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Fuels maintains aircraft lifeblood

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina M. Brisbin
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Fuel is the lifeblood of all aircraft. If it weren't for the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadrons' petroleum, oils and lubricants shop, best known as POL, aspects of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and its mission wouldn't be possible.

The primary mission of the flight is to provide fuel and cryogenic support to the 36th Wing, tenant units and transient aircraft. More than 67 LRS Airmen work together in the fuels management flight to pump an average of 115,000 gallons of fuel per day. 

"The POL shop is in direct support of every aircraft landing (here)," said Master Sgt. Josh Creeger, 36th LRS fuels information service center section chief. "From the point the fuel arrives on base each section of our team has a crucial role to ensure clean, dry serviceable fuel is issued to the 36th Wing's flying mission."

The flight consists of two main sections: the fuels information service center and fuels operations.

The fuels information service center is the nerve of the flight. The center receives fuel requests, dispatches fuels operators to aircraft, and keeps track of all accounting and billing for Andersen's fuel services. All equipment, storage tanks and receipts are also analyzed by Airmen in this section. They ensure only the highest specifications of fuel are delivered to aircraft.

Fuels operations is home to distribution which is the largest section of the flight.

"Distribution is the bread and butter of the flight," said Creeger. "They are the personnel that deliver the fuel to the aircraft on the flightline."

An aircraft receives fuel one of two ways. The first method is for an Airman to drive a 6,000 gallon R-11 fuel truck to the aircraft and transfer the amount of fuel needed. The second way an aircraft receives fuels is through an R-12 Hydrant Servicing Vehicle, which is typically used for transferring larger amounts of fuel. When needed, the vehicle is dispatched to the aircraft where it connects to the hydrant outlet on the flightline parking ramp and delivers the necessary fuel.

Preventive maintenance, fuels facilities and cryogenics are also components within the fuels operations section.

Cryogenics troops produce liquid oxygen and nitrogen as well as gaseous oxygen and nitrogen. Liquid oxygen is used by pilots when they are flying at high altitudes. However, gaseous oxygen is produced to be used in the clinics on base. Liquid and gaseous nitrogen are also produced in the shop. Gaseous nitrogen is used for aircraft tires and liquid nitrogen is used for freezing different types of equipment.

The cryogenics shop produces approximately 40,000 gallons of product a year. By producing these products on Andersen, they save the Air Force $7.55 per gallon and an estimated $300,000 per year. 

In every aspect, the POL shop directly impacts Andersen's mission of providing sovereign options to employ airpower across the entire spectrum of engagement.

"I've never seen such a tight knit group in the military," said Capt. Scott Engman, 36th LRS Fuels Management Flight commander. "It doesn't matter how heavy the workload is or how crazy the hours are. They pull together as a team and keep morale high."

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