As the southwest desert summer heat intensifies, the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians assigned to the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron work hard to keep base personnel cool.
HVAC technicians are responsible for the maintenance, repair and operations of 661 facilities across Nellis, Creech Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test and Training Range. The 6,670 pieces of equipment managed equates to over 17,000 hours of preventative maintenance for sustainability. They are vital to the success of every mission involved in those facilities.
“Every mission has a specific HVAC requirement,” said Lt. Col. Peter Choi, 99th CES Operations Flight commander. “If the temperature requirements aren’t sustained for critical facilities, various systems may fail.”
From server rooms and aircraft hangars to flight simulators, the specific internal temperatures needed are imperative for the functionality of the equipment and personnel. The summer months at Nellis are typically the most challenging to maintain appropriate indoor temperatures, which leads to an overwhelming amount of work order requests for the HVAC technicians on base.
According to Choi, in order to meet the increasing demand of the HVAC work flow, the 99th CES Operations Flight has made multiple lines of effort to create a greater response to mission needs. Their efforts include utilizing over 50 Air Reserve Component technicians across 13 other bases, annual tours, aggressive preventive maintenance and a robust lifecycle replacement plan.
Through these new initiatives, the 99th CES hopes to be able to complete work orders faster while minimizing impact across the six wings and 52 tenants.
Choi also stresses the importance of units using facility managers to report any facility issues not limited to HVAC. Using a facility manager will help ensure a timely response, since they’re trained to properly put work order requests through the 99th CES Customer Service.
“We won’t know about the problem unless the facility manager reports it,” said Douglas Brown, 99th CES HVAC foreman. “Facility managers are our eyes and ears out in the field.”
Brown says despite the abundance of work they’re currently tasked with, HVAC technicians are on top of their game and have been excelling this summer through hard work and dedication to their job and the Airmen at Nellis.
“HVAC is much more complicated than people think it is,” says Brown. “Our technicians have to troubleshoot a multitude of mechanical, electrical and industrial control systems. They are out here doing incredible work and striving every day to keep Airmen mission ready.”