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Maintenance team keeps launch facilities 'running good'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron is responsible for 150 Minuteman III launch facilities. The Periodic Maintenance Team ensures these locations operate efficiently and effectively, while also honing the skills of its Airmen.

The PMT is the stepping stone for Airmen starting out in the Facility Maintenance Section career field, giving them hands on training on the various tasks of their more veteraned counterpart the Facility Maintenance Team, said Staff Sgt. Shawanna Matchett, 90th MMXS PMT chief.

The tasks performed by the PMT are primarily routine and preventative maintenance, whereas FMT performs maintenance for specific issues that arise at the sites.

"They do a lot of things that just keep the site running, or to make sure it is running good," said Tech. Sgt. Demichah Rumph, 90th MMXS FMS supervisor. "This is where the Airmen gain the knowledge of how the system works, learning all of the ins and outs."

Like most other careers, training is a large part of what the team does daily.

"With PMT, they give you the beginning steps of learning how to trouble shoot," said Airman 1st Class Christopher Myers, 90th MMXS PMT technician. "It helps your trouble shooting abilities by getting you to learn the systems."

Myers said trouble shooting was a challenge for him, but being put on the team has helped him become more proficient.

After graduating from their technical school at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the new Airmen refresh the information learned at school and are trained on the base's unique procedures to reinforce the knowledge.

"We want to get them knowledgeable in all systems," Matchett said. "This section is the best place to put them after training."

Among the number of routine checks the team does on a site, two main areas are given a high level of attention: the Environmental Control System and the diesel generator.

Both of these devices play a major role in the upkeep of a site. The systems were newly upgraded, providing smoother maintenance for the team.

"Since we have a new ECS system and we have the new diesel generators - we went from a quad annual to a triannual schedule," Rumph said. "The new systems are so much easier and user friendly. We were also able to decrease the amount of personnel that we needed to do the maintenance."

Rumph said the single team can now conduct maintenance at the same speed it used to take three teams.

"It's a challenging job, but the team I have now, I wouldn't choose anyone else," Matchett said. "They work hard and that's important. When you have Airmen that go out there and know what they're doing, it just makes it that much better."