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Cryogenics super cooling services serves Andersen mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adarius Petty
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron's cryogenics flight plays a unique role in facilitating Pacific airpower. Being one of only two Air Force production centers worldwide the 36 LRS is able to generate, store and distribute liquid oxygen and nitrogen. Other AF labs have facilities to store their liquid oxygen and nitrogen, but cannot produce their own. The Airmen at Andersen's lab provide critical support for the base's operational mission as well as supporting medical organizations. "The liquid oxygen is used so that pilots can breathe at altitude," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Duran, 36th LRS cryogenic production supervisor. "One gallon of liquid oxygen can expand into 860 cubic feet of gaseous oxygen, saving a lot of room in flight." In a regular month the lab goes through approximately 2,000 gallons of liquid oxygen. During major exercises, the requirements for liquid oxygen can jump drastically. During Forager Fury, a recent exercise involving aircraft and support personnel from U.S. Marines based in Japan, nearly 3,000 gallons of liquid oxygen were used in a two-week period, 36th LRS officials said. Additionally, the flight provides pure oxygen to military medical facilities on the island, including the U.S. Naval Hospital, Andersen clinic and the Andersen Veterinary Treatment Facility. The liquid nitrogen created by the flight is used in fire suppression systems for large frame aircraft, like the B-52 Stratofortress. The 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department also uses liquid nitrogen to put out potential landing gear fires. Nitrogen is also used for on-board fire extinguishers, brake fires and in-flight emergencies. With various entities relying on the cryogenics production element to provide liquid nitrogen and oxygen in order to accomplish Andersen's mission, the team continues to progress and develop, keeping Andersen well stocked with these elements and proving to be an asset for airpower operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

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