PMEL ensures F-15E Strike Eagles fly
By Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2018
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory; they work behind the scene making sure equipment used in day-to-day jobs work properly.
Anything that makes a quantitative measurement must be tested and calibrated at certain intervals; this ranges from torque wrenches to scales used for Airmen's fitness assessments.
It's similar to the gas pump used to fill vehicles. The pump has to be tested and calibrated to make sure it's pumping the correct amount of gasoline associated with the price.
The PMEL shop consists of three sections: K1 - Direct Current and low frequency, K3/K4 - Wave Form Analysis and K5 - Physical and Dimensional.
K1 focuses on direct current voltage, resistance and various tests sets; K3/K4 works with alternating currents, which handles instrument landing systems, antennas, radar and communications. Physical and dimensional makes up the third section - they keep items such as pressure gages, torque wrenches and temperature gages calibrated and working properly.
Every piece of equipment has its own specifications and they are required to meet those standards.
"It's important to make sure that everything we work on is done correctly so objects don't fall off the aircraft or someone gets hurt," said Airman 1st Class Zachary Hodges, 366th Component Maintenance Squadron PMEL technician.
PMEL makes their fair share of house calls when a piece of equipment is too large to bring to them. One such item would be the hush house, where F-15E Strike Eagle engine problems are diagnosed.
"When we calibrate the hush house, we're checking things like the speed of the fan, we're checking the pressures, and we're checking the temperatures [the F-15E Strike Eagle] is putting out," said Tech Sgt. Jaime Gardiner, 366th CMS PMEL quality assurance evaluator.
Testing and calibrating the hush house ensures F-15E Strike Eagle engines are in top-notch condition, keeping the pilots safe.
"To know that the pilot is safe, that the jet is safe and we can go on and complete our mission as Gunfighters, is a great feeling," Gardiner said