times more dangerous, which makes their need for power much greater. A power outage at a remote operating base can have dire results.”

ISI has also performed inspection, maintenance and repair in both Iraq and Afghanistan for the past seven years. “Our mission is aimed to address life, health and safety issues resulting from sub-par electrical installations that exist in the war theater,” Davidson explains.

In early September 2013, ISI was awarded two contracts in Afghanistan for electrical inspection and repair and support of the Combined Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF). “This will continue our critical role in inspecting and repairing electrical deficiencies at camps across Afghanistan to ensure safety for the deployed soldiers,” an ISI press release stated.

Go-anywhere Capability

The company remains based in Smyrna, Ga., however, also has an office in Dubai. “Our location in Dubai is the staging area for our employees as they prepare to fly in and out of Afghanistan and surrounding areas,” shares Davidson. “From there, we can go anywhere that the military needs our support.”

According to Davidson, at the height of ISI’s generator, communications and power distribution work, the company had more than 250 electricians working in Afghanistan. “Now that systems are secure that number has dropped to more like 175 electricians,” he explains. “As the U.S. Army draws down in the Middle East, we will downsize with them, but there is still a significant need for American-trained electricians in the area.”

In addition, ISI is taking its experience and applying it to the private industry around the world. “If a power plant needs to be built in a remote area of Africa, we have developed the know-how to make that happen,” Davidson says proudly.

It is evident that ISI’s work is no cakewalk or typical electrical installation; therefore, the company’s standards are high. “We have built a rapid deployment center in our main office in order to train electricians for what they can expect in the field,” Davidson details. “Our employees need to be educated in the same social aspects the soldiers are trained in. They need to be familiar with governmental regulations, military guidelines and cultural differences. They also have to pass certain medical specs before they are accepted. It’s a week-long program we put everyone though at ISI; if they don’t pass, they don’t go.”

Davidson acknowledges the importance of ISI’s training. “It is strict training that is required by the U.S. government, but it’s for everyone’s safety and protection,” he continues. “Our technicians need to be union-certified and field experienced. There’s a minimum of two years of journeyman experience in order to go overseas. We don’t accept someone who has just graduated from trade school.”

ISI prepares its crews for conditions most electrical contractors would call less than favorable. While ISI supports and protects troops overseas, Inglett & Stubbs continues to offer trusted service in Atlanta. “Both companies remain under the same employee ownership,” reveals Davidson. “The idea is we are all in this together, ISI wants Inglett & Stubbs to do well and vice versa. Everyone has a vested interest in the success of both companies.”

Inglett & Stubbs International continues to earn ongoing maintenance contracts around the world, providing critical power and support to the private industry, but more importantly, U.S. men and women in uniform.

Published on: July 10, 2014

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