An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

386 ELRS POL fuel enduring presence at Ali Al Salem Air Base

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dalton Williams, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office

Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron replaced a vital fuel bladder at the 386th ELRS fuel storage area, which holds thousands of pounds of fuel utilized daily by joint and coalition partners at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Dec. 22, 2022.

With the fuel bladder weighing approximately four thousand pounds and more than 70 feet wide, 36 Airmen from five different organizations volunteered to assist.

This hard work ensures that the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing and its mission partners will continue to deliver uninterrupted air power in the area of responsibility.

Their teamwork and coordination cut down install time to just 10 minutes and established another cornerstone of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s enduring presence.

“Ultimately, the teamwork from our small team and help from all over the base proved absolutely vital,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Garrett, 386th ELRS fuels facilities NCOIC. ”It’s really nice to see how everybody supports each other and is willing to help out.”

The last of four new bladders now in place, this essentially caps off a blood, sweat and fuel-filled process. As each bladder ages, they lose the total amount of fuel they are able to retain. What follows is countless man-hours to safely remove each piece of bladder and drain every gallon of fuel from the pit. Bucket after bucket of rock and debris is removed in order to preserve the new bladder. With Kuwait now in the rainy season, these pits needed to be drained by hand with buckets and heavy pumps during the installation process.

“Now that everything's wrapped up, it's a great feeling,” said Garrett. “The only thing left that we have to do is essentially leak testing it and we'll then start taking fuel into it. We were all smiles out there today for sure.”

For Senior Airman Brandon Jenkins, 386th ELRS fuels facilities operator and team lead for the recent fuel bladder install, he credits the team’s success for these installs to their drive and coordination they’ve had since day one.

“This is by far the best team that I have ever worked with,” said Jenkins. “We just get out there and we get it done.”