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Face of Defense: Marine Keeps Camp Leatherneck Cool

By Marine Corps Sgt. Marco Gutierrez
1st Marine Expeditionary Force

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, June 14, 2012 – Temperatures can reach more than 100 degrees here, but one Marine battles the heat to keep things cool for his fellow service members.

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Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Flores replaces a broken conductor on an air conditioning unit at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, May 19, 2012. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Marco Gutierrez

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Lance Cpl. Joshua Daniel Flores, a refrigeration mechanic 9th Communication Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, works every day to keep his fellow Marines and critical equipment from overheating.

“His mission is important, because he creates a controlled climate environment for the critical communications equipment here, which creates a lot of heat in an already hot environment,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremiah Loeffler, the battalion’s air conditioning section head and quality control noncommissioned officer.

Flores monitors three sites that contain living spaces, offices and critical communication equipment. He keeps track of more than 170 air conditioning units, performs biweekly preventive maintenance and responds to trouble calls when the units malfunction.

Even though Flores has many people relying on him to get his job done, he always manages to stay upbeat. “He has a good work attitude, likes to learn, and he never does the bare minimum,” Loeffler said.

Flores said he enjoys the satisfaction he gets when he repairs an air conditioning unit and knowing his supervisors trust his work.

His biggest challenge is the harsh environment and inclement weather that give the air conditioning units a beating and keep him moving and working. But despite the rigors of his job, he added, keeping Camp Leatherneck running smoothly is all the motivation he needs.

“Biweekly, I go to all my [air conditioning] units,” he said. “I do visual inspections, make sure they’re good, and clean the dust filters. Right now, I already know just by the wind which ones are dirty.”

Even though his job requires him to be out in the blazing hot sun, Flores said, he takes pride in knowing he plays a critical role in helping others keep their cool.


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