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Maintainers create mount to monitor Fukushima
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Senior Airman Thompson Kongmany and Senior Airman Mark Williams, 374th Maintenance Squadron metal technicians, create a camera mount here March 28, 2011. Maintainers were tasked to create a mount for equipment that will monitor radiation levels near reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The U.S. Air Force continues to coordinate with counterparts, higher headquarters and the Government of Japan to rapidly respond to requests with critically needed capabilities and supplies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrea Salazar)
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Maintainers build mount for Fukushima sensors

Posted 3/28/2011   Updated 3/28/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Lynsie Nichols
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


3/28/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan  -- Since March 11, Airmen all over Yokota Air Base have performed key tasks in support of Japanese relief efforts, but for two Airmen the work took a greater personal significance March 28.

The two Airmen, aircraft structural maintainers with Yokota's 374th Maintenance Squadron, worked late into the night building a mount that will carry sensory equipment to monitor radiation levels at the Fukushima power plant.

"The mount will allow us to anchor equipment that will let everyone know what is going on," said Senior Airman Thompson Kongmany, 374th MXS aircraft structural maintainer.

The Airmen worked tirelessly, knowing that their contribution to Japan's efforts at Fukushima were critical to improved situational awareness and safer operations at the stricken nuclear plant.

Senior Airman Mark Williams, 374th MXS aircraft structural maintainer adds, "This mount is so significant because it will allow equipment that can monitor radiation levels to be attached and safely let us know the radiation levels."

On a tight schedule, the two airmen spent five hours carefully cutting and shaping metal sheets as they created the mount with exacting detail.

"Precision is key," said Airman Kongmany, "We want to make sure that everything is just right, no sharp edges and a perfect fit."

This is not the first time 374th MXS has put their metal fabrication expertise to good use in support of Japanese emergency responders at Fukushima.

Earlier in the week, two teams of four Airmen worked 12-hour shifts to design and fabricate critical connection components so Japanese crews could use water pumps, donated by the U.S. government, to augment the Fukushima nuclear plant's cooling system.

Despite long hours and demanding requirements, the Airmen of the 374th MXS feel honored to have such an important role in Operation Tomodachi and to be a part of history.

"It feels great to be able to help people out in a time of need," said Airman Williams.

Airman Kongmany added, "When this is all said and done, I think it will really sink in, what a significant part we are playing in history."



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