PORTLAND, Ore. --
The 142nd Fighter Wing is responsible for maintaining mission-ready units capable of continuously providing 24/7 ACA (Aerospace Control Alert) for the greater Pacific Northwest spanning from Northern California to Canadian British Columbia.
PANG employs approximately 1,500 people, many of whom work behind the scenes to ensure various installation components maintain mission readiness. Whether it’s from behind a computer screen or turning a wrench on a vehicle or piece of equipment, the men and women of the 142nd FW work hard in their roles to ensure a constant state of readiness.
The CES (Civil Engineer Squadron) career fields are among the most quietly impactful to the mission and the base itself. The HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) and electrical systems career fields provide essential services to base facilities, allowing members to carry out their daily tasks not only in comfort, but safely and efficiently.
HVAC services are mission essential as various shops require equipment to be stored in temperature controlled environments in order to function properly. For example, the 142nd Communication Flight requires their facilities to be air conditioned so computers, servers, and other equipment don’t overheat or crash.
On a typical day, an HVAC technician fills work order requests for preventative maintenance on various units in different buildings on base. This includes assessing systems and replacing air filters, belts and gauges as needed. Big projects like installations occur less often, but when they are requested, they offer HVAC technicians an opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job training and work experience.
Such an opportunity arose in November 2018 when the BX (Base Exchange) moved to a new location. HVAC technicians ran the duct work for the heating, cooling and ventilation systems, acclimating the building for full functionality as a base retail establishment.
Electrical systems craftsmen take care of high and low voltage services needed throughout the base. Daily tasks include wiring, changing out receptacles, light switches and lights, and adding new circuits. As part of their duties, specialists climb utility poles and use specialized vehicles and equipment to inspect, repair and maintain overhead electrical distribution systems.
Staff Sgt. Deven Matsumoto, an Electrical Systems Craftsman for the 142nd CES, chose the career field specifically for its lucrativeness in the civilian workforce and the practical use of the skillset in everyday life.
“Not only would I learn the career field, I could do it as a job,” says Matsumoto, “but I could also go and wire my own house, change out lights, change out receptacles…On the outside, civilian technicians get paid around $45 per hour.”
Both the HVAC and Electrical Systems career fields directly translate to positions in the civilian job market. Senior Airman Jon Arient is an HVAC technician for the 142nd CES. As a DSG (Drill Status Guardsman) he performs his Guard duties two days per month. Outside of the military, he’s a Fiber Optic Technician.
For these CES career fields, people possessing a strong commitment to learning, who are also safety-conscious, diligent, detail-oriented, self-motivated and mechanically inclined will excel most.
Would you or someone you know be a great fit for one of these career paths? Please contact the Oregon Air National Guard recruiting office at 503-335-4040 or visit GoANG.com.