56th LRS Fuels Management Flight receives upgrades

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Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Franklin R. Ramos

Airman Johnny Jackson, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight fuels distribution operator, and Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander, prepare to connect a 2018 R-11 Mobile Refueling Units single-point hose onto an offloading skid header during a 56th LRS Fuels Management Flight commissioning ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 14, 2018. The Fuels Management Flight received upgraded offloading skids and two new R-11 fuel trucks increasing the efficiency of getting fuel to aircraft.

The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., received some equipment upgrades to allow them to accomplish their mission more efficiently.

The Fuels Flight has new and improved offloading skids to allow an alternate receiving capability for fuel other than through the pipeline.

“We have finally received the capability for an adequate alternate fuel receipt system,” said Capt. Cody Gibson 56th LRS Fuels Management Flight commander. “Before this system, the previous was inefficient for an alternate fuel receipt.” 

Prior to this change it would take fuels Airmen roughly one hour to fill one tank truck. Now they can fuel four trucks in the same amount of time.

“The new system is four times quicker than the old one to offload fuel tanker trucks,” said Gibson. “The old system caused a serious concern if the pipeline were to go down for whatever reason and this alleviates some of that concern.”

The new offloading skids pump more than 500 gallons of fuel per minute with two emergency switches to shutdown fuel running through the pipeline. Not only does this new system fuel the trucks, but it allows fuel members to return the fuel back to the system itself.

Senior Airman Alfredo Villasenor, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight fuels distribution operator, briefs 56th Fighter Wing leadership about a 2018 R-11 Mobile Refueling Unit during a 56th LRS Fuels Management Flight commissioning ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 14, 2018. The Fuels Management Flight added two new 2018 R-11 MRUs to its inventory which are formatted to accommodate modern aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II.

“Being able to return the fuel is important so we can reclaim that product and account for that fuel for monetary purposes,” said Gibson. “All fuel is owned by the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy until it reaches the aircraft. If we defuel a plane and don’t account for that fuel, it’s as if money goes missing.”

They also received two new 2018 R-11 Mobile Refueling Units to add to their fleet of fuel trucks.

“The new trucks are redesigned and formatted to accommodate next generation aircraft,” said Gibson. “They are more automated and come equipped with a new digital interface for accuracy of gallons, audible backup warning sensors, and an Automatic Control System, assisting the operator when they conduct high- or low-pressure aircraft servicing”

Having the new equipment will aid them in getting fuel out to aircraft on the flightline sooner.

“We have the oldest R-11 fleet in the Air Education and Training Command inventory. The fact that we now have two of the newest R-11’s out there is once again going to improve the efficiency of getting the mission done,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander.

Getting fuel to the aircraft more efficiently ensures that the 56th Fighter Wing can continue to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen.

“We’re the first line that [the pilots] need to perform their mission so we understand how impactful that is,” said Gibson. “It is our duty to get them clean, dry, quality fuel every time as fast and efficiently as possible.”
 

Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander, gives a speech during a 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight commissioning ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 14, 2018. The Fuels Management Flight received upgrades to its offloading skids which allows it to fill four fuel trucks within one hour making it four times faster than its predecessor.