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36th LRS unit: a cut above the rest

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Leaving the familiar behind and embracing a new culture, mission and way of life can bring out the best, or worst in anyone. Deployment provides the ideal opportunity for servicemembers who hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity, selflessness and excellence, to prove themselves a cut above the rest.

Recently, seven Andersen Airmen currently assigned to the 407th Expeditionary Support Squadron in Iraq demonstrated their ability to excel under pressure, winning Team of the Month at the group level for exceptional performance and continued commitment to their mission.

Leadership on their home station is both pleased and impressed with the achievements of the deployed Airmen.

"To win this award, these Airmen had to beat out very tough competition," said Senior Master Sgt. Chris Patton, 36th Logistical Readiness Squadron fuels manager. "They were up against dirt boys, civil engineers, security forces and contractors. It may seem like refueling is a mundane mission, but without their efforts and hard work, planes can't fly and machines can't run."

The backbone of fueling operations, the 407 ELRS consistently provides support for air and ground refueling missions in addition to a variety of multifaceted platforms.

"There are only about 200 Air Force personnel to run airfield operations on Ali Base here," said Master Sgt. Brian Hinson, 407 ELRS Fuels Management flight chief. "We support the largest Army MEDEVAC/Combat Search and Rescue detachment in Southern Iraq as well as the Department of State aviation operations. We also have a large aviation gasoline mission supporting four separate intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms, including Air Force Predators and Army Shadows. During the award period, the Predators alone logged 65 missions and 1,350 hours."

Cementing their reputation as exemplary Airmen, 407 ELRS members helped to lessen the logistical impact caused by the drawback of forces from their area of responsibility.

"We have significantly reduced the Ali Base fuels logistical footprint," Sergeant Hinson said. "We shipped 13 pieces of fuels handling equipment valued at more than $39,000 for Intra-AOR re-utilization, continuing the responsible drawdown of forces from Iraq and paving the way for the success of Operation New Dawn."

Acting as an extension and representation of the 36th Wing, these Airmen have not only brought credit to the 407 ESS, but also to the members of Team Andersen.

"I think it is a reflection of the quality of Airmen we have here on Andersen Air Force Base," Sergeant Patton said. "It is one thing to be excellent when you are surrounded by coworkers you are familiar with and all the amenities of home. To perform at the same level and maintain the same standard in an unfamiliar place is a true testament to their quality."