NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Just like the human body relies on the heart to pump life-sustaining blood to every cell to function, the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight pumps nourishing fuel to keep aircraft functioning. The role of the fuels flight is critical during Red Flag exercises.
“During a regular day, the 99th LRS fuels flight pumps approximately 150,000 gallons of fuel a day to keep the aircraft functioning; however, during Red Flag it easily exceeds 500,000 to a million gallons a day,” said Senior Airman James Crandle, 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight fuels accountant.
“This [exercise] is the closest you can get to a deployed environment; we have numerous people and personalities, numerous airframes typical bases don’t see, as well as [numerous and] different operations,” Crandle said. “Not only is it good for our pipeline teams to learn and see all this diversity, it’s also good for all the people from other bases who may not get to see this kind of operations tempo or these operation [types].”
“With Red Flag, the day-to-day operations [increase significantly],” Crandle said. “There are a lot of different people, a lot of different moving parts, and we coordinate all of that.”
During Red Flag, the 99th LRS fuels flight received 30 different petroleum oil and lubricant augmented troops from the reserve, guard and active duty components from different bases around the world.
“We integrate the POL troops into our flight,” said Staff Sgt. Roberto Flores 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight fuels distribution supervisor. “We have a 24-hour period to get [POL troops] competent and up to speed with the operations here to be able to support the Nellis mission.”
Nellis AFB has 169 assigned aircraft; however during this Red Flag that number is increased by approximately 115.
“We’re [responsible during Red Flag] for a lot of [people], trucks and fuel, so it’s a lot of different components we have to make sure are in the right place at the right time,” Flores said. “With more people, comes more personalities, with more personalities, means more attention [to detail] that we need to possess.”
Due to the fast-paced environment of Red Flag, there is a lot of movement and personnel to coordinate on the flight line. The 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight has to ensure delivery of fuel to every aircraft, as well as ensure ground vehicles have fuel support.
Red Flag is a prime example of well-rounded training for possible deployment scenarios for the 99th LRS fuels flight.
The 99th LRS fuels management flight is an integral part of the functionality of Red Flag as well as everyday flight line activities. The world’s premier combat training exercise wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight.