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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Calibration Facility keeps equipment in good shape

By Lance Cpl. Kevin J. Ridlon | | July 1, 2004

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To ensure the safety of all Maintenance Center Albany employees, the equipment used to make the various products that are used at the maintenance center must be tested to ensure it is in good working order.

This responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of the 40 men and women that work in the Calibration Facility, which is comprised of four different departments: Physical Dimensional, Electro-Optical, Electronics and Radiation Identification.

According to Larry Olson, manager of the Electronics branch, the Calibration Facility provides a measurement service that ensures the test equipment used throughout the armed forces is within manufacturing specifications.

"Any type of test equipment that is used for qualitative or quantitative measurements has to be calibrated periodically," Olson said. "We do this by testing this equipment or comparing it to standards of greater accuracy."

After each piece of equipment is calibrated, it is put on a recall cycle.

The recall cycle is used to maintain the periodic calibration of the equipment.

"After the equipment is calibrated, the length of the cycle is determined by how it compared to the manufacturer's specifications," said Pete Dembowski, supervisor, Electronics Department.

"Some equipment will be put in a three-month cycle, some in cycles of years. It all depends on the equipment," he pointed out.

According to Olson, the Calibration Facility is now trying to work on a tracking system.

"Soon, all the facilities will be linked together so that all the like equipment can be looked at for accuracy and reliability," Olson added.

This facility also supports outside organizations and other branches of the military.

"We provide overflow support for the Fleet Marine Force, Cherry Point, reserve units on the East Coast, as well as Air Force, Army National Guard and Navy units," Olson said.

This facility is one of 13 facilities and one of two depot laboratories throughout the Marine Corps. The other depot laboratory is located in Barstow, Calif.

"One thing that is unique about the depot laboratories is that we have the ability to take unique pieces of equipment that is badly needed, and take the equipment and rebuild it," said Mark A. Kramer, manager, Metrology Quality Program, Calibration Facility.

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