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POL fuels the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lauren M. Snyder
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Every time a 332d Air Expeditionary Wing member flips a light switch or starts a vehicle, the fuel required is a direct result of the efforts of the 332d Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight.

“The fuels flight here is responsible for receiving, storing, sampling, and distributing petroleum products to customers, to include maintenance quadrants and fuel for aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. William Ellzey, 332d ELRS fuels distribution non-commissioned officer in charge.

The fuels flight is commonly referred to as POL which stands for petroleum, oil and lubricants. POL stays busy 24/7 providing diesel, motor gasoline, and jet fuel needed for 332d AEW to continue to generate, execute, and sustain combat air power in their area of responsibility.

“Ultimately, the mission is combat sortie generation and we do that by providing dry, cleaned fuel safely and in a timely manner,” said Ellzey.

The 332d AEW relies on POL to provide fuel for all aircraft and vehicles and to maintain generator tank levels to keep heating, ventilation, and air condition units running, lights on, and everything in-between.

“The fuel service center is the focal point for the flight; they receive fuel requests from the maintenance operations center and then facilitate the appropriate truck, operator, and equipment for the customer,” said Ellzey.

Ellzey went on to explain that distribution is the tip of the spear because the operators go out with the fuel and aircraft. The Fuels Operational Readiness Capability Equipment section, or FORCE, maintain the facilities, the equipment used to offload and store petroleum products, and run the fill stand operations here. Additionally, they’re responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles after they are used to service aircraft. The fuels laboratory is responsible for ensuring that the products are up to specifications, clean, dry, with the right levels of additives, and that the equipment is up to standards.

“My favorite part of being here is knowing that I am making a difference because I'm one of the last lines of defense against contaminated fuel,” said Staff Sgt. Zachary Johnson, 332d ELRS fuels lab non-commissioned officer in charge. “By running quality assurance measures on the fuel that comes in and out, I'm making sure that the airplane or other machine is not getting bad fuel. It’d be tough without us: gas powers everything.”