Newfound perspective—HVAC

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
As the only heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technician assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, Staff Sgt. John Herron manages to excel in mission requirements.

At MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, within the 6th CES, the fire department and explosive ordinance disposal are the only Air Force specialty codes with military billets. So when it comes to the HVAC position, Herron works in the operations flight. This billet is a new and experimental one.

"I feel unique being the only Airman with this AFSC assigned to the wing," commented Herron. "I came from a shop of 50 Airmen, so this was a big mentality change for me."

Herron was a working supervisor used to leading Airmen. Now, his job responsibilities have shifted because he works in a shop of contracted certified technicians.

"My job now requires me to find ways to improve efficiency by observations and suggestions; whereas in my old shop, there was never a day that I left without dirty hands," stated Herron.

When Herron enlisted, he was looking for a mechanical career field since he's mechanically inclined and good with his hands.

"This career field has been very challenging because it is such a broad level of knowledge that I'll never be able to learn everything; so I have to rely on others," commented Herron. "It's a job where I can learn something new every single day because there is never an opportunity to not learn something new."

Herron stated that the basics of the job have remained constant; however, application throughout the years has changed radically. He expressed this career field requires the combined knowledge of a large shop to effectively complete the mission.

"It's a career field I'll never know all the ins and outs of," said Herron. "I am constantly introduced to new technology and able to observe various ways of completing the same tasks on different systems; it's my dream job."

Although his duties vary from his assignment at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Herron continues to provide the support required of him and has managed to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities presented to him.

"I have been tasked as the 6th CES government representative for Corona preparation," stated Herron. "This position gives me a voice that will have a direct influence on policy and decision makers in attendance."

Herron voiced that the trust his leadership has given him, when it comes to performing his duties, is unbelievable and stated that the support they have given him has been second to none. He's had the opportunity to receive insight into a much broader world than he would have received by just being in a normal HVAC billet.