BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) shop is a critical component to the mission success of 514th Support Maintenance Company, which provides quality maintenance support to units throughout Afghanistan.
Aiding in the support of general and special purpose TMDE, the tiny and specialized shop ensures all calibrations meet Department of the Army standards and reports the accuracy of each calibration to the National Institute and Technology in Colorado.
There are three TMDE labs supporting units in Afghanistan, but the 514th SMC operates the only military lab in theater.
The company splits the section into two teams to support both Regional Command-North and Regional Command-South.
Staff Sgt. John Santos, the section’s senior noncommissioned officer, oversees two TMDE main- tenance support specialists. Together, the small team supports approximately 20 customers and 1,100 lines of equipment for RC-N.
“The TMDE mission is vital to all customers in theater or home station,” Santos said. “What makes TMDE important is that customers have confidence in the equipment that they are using once it has been calibrated.”
There are various types of equipment the section calibrates, ranging from oscilloscopes and signal generators to spectrum analyzers, multimeters and multiple torque wrenches with a variety of sizes and dimensions.
“The usual calibration can go for half an hour to 26 hours,” Santos said.
“As calibrators,” he continued, “we are expected to know, learn and retain not just a specific type of equipment but a multitude of equipment.”
Santos said his teammates possess the knowledge and capability to adapt from testing multimeters in one instance to calibrating specialized flow meters and tension meters in another setting – meters that determine the rate of fuel being expended and the maximum tension on cables, respectively.
Each unit has a TMDE coordinator who is trained and responsible for identifying items that need calibration.
“My section is responsible for sending out the delinquent list, pickup list and projected list to each unit’s calibration coordinators,” Santos said. “Based off the list, the TMDE coordinators link up with us to ensure their equipment is calibrated or repaired in a timely manner.”
The 514th SMC TMDE section works off its motto: “Precision, accuracy and service is what we do, so you can carry on the mission.” The shop’s focus is on increasing overall unit readiness.
“The 514th TMDE came to RC-North, established a rapid footprint and delivered their services to D Company, 1-227th ARB, Task Force First Attack and D Company, 2-227th Team Legion, Task Force First Attack,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ivory Dugar, quality control officer in charge. “The 514th TMDE section is without reproach here at RC-North. It has been our greatest experience to work with these true professionals.”
514th Support Maintenance Company