52nd LRS Airmen fuel forward ready now

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron don't have the luxury of pulling into the gas station to fill up. It takes a dedicated team to provide thousands of gallons of fuel to the F-16s and other essential equipment across base.

The 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight is responsible for the different types of fuels that power the base's machines, buildings, cars and aircraft. Without that fuel, the mission of the 52nd Fighter Wing would not be able to happen.

"Our fuels flight is responsible for providing jet fuel, ground fuel and related products to the base populace," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Elijah Maclaren, a 52nd LRS fuels technician.

In 2015, the fuels flight issued more than 15 million gallons of jet fuel to the F-16s and to aircraft that pass through the 726th Air Mobility Squadron.

"Fuels can be overlooked because it's something you don't think about when an aircraft is in the air," said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Anthony Avey, a 52nd LRS fuels service center controller. "You're thinking about the mechanics of it and all the people it takes to put it together. You don't think about the gas that's going in it, but that plane is not getting off the ground without fuel."

The fuels flight doesn't just operate at Spangdahlem; they support all corners of Europe to fuel traveling aircraft on training missions with NATO partners.

In 2014, the fuels flight established the first host nation hot pit refuel sites at two Polish airfields, extending the reach and reducing the ground time of aircraft during training sorties in the region.

"We're fueling forward, we are always ready, and we're a 24-hour, seven days-a-week shop," Avey said. "We are always ready for the call to fuel aircraft or support the base."

As a service center controller, Avey is essential in ensuring the fuel trucks make it to their assigned aircraft.

"I've worked in several sections within my flight," Avey said. "I've fueled aircraft and maintained fuel trucks. Now I work the service center where I dispatch trucks to the aircraft to make sure all fuels-related transaction on the flightline and base gets taken care of."

"I've worked several sections in my flight fuel aircraft, maintaining the trucks that fuel the aircraft," Avey said. "Now I work the service center where I dispatch the trucks to the aircraft to make sure all fuels-related transactions on the flightline and base get taken care of."

This flight is so important that the first word of the 52nd FW mission statement is their function, mission and identity: fueling.

I'm proud to be a part of the 52nd LRS fuels management flight," Maclaren said. "It's an amazing team from leadership all the way down to the lowest Airman, we all support each other and we get the job done."