Military News

Monday, August 10, 2015

Breaking a sweat: An Airman's HVAC journey

by Airman 1st Class Deana Heitzman
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


8/7/2015 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The sweat gleams across his forehead as he steps out into the sauna-like air. With, tools in hand, he begins walking toward his objective, providing the greatest of summer relief, air conditioning.

Airman 1st Class Jedadiah Floyd, like his coworkers from the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration shop, focuses on improving quality of life to ensure overall mission effectiveness here.

"I have a hand in everyone's mission by making sure Team Aviano is doing their job in a comfortable environment," said Floyd. "Also, we ensure all machines in shops are operating in the correct temperature to maximize their performance."

As an HVAC technician, Floyd is responsible for ensuring all base facilities are functioning at the proper temperature. He is part of a 19 Airmen crew who maintain more than 1,700 HVAC systems.

Although HVAC wasn't Floyd's primary choice when he enlisted into the Air Force, he learned to love the trade during his six-month technical training school.

"I had no idea what HVAC was when I was selected for the job during basic training," said Floyd. "I knew I wanted a job that can help people and would transition into civilian life."

According to Floyd, there will always be a demand for comfortable heating or cooling and the skills the Air Force is teaching him, he will keep forever.

Due to the high tempo, Aviano was the perfect place for Floyd to practice his craft. Throughout the summer months his shop completes 150 weekly work orders ranging from preventative maintenance to equipment installation.

Floyd explains how although work orders are important, the jobs requested cannot be completed immediately due to the HVACs shop policy of precedence.

"Sometimes our customers may think we are not taking care of them if a problem is not resolved that same day, but that isn't the case," said Floyd. "There is an order of precedence we have to follow that correlates with mission readiness. Buildings that have vital equipment come first-- like the communication squadron buildings, then we focus on main quality of life facilities, like the Child Development Centers, lodging and the dorms."

No matter which job they set to accomplish, HVAC Airmen always find themselves in tight spaces. The most challenging part of his job isn't the "dirty work," but finding and putting together all the right pieces during a project.

At the end of the day, Floyd relies on his coworkers to ensure he is being the best HVAC Airman he can be.

"I always try to do my little part to contribute to the mission," said Floyd. "My supervisors and fellow Airmen inspire and motivate me to do better every day. While completing the mission, regardless of how exhausted we are at the end of the week, we still find enjoyment together as a shop."

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