Arizona Reservists Support Critical Mission at Al Dhafra

  • Published
  • By MSgt Dan Heaton
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

Four Airmen from the Air Force Reserve’s 944th Fighter Wing are playing a critical role in ensuring the flow of jet fuel needed to support operations at with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Working at ADAB are Staff Sgt. Andru Lingo, Senior Airman Ryan Bass, Staff Sgt. Anthony Madrid and Tech. Sgt. Alfredo Fuentes. All four are traditional members of the Reserve, meaning they generally serve in uniform one weekend a month and have civilian jobs during the week. Like all Reservists, they are on call for deployments and special duty assignments. All of the Airmen are from the Phoenix, Arizona, area and support the 944th at Luke Air Force Base. Lingo previously deployed to Kuwait. The others are all on their first deployment.

Lingo works in logistics for Amazon. Bass is a teacher. Madrid works as a civilian for the state and, with his family, also operates a livestock farm near Phoenix. Fuentes works in computer-aided design.

The Airmen, who all hail from the Phoenix, Arizona, area deployed together to Al Dhafra earlier this fall for a 6-month rotation. All four are POL specialists, handing the petroleum, oil and lubricants necessary to support the flying operations at ADAB. Since the mission at ADAB operates 24 hours a day, the Arizona reservists are spread out, some working days and some at night. Some are working in delivery – driving the tanker trucks out to the aircraft to refuel them before the next mission. Given that a big part of the mission at ADAB is flying KC-10 Extenders, an air-to-air refueling aircraft, delivery of fuel is a frequent and time-consuming process. Others deal with storage of the fuel and in preventive maintenance.

“Getting the fuel to the aircraft so that they can take off, on time, is the main part of our duty,” Bass said.

The Arizona Reservists say the mission at ADAB is going well, in part because of good support from people back home. Madrid said his wife and father-in-law are running operations at the farm, something he is incredibly grateful for.

“It is a big relief knowing that my family supports what I am doing here,” he said.

In addition to the POL Airmen, another half-dozen or so Reserve Airmen from the 944th are also deployed to ADAB, spread throughout the 380th AEW.