HVAC: Behind the scenes of the machines
By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 14, 2018
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Though many people enjoy the cool air conditioning in their office on a hot sunny day or the warmth of their heater on cold nights, little thought is given regarding the hard work that goes into keeping these machines functioning properly.
Thanks to the Airmen from the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning team at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, these examples are possible as they work around the clock to keep systems and the base running.
The team consists of 18 Airmen, as well as seven civilians, who work together to provide daily heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration base wide for more than 12,500 personnel. Their primary mission is to maintain over $3 billion in infrastructure which houses 2,500 mechanical systems in support of the 60 B-1B Lancer and C-130J Super Hercules missions.
Technical Sgt. David Parker, 7th CES HVAC noncommissioned officer in charge, said this last year they completed over 2,000 work orders on approximately 300 facilities, nine dormitories, and eight lodging facilities.
“We learn a lot from our civilian Airmen in the shop,” said Senior Airman Austin Bernsdorf, 7th CES HVAC journeyman, “They play a big role by doing a lot of work and teaching us things about the jobs we do.”
Currently, the shop is working with nine personnel due to deployments. Though, for this team, even when their manning has decreased, their workload does not.
The HVAC team is always on call when it comes to important issues impacting Airmen and equipment. Equipment such as boilers, which create steam to heat up buildings, need to continuously be maintained in order to control temperatures. Many buildings on base rely on keeping a certain temperature in their shops to keep their systems running such as the B-1B and C-130J simulators.
How their day goes depends on the work orders received which can vary from Emergency, Sustainment, and Enhancement. Whereas time can be a little more lenient with Sustainment and Enhancement work orders, emergencies need to be taken care of prior to anyone leaving for the day.
“Without HVAC, a lot of people’s responsibilities couldn’t get done on base,” Parker said. “The [control] tower is a critical building on base, and without its HVAC systems running properly, the mission could be impacted.”
With the team in control of all the HVAC systems on base, they are also able to install energy efficient systems to save Dyess money. This money in turn allows the base to further its success in installing and repairing even more HVAC energy efficient systems.
No matter how big or small the job is, the HVAC team on base is always ready to tackle it to keep the base and our Airmen up and running no matter what the seasonal weather may bring.
"I'm proud of our team’s professionalism and customer service,” Parker said. “After jobs, we have customers calling, emailing, or sending Letters of Appreciation showing how much they appreciate the Airmen's professionalism and ability to remedy issues in a timely manner."