What I Did in the Air Force

Air Training Command Emblem

Air Training Command Emblem

After surviving U.S. Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lackland_Air_Force_Base

my next assignment was Lowry Air Force Base http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowry_Air_Force_Base
in Colorado. It no longer exists as we knew it, an active Air Force base. That makes me sad.

My Air Force specialty was PMEL – Precision Measuring Equipment Specialist. (A great fit for a nitpicky perfectionist like me.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_Measurement_Equipment_Laboratory

My specialty still exists http://www.pmel.org/ as it most likely always will. If you scroll to the bottom, you can see our metrology patch. (Tried to find a picture of it, but alas that was the only one). We calibrated flight instruments, oscilloscopes, signal generators, lots of cool gadgets. My favorite was spectrum analyzers, which everyone else hated because they required precise fine tuning to get them in spec (and they didn’t always stay there). We had tolerance ranges we could stay within, but me being me, I wanted all my equipment dead on before I’d put my stamp on it (we had cool little certified by whoever stamps). I wanted our doctors, pilots, etc. to know if my stamp was on it, it was good to go. So guess who got stuck with all the hospital equipment? Ironically, I work in a hospital now and when my mother-in-law was in ICU for so long, guess who was checking the inspection record of all the equipment they used on her (at least in my presence)? Old habits die hard.

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