Local

March 1, 2013

POL gasses up F-16s

Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, and Staff Sgt. Kelvin Barnes, 56th LRS POL fuels lab NCO-in-charge, take a fuel sample for lab testing.

Every day, Airmen across Luke Air Force Base get their hands dirty to get the mission accomplished.

One of the dirtiest jobs on base may be in the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant Flight.

Every time a jet takes off, it’s powered by fuel. But where does that fuel come from and how does it make it into the jets?

The POL flight is ready to respond around the clock in order to ensure each jet gets the fuel it needs. Filling up at a gas station is one thing, but putting fuel in a jet is a completely different process, and it can get dirty.

It all starts at the preventive refueling maintenance section where each of the 18 R-11 fuel trucks is inspected to ensure nothing malfunctions while delivering fuel to a jet.

Staff Sgt. Elijah MacLaren, 56th LRS refueling maintenance technician, said repairing the R-11s is the best part of the job.

Airman Joseph Bagnasco, 56th LRS POL refueling maintenance technician, drains the rear sump to the lowest level in the fuel tank and checks for water and debris.

“I enjoy the challenge of the repairs and the feeling I get when the job is done,” he said. “I also enjoy smelling like jet fuel and walking into a room to see the look on people’s faces as they ask ‘What’s that smell?’ I respond with ‘POL!’”

The R-11s hold up to 6,000 gallons of fuel and can fuel four F-16s at a time. Here at Luke, POL issues about 120,000 gallons of fuel a day, supplying fuel for an average of 51 sorties a day, MacLaren said.

After fuel makes its way from supplier Kinder Morgan in Phoenix to Luke’s storage tanks via pipeline, and before it’s transferred to the trucks it must be tested. Fuel is tested for color, water, solids, conductivity, icing inhibitor and flashpoint.

Once the fuel passes all the tests, it’s transferred into an R-11 and makes its way out to the flightline.

With so much to learn, any new guy would be nervous on his first day, but that wasn’t the case for the newest addition to the POL team, Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, who is on a mission to learn the dirtiest jobs on base.

Airman 1st Class Joshua Escobar, 56th LRS POL refueling operator, rolls the fuel hose checking for leaks, cracks and tears during a recent preventive refueling maintenance check at the Luke Air Force Base fuels yard.

MacLaren showed Staton the ropes and said he was sure after a little bit of practice, Staton would get the hang of it.

“Well, it’s not an easy job to learn” MacLaren said, “but Chief Staton seems like a natural. He was eager and wanted to know everything there is to know about POL. With a little bit of practice, he’d fit right in.”

In Staton’s eyes, POL is a vital part of the 56th Fighter Wing mission.

“What we do here at Luke is extremely important — getting jets in the air and training the world’s finest fighter pilots,” he said. “I want people to understand exactly how those jets get there.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin