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    CEMIRT continues to power Air Force and prevent mission disruption



    Story by David Ford 

    Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center

    The Air Force’s Civil Engineer Maintenance Inspection and Repair Team sustains the Air Force mission by rapidly responding to civil engineering-related issues across the globe to prevent mission disruption.

    CEMIRT is part of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, a primary subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, with teams based at Travis Air Force Base, California, and Tyndall AFB, Florida. The CEMIRT team supports installations with a suite of civil engineering-associated maintenance and repair capabilities, including electrical and mechanical systems; power production, aircraft arresting systems, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

    While the teams have a heavy schedule of planned work at many installations each year, they are also the team commanders rely on to solve the toughest problems in the toughest conditions. CEMIRT conducts an average of more than 300 planned events, and between 30 and 40 emergency responses and up to 150 unplanned team member deployments annually.

    “This is the break-glass team, and none of the problems are easy,” said Col. Cliff Theony, director of AFCEC’s Operations Directorate. “We mobilize these folks in the middle of the night to go out and fix problems across the Air Force. Specific time for unscheduled missions is built in far in advance to leave room for whatever situation may arise.”

    Theony pointed to a series of short-notice and emergency responses over the years that show the CEMIRT team’s flexibility and agility.

    In Oct. 2023, when a failing power plant on Wake Island threatened to plunge the island into powerless darkness, the commander reached out to CEMIRT.

    “Literally in the middle of the night, we started getting phone calls from the Pacific region support center commander about some challenges at Wake Island,” Theony said. “The power plant had completely failed about four times in roughly 90 days, and the team out there could not figure out why.”

    The team traveled to the island about 2,500 miles from Honolulu, Hawaii, and traced the problem to plant generators that were overheating. They helped the 611th Civil Engineer Squadron connect temporary radiators to help the generators regulate heat until the team can return to implement a long-term solution.

    In May 2023, when Typhoon Mawar hammered Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the CEMIRT team was among the first recovery resources to respond and helped the 36th Air Base Wing civil engineers repair critical power generation, electrical distribution and HVAC issues across the installation.

    In March 2021, CEMIRT’s electrical team provided emergency support for the 45th CES at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, to troubleshoot and repair the medium voltage switchgear – which allows capability to power the facility from one of two circuits in case of a power anomaly – at the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

    From Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2021, CEMIRT continued to keep the mission flying despite COVID-19 travel restrictions and other associated challenges, executing 390 requirements at more than 85 installations in the U.S. and abroad.

    “Even with all the challenges and risks the entire world was facing, our entire team persevered and showed they can overcome even the most monumental challenges when the Air Force mission calls for it,” said Patrick Ross, CEMIRT HVAC manager.

    In Oct. 2018, the Tyndall-based CEMIRT team responded to a hometown emergency when Hurricane Michael leveled the installation. Despite a 35-percent reduction in staff directly related to several CEMIRT Airmen and their families being displaced from their homes, the team helped the installation recover and begin the rebuilding process.

    “We have a really impressive team that executes important missions at a tactical level,” Theony said. “They are TDY all the time all over the world, and they often divert from one mission to another. While some run from the problems, CEMIRT runs toward them.”


    Date Taken: 05.14.2024
    Date Posted: 05.24.2024 14:40
    Story ID: 471716

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