AFMETCAL keeps Air Force on ‘true’ path
By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs
/ Published May 18, 2021
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – Precision is a word often associated with the Air Force. The ability to apply air power at any point on the globe at any time requires equipment that operates at close tolerances.
If that equipment is outside the standard, people can die. It’s really that simple.
The Air Force Metrology and Calibration Program ensures Air Force (AF) systems and equipment are accurate, uniform, reliable, and traceable to National Institute of Standards and Technology or other approved sources.
“Metrology is the science of measurement. Things like time and distance, for example,” said Carl Unholz, AFMETCAL director. “And the calibration portion of it is, for example, you have a component on an aircraft that requires testing and so therefore the test device that performs that test on aircraft has to be calibrated so you're comparing that test device with a known standard to make sure that it is operating correctly and to the precision that you need.”
Precision is the name of the game. In fact, AFMETCAL is located in Heath, Ohio because it is one of two places in the entire continental United States that is seismically stable enough to support the precise equipment they use.
“We can break down the mission into three pieces,” Unholz said. “We have the responsibility for the overall management of the metrology and calibration program for the Air Force and the second part of that is the acquisition and sustaining of the Air Force's calibration equipment. And then the third piece is where we manage a worldwide network of calibration labs that collectively provide the calibration support to both the Air Force and Space Force.”
That network includes 65 Precision Measurement Equipment Labs including 13 located overseas that amounts to 1,800 personnel operating $1.3 billion in calibration assets.
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/7nlTreu9SQ8 . You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.