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

Airman leaves AF to pursue college B-ball career

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Patrick Paul, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, shoots a jump shot during a game against the 56th Security Forces Squadron at the Bryant Fitness Center. Paul is finishing out his Air Force commitme...
 
 
140307-F-CB366-007

Airmen shave heads for pilot’s son battling cancer

Senior Airman David Owsianka Airmen from the 62nd Fighter Squadron recently shaved their heads to support a deceased officer’s son who is battling with cancer. Second Lt. Dave Mitchell, former 62nd FS pilot, lost his life dur...
 
 

Three steps to avoid ‘toxic leadership’

Toxic leadership. Sadly, this term has recently become vogue in the lexicon of the Defense Department to describe leaders possessing unfavorable leadership characteristics and whose actions eventually rot an organization from the inside out. Examples of these leaders drape across the weekly headlines and sound bites of newspapers, radio and television. “Leaders” who become drunk...
 

 

Personal improvement, goal setting all part of leadership

In preparation for the changes in regard to officer and enlisted performance reports, and force management issues, it is important to reflect on personal improvement and goal setting. This topic is close to my heart and revolves around leadership. As officers, leaders and mentors, we can all benefit from refreshing our vigilance and attention to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Instructor pilot selected as Olmsted scholar

Courtesy photo Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, prepares to refuel in an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a combat mission over Afghanistan in August 2011. For many U.S. military membe...
 
 

News Briefs April 11, 2013

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a natural disaster exercise today, which will include military, local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. Those traveling on base should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individuals with...
 




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