Fuels Airmen keep the jets running!

When was the last time you gassed up your car? My guess is you pulled up, slid your card in the payment slot, pressed the button as to what type of fuel you wanted and began pumping the gas into your vehicle. Did you ever stop to think – what if there’s something wrong with that fuel?

What if there was something wrong with that fuel? How much would you have to pay for repairs?

That’s not a risk our POL (petroleum, oil & lubricants) shop is willing to take. During the week they receive shipments of aircraft fuel via tanker trucks, and it’s their job to perform lab tests on that fuel to ensure our F-16 Fighting Falcons are filled up with the best!

That is just one of their jobs.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Brian Carroll, their team of six full-time members, one indefinite and four traditional guardsmen, are responsible for much more. They forecast consumption of fuel by reviewing the next week’s flying schedule, they maintain the Automated Fuel Servicing Station on base and order fuel for that, they ensure the base has enough liquid oxygen for the aircraft, etc. A lot of what fuels Airmen do is behind the scenes.

Their job is vital to the mission here at the 115th. Everything requires fuel to operate. They are what I’d call a “well-oiled machine!”

The coolest part of their job is the fact that they get to spend time on the flightline, servicing the Aircraft – and they do an amazing job at that! Just last year they decided to try for the American Petroleum Institute Award, and they won, beating 88 other Air National Guard units! This year, they plan to do the same!

Here are some photos of SrA Stepanski testing the fuel:

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On the flightline at Volk Field – Summer 2014:

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About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.