Tech. Sgt. Jaime Gardiner, a precision measurement equipment laboratory craftsman assigned 366th Component Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, sets up a rapid assistance calibration lab on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 28, 2019. The RASCAL operates as a mobile PMEL module and can be sent out in support of overseas contingency operations. At JBPHH, the RASCAL will serve as the primary precision measurement equipment laboratory while renovations are underway at the current facility. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman)
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The 15th Wing and several partner units recently joined forces with the 366th Component Maintenance Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, to deploy one of two Air Force Rapid Assistance Support for Calibration, or RASCAL, at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam, Hawaii.
The 15th Maintenance Squadron teamed up with Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Naval Facilities, the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 735th Air Mobility Squadron and the 535th Airlift Squadron to coordinate deployment of Air Combat Command’s RASCAL while the wing’s Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL) undergoes routine upgrades. As a major PMEL location in the Indo-Pacific, the temporary swap will ensure the estimated 6,500 pieces of test measurement and diagnostic equipment will receive support.
According to Senior Master Sgt. Bryan Bennett, this swap was also a win for ACC as they validate the process of deploying the RASCAL via air transport, while assessing its performance in a humid, tropical environment.
"PMEL primarily inspects, adjusts and calibrates equipment that has a scale or gauge," said Bennett. "Examples include the scales used at the 15th Medical Group’s Pharmacy that weigh specific amounts of medicine or the scales used at the 647th Force Support Squadron’s Fitness Assessment Cell to weigh Airmen on the day of their physical fitness assessments."
Mr. Troy Yoho, PACAF PMEL manger, expanded on the necessity of the 15th Wing PMEL as directly supporting all C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and F-22 Raptor aircraft. The inventory consists of all avionics, back shop and associated tooling that also supports joint base and transient aircraft.
“The importance of the 15th Wing PMEL is that they are geographically located to support the Indo-Pacific through local calibrations,” said Yoho. “The 15th MXS PMEL also supports a wide range of customers in the region, which includes Army, Coast Guard, refueling stations on Wake Island, satellite and tracking stations on Oahu and Maui, missile testing at Barking Sands and test, measurement and diagnostic equipment in Antarctica.”
When asked what lessons were learned from the massive operation, Bennett stressed the importance of communication.
“Communication is paramount in most of our duties, this is no different. We are capturing the data, both good and bad, to make it better for the next group of individuals that are tasked to deploy the RASCAL in support of an operation or exercise," said Bennett. "A five-man team, led by Master Sgt. Jason Degrasse of the 366th CMS from Mountain Home AFB, have been consummate professionals in teaching our PMEL technicians the capabilities and how to operate out of the RASCAL, as this is one of two in the entire Air Force.”
"Ensuring successful execution of the mission was paramount to providing Combatant Commanders the capability to deploy a mobile PMEL to any location within the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility," said Bennett.