HomeNewsFeatures

Feature Search

More than big green trucks: How Andersen Airmen fuel the fight

The 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight Airmen check for foreign objects and debris before heading out for a full day on the flightline Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. A team of Airmen wait at the gates to check trucks for FOD before accessing the flightline to ensure flightline and refueling safety. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

The 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight Airmen check for foreign objects and debris before heading out for a full day on the flightline Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. A team of Airmen wait at the gates to check trucks for FOD before accessing the flightline to ensure flightline and refueling safety. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Christopher Avila, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, carries a fuel hose to an aircraft during exercise Cope North 16, Feb. 23, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During the exercise, refueling teams worked with aircrews from across the Indo-Asia Pacific region, building relationships and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Christopher Avila, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, carries a fuel hose to an aircraft during exercise Cope North 16, Feb. 23, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During the exercise, refueling teams worked with aircrews from across the Indo-Asia Pacific region, building relationships and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Blanchette filled out receipts noting the amount of fuel that was distributed to the aircraft to document the transaction for the aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, refuels a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Blanchette filled out receipts noting the amount of fuel that was distributed to the aircraft to document the transaction for the aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, refills an R-11 refueling truck Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The R-11 trucks can hold up to 6,000 gallons of fuel, enabling the teams to quickly refuel smaller aircraft such as fighter jets. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, refills an R-11 refueling truck Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The R-11 trucks can hold up to 6,000 gallons of fuel, enabling the teams to quickly refuel smaller aircraft such as fighter jets. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, receives a refuel request via radio Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Fuels management technicians  service all aircraft, machinery and vehicles on Andersen AFB with the fuel needed to ensure the mission never stops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight mobile distributor, receives a refuel request via radio Feb. 26, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Fuels management technicians service all aircraft, machinery and vehicles on Andersen AFB with the fuel needed to ensure the mission never stops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson)

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam --

From the very big to the very small, when aircraft on the flightline need energy for the long and short hauls across the Pacific, Airmen with the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight stand ready to refuel.

Whether driving the ubiquitous green refueling trucks or verifying the quality of the JP-8 jet fuel, no day is like any other for the teams, who are commonly referred to by their petroleum, oil and lubricant, or POL, acronym.

No matter how big the job is, POL Airmen may fuel four to eight planes on any given day to keep the mission flowing smoothly and are ready in a moment’s notice and around the clock. Yet, while airplanes are the mission focus, the teams also fuel many other vehicles and machines to include helicopters, generators and forklifts.

“We power the mission,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Kerr, the 36th LRS fuels distribution supervisor, who has been working in the career field for more than eight years. “Everyone has their part in making the mission go, but no matter how you look at it, the jets don’t fly without gas.”

While the flight’s R-11 trucks can transport up to 6,000 gallons of fuel close to the aircraft, much of the crews’ work is hands-on as the Airmen repeatedly pull a fuel line weighing nearly 100-pounds to reach the planes’ intake.

When servicing larger aircraft, the POL experts connect an R-12 refueling truck to the hydrant connection pit. From the hydrant, the truck pumps fuel from the underground pipelines directly to the aircraft -- ensuring a continuous flow of fuel.

“One time I refueled a C-5 Galaxy,” Kerr said. “It took about 52,000 gallons of fuel. I thought it was crazy (the aircraft) could hold cargo (in addition to) that much fuel.”

The fuels Airmen also tackle challenges including exposure to the elements and trucks falling out of the lineup due to maintenance, causing the Airmen to swap equipment to continue the fueling mission.

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Blanchette, a fuels mobile distributor with 36th LRS, said that one of his favorite aspects of the job is the camaraderie and seeing the mission come together.

“We are more than big green trucks,” Blanchette said. “With this job, you stay busy enough that you don’t think about much else than the job and you keep pressing on.”

When the flightline gets busy during large-scale exercises such as Cope North, an annual multilateral exercise, the teams pick up the pace to meet the demands of a packed flightline with help from their international wingmen.

“One of the hardest parts during Cope North 16 was the language barrier between us and the other service members, but we didn’t let it stop the mission,” Blanchette said. “We came together and got it done regardless of the challenge. The other nations that were here are absolutely great and awesome to work with. It has been a great opportunity to work alongside them.”

While the jobs may be arduous and the days long, POL Airmen are mission essential, Kerr said.

“This is one of the few jobs where you can work with all different kinds of aircraft and countries as well as travel the world,” he said. "What’s not to love? I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Social Media

Facebook Twitter
https://www.postguam.com/news/local/baby-turtles-head-for-the-sea/video_dba30e92-8336-11e8-8269-4b8efe2566d0.html One of the perks of living in Guam: seeing adorable baby sea turtles migrate. Check out this bale of the newly hatched creatures at Castro beach.
Social media is a quick and easy way to stay in touch with friends and keep up to date with whats going on. Unfortunately posting the wrong thing to social media can be a quick and easy way to find yourself in hot water. Make sure that what you're posting is allowed and that you aren't violating any regulations or OPSEC standards. For more information on social media use visit our website at: http://www.andersen.af.mil/Units/Wing-Staff-Agencies/Public-Affairs/
In an effort to keep the base population informed of emergency situations occuring on or around the installation, there is the new AtHoc App available for download.
Congratulations to Col. Daniel Roesch for assuming command of the 36th Contingency Response Group, and we would like to say thank you to Col. Carmelo Giovenco for all of his contributions to Andersen. Please feel free to like share and tag. For high resolution photos of the event check out our Flickr albums at the link below! https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157669041030347
Command Chief Master Sergeant of Pacific Air Forces Anthony Johnson visited Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and witnessed a new generation of defenders showcase their skills. Photos from this visit can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157698378001974 U.S. Pacific Air Forces #TeamAndersen #CommandoWarrior #DefenderChallenge #SecurityForces, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Joint Region Marianas,
The 2018 Advanced Combat Skills Assessment hosted at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam allowed Security Forces members from throughout the Pacific to put their talents to the test. The teams participated in events such as shooting, combatives, and mental and physical challenges. For more photos of the event visit our flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157670479415428 U.S. Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, United States Air Force, Airman Magazine Yokota Air Base, Misawa Air Base, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Osan Air Base, Joint Region Marianas, @joJoint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JBER (official), KadenaAirBase, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, U.S. Air Force Security Forces
Congratulations to Lt. Col. Lori Hodge for assuming command of the 36th Force Support Squadron, and we would like to say thank you to Lt. Col. Dawn Standridge for all of her contributions to Andersen. Please feel free to like share and tag. For high resolution photos check out our Flickr albums at the link below! https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157698269347454
Andersen Exchange and Food Court are now open for normal hours of operation
Delayed reporting authorized for Andersen AFB For Immediate Release July 5, 2018 0600 Delayed reporting has been authorized for all non-mission essential Andersen AFB personnel. The adjusted report time is now 10:00 a.m. All mission essential personnel should report at normal times. Please contact your chain of command for more details. (This post will be updated as new information becomes available) Stay safe! AFMS - Andersen - 36th Medical Group, 36th Force Support Squadron, Joint Region Marianas,
***CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE THIS EVENING ACROSS THE MARIANAS***
Some exciting things happening over in the Barnes Center at Gunter, as the First Sergeant Academy revamps curriculu… https://t.co/0Y5pRPfnZH
The Kelly St Gate will be restricted to FEMA and commercial truck traffic only, at 6 p.m. tonight and lasting throu… https://t.co/UoIvqHBCLf
Winds expected throughout the evening across central Alabama. Nothing like they've seen in Florida and the Gulf Coa… https://t.co/Wiw7vAVTBn
Tropical Storm and Hurricane warnings for counties south of Montgomery. Stay safe as #HurricaneMichael comes ashore. https://t.co/ZUfiger1pg
RT @NWSMobile: 750am - Potentially CATASTROPHIC Hurricane #Michael heading toward the Florida Panhandle this morning. This is the GOES-East…
Another @RedCross shelter is open in Alabama, this time in Troy for those with medical needs. #hurricanemicheal https://t.co/K57hlmQX6A
A new @RedCross shelter is open in Alabama for anyone displaced by #HurricaneMichael. https://t.co/uswIePOULo
We're expecting more than 800 first responders to stage out of Maxwell before moving south and support… https://t.co/YQRfek1EUu
A local Evacuee Shelter is open in Montgomery for anyone getting away from #HurricaneMichael. https://t.co/dxPoXWnHt8
Some good information on local county items in advance of #HurricaneMichael https://t.co/bxDI1dSP5u
The Maxwell Fitness Center will be housing teams supporting FEMA efforts in response to #HurricaneMichael. The Maxw… https://t.co/hPqVs3d0tK
@MaxGunFitness center will be housing teams supporting FEMA efforts in Florida and South Alabama. Today at 1500 the… https://t.co/6LXQhZYWes
Maxwell and Gunter are not in the path, but Alabama will experience some impacts. Stay safe and informed as the sto… https://t.co/GIxNpePh5E
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/L6qxWeTonG 2018 GOE LtCol(ret) Bill Schwertfeger (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/D12k6pue6C 2018 GOE LtCol(ret) Kelly Latimer (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/K8ru68GaS9 2018 GOE Gen(ret) William Shelton (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/eY4ZOx5J5B 2018 GOE General Lori Robinson (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/L3kZ7mSTTw 2018 GOE Gen(ret) Charles Holland (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/zfLLiX06pn 2018 GOE Dr Guion Bluford, Col(ret) (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/OATqBrmXD0 2018 GOE CW5(ret) Tabron (USA) Introduction Video