Supporting the Mission|
by Senior Airman Jared Duhon
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
4/9/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- In the early days of the military horses were the main power source to move large amounts of cargo and personnel, but now that work goes to modern vehicles with many times more capacity, reliability and durability.
Team Dover has a total of 31 aircraft; 13 C-17 Globemaster III 18 C-5 Galaxy, and 886 vehicles all of these use fuel supplied by the Airmen of the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
"We take care of the life blood of the Air Force," said Senior Airman Eian Andrew, 436th LRS laboratory technician. "Without fuel an aircraft is just an expensive static display."
Fuels specialists are responsible for storage of the fuel, refueling aircraft on the ground, fueling ground based government vehicles, aircraft cryogenics and laboratory work to ensure fuel is clean and on grade.
"In our career field we have many jobs that we have to do and we strive to be subject matter experts in all aspects of those jobs," said Andrew. "Operations move much smoother if everyone is on the same page with the same training and knowledge."
While each fuels specialist is fully certified they are not above getting help or taking advice or information from others.
"We are a family and there is no reason to keep information I know from anyone I work with," said Andrew. "The information I pass on or that may get passed on to me may save my life or theirs."
Fuels will not only pass important information but will go above and beyond to ensure their Airmen are ready for military life.
"When we put Airmen up for Airmen/ NCO of the month we also hold full boards in dress blues with inspections and ask questions, as if it was a group board," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Cramer, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of fuel distribution. "By holding these mock boards we help get the jitters out and with the critiques we provide them with we help build them up and prepare them for future boards."
The saying is jack of all trades master of none, but Cramer believes that to be in fuels one must be a jack of all trades and master of all.
"We always strive to be the best in everything we do to ensure we are saving time and money," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Jaindl, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCO in charge of fuel service center. "Last year Dover's Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants used a total of 51,346,398 pounds of fuel and 50,911,470 was just aircraft fuel, so knowing what fuel is available and it's the proper grade is mainly what fuels is all about."