BEALE AIR FORC BASE, California --
With summer approaching, most people aren’t ready for the dreaded heat to return to Northern California. According to the 9th Operational Support Squadron Weather Flight, Beale experiences temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for approximately 80 days during the summer. Temperatures at these levels can lead to heat-related illnesses.
Like most practices it’s better to be proactive than reactive, with that in mind the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Flight is consistently performing equipment maintenance.
“The summer time is one of the busiest times of the year due to the high temperatures,” said Senior Airman Lecassius Boyle, 9th CES HVAC technician. “The heat causes HVAC units to work harder to blow cold air into the rooms and can cause components to fail.”
A HVAC technician’s mission is to install, operate, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) systems, combustion equipment, and industrial air compressors. In addition, they also maintain and repair non-electric kitchen equipment.
“We are responsible for maintaining and repairing all units across the base,” said Staff Sgt. Yohance Leslie, 9th CES HVAC craftsman. “Every day there are tasks to be completed, which fall under three types of prioritization classifications, emergency, urgency and routine.”
Each of the classifications follow a demand requirement. Emergency work orders have to be completed within 24 hours, urgent tasks have a week and routines have a 30 day timeframe.
The HVAC flight’s top priorities are living quarters and the high operational units, like the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group and 12th Reconnaissance Squadron.
In addition to repairing units which are for personnel, HVAC repairs and maintains equipment that cools facility systems. Those systems consist of components like computers, monitors and servers. If the temperature rises too high it can cause the system to overheat and shut down.
“We maintain roughly 600 to 700 units and we have several that are mission critical,” Boyle said. “If those units stop, the mission stops. It’s our job to preserve those assets with our maintenance and repairs, so the mission continues.”