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Fuels flight supplies fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Damon Kasberg
  • Fuels flight supplies fight
It takes Airmen from many career fields working as one team to get aircraft off the ground, into the sky to complete missions and return home. These jobs range from maintaining aircraft, monitoring weather, preparing munitions and providing intelligence on threats throughout the area of responsibility.

The 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron contributes a vital role in this continuous operation. No gas, no go and no fuel, no fight, are chants synonymous with Airmen of the fuels flight.

“As soon as a jet lands we get a call from the maintenance operation center to let us know the aircraft tail number and where it’s parked,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Roberts, 332nd ELRS NCO in-charge of fuels distribution. “Within 20 minutes we’re at that location ready with fuel.”

“If we’re not out here doing our jobs the planes don’t go up, it’s as simple as that,” said Airman 1st Class Austin Brown, 332nd ELRS fuels distribution operator. The mission won’t succeed, it won’t even start.”

Before a drop of fuel enters an aircraft the fuels Airmen performs a variety of tests to ensure it’s clean. In their laboratory filled with measuring devices, Airmen check a sample of the fuel brought in from refineries. If it passes the entire test, it will be added to their supply, but only after going through another filtering process.

“We run the test to check for the quality of the fuel’s density, any water content, to ensure proper levels of corrosion inhibitor, measure the temperature, flash point and fuel system inhibitor,” Airman 1st Class Ruston Starkey, 332nd ELRS fuels distribution operator. “If it doesn’t pass the first time, we run it again. After a second failure we lock out the fuel source and file a report.

“The fuel laboratory is the first line of defense in fuels quality assurance. Fuel quality assurance is important because the pilots require clean, dry fuel to keep the aircraft in the sky.”

This fuel doesn’t only support U.S. aircraft, but coalition partners as well.

“We provide fuel support to Belgian and German forces, as well as the U.S. Army or anyone else who might need it,” Roberts said.

In addition to aircraft, this small group of Airmen work 24-hour shifts fueling vehicles of all shapes and sizes, as well as generators that keep electricity flowing.

“Without fuel this base doesn’t run,” Roberts said. “We support fuel for every generator-powered light that turns on, every plane that goes up, and every vehicle. If it’s fuel we handle it.”

While many people contribute to the day-to-day mission, without the Airmen of the 332nd ELRS there truly would be no fuel, no fight.