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PMEL flight – domination through calibration

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Airmen of the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron’s Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory play a “precise” role at Al Udeid, ensuring Airmen have the accurate, well calibrated tools needed to project airpower throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility.

“We’re the central hub for PMEL laboratories in AFCENT’s area of responsibility,” said Staff Sgt. Brent Ford, 379th EMXS PMEL laboratory chief. “We calibrate all sorts of equipment used for maintenance. Anything from oscilloscopes to pressure gauges to torque wrenches - we make sure their equipment works how it’s supposed to.”

Ford said PMEL Airmen can calibrate equipment they receive “down to millionths of an inch, micro-seconds, and parts per million” – precision necessary to enable other Airmen in a variety of career fields to carry out their mission.

By employing each Airman’s unique specialization, the PMEL flight services equipment sent from all around the AFCENT AOR and, if necessary, forward deploys to service equipment that isn’t easily moved.

 “There are certain pieces of equipment that are either too large, like a travel management office scale weighing 10,000 pounds, that can’t be packed up and shipped to us,” said Ford. “We’ll send repair teams or calibration teams out to certain locations to facilitate the calibration. We sent nine calibration teams out this last rotation and probably some more during this upcoming rotation.”

Tech. Sgt. Noel Morgan, 379th EMXS PMEL Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment flight chief, said that the lab here has no rival when it comes to operations tempo.

“We are the Air Force's busiest PMEL in the world that operates ‘24/7,’ 365 days a year,” Morgan said. “We are able to provide support for approximately 14,000 pieces of TMDE, maintaining an average 95 percent equipment availability rate to the boots on the ground. This is truly the location where what we do actually put bombs on target, and it's critical for our Airmen to see that what they do really matters.”

Senior Airman Javier Ortega, 379th EMXS PMEL TMDE technician said he takes pride in doing his part to keep maintenance equipment mission ready.

“It takes a lot of attention to detail,” he said. “Knowing that I maintain equipment that people from medical, communications and maintenance use every day is rewarding. Even though we’re behind the scenes, I know we play an important role in the mission.”