HVACR maintained for mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Without properly trained heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians, the 20th Fighter Wing would not be able to supply combat-ready airpower and Airmen to meet any challenge, anytime, anywhere.

From maintaining air conditioners in the hot summer months, to fixing the heaters in the cold, to ensuring proper refrigerating temperatures in dinning facilities, the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron HVACR shop keeps temperatures throughout the base at the right degree.

"We maintain pretty much anything and everything that has to do with air temperatures," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Bennett, 20th CES HVACR craftsman. "We maintain every building on this base with the exception of the 20th Medical Group."

As the only shop with the capability to fix air conditioners, the craftsmen keep busy.

"There are a lot of air conditioners on base and with it being summer time, everybody is trying to stay cool and it's up to us to keep everyone happy," said Tech. Sgt. Melvin Holmes, 20th CES HVACR NCO in charge.

"We always have a job that needs to be done. Right now, between all of the Airmen, we are working about 500 man-hours each week. We have to break the base up into three separate zones and send three separate groups out to each zone to get all of the work completed," said Holmes.

Though they try to keep all buildings at a comfortable temperature, some take a higher priority than others.

"We have several buildings where the temperature has to be at specific temperatures because of what's inside of them," said Bennett. "For instance, the 20th Communication Squadron building has a room with all of its computer servers in it that have to be kept at a cool temperature. If they aren't kept cool, the servers could overheat and communications on base would be down. Also the control tower has a room which has to be kept cool to ensure communication to the pilots."

Controlling humidity is also a high priority.

"The 20th Component Maintenance Squadron precision measurment equipment laboratory has to maintain not only specific temperature but humidity as well," said Holmes. "The humidity inside of their building can affect the precision weights and measurements they are performing, so it's important for us to ensure their heating and cooling units are functioning properly."

With the magnitiude of work they complete on a daily basis, they still have to find the time for training.

"There are always new things to learn in this career field," said Senior Airman Jarell Rose, 20th CES HVACR journeyman. "HVACR technology is constantly changing and we have to keep up with it."

The Airmen of the 20th CES HVACR shop keep facilities in operating condition in the most extreme weather changes, despite the high demand for their services thorughout the base.

"I love my job," said Rose. "You always stay busy and there is always more to learn."