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Fuels Management Flight Keeps C-17s Flying

Senior Airman Jeremy Miller, fuels technician, and Tech. Sgt. Richard Blake, NCO in charge of operations, 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight, service liquid oxygen (LOX) carts during the Nov. 6, 2020 unit training assembly. The FMT conducts samples prior to filling the LOX carts. If the sample results in an odor that is similar to rotten eggs, then the batch of LOX is discarded.

Senior Airman Jeremy Miller, fuels technician, and Tech. Sgt. Richard Blake, NCO in charge of operations, 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight, service liquid oxygen carts during the Nov. 6, 2020 unit training assembly.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

Fuel keeps the world moving and on the go. With the global mission of the Air Force Reserve’s 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, it is essential that the wing has the resources needed to keep flying around the world.

One critical component that keeps operations running smoothly in the wing is the 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Fuels Management Flight. The flight performed its November 2020 unit training assembly during the week, instead of on the weekend.

“Performing our UTA during the week and having contractors readily available allowed the Airmen to complete the bulk petroleum contingency report (commonly called the REPOL),” said 2nd Lt. Libya Binford, 445th LRS fuels management operations manager.

Binford described the REPOL report as a monthly inventory snapshot to show the fuels assets each installation has available.

“The report accounts for the jet fuel, diesel, unleaded gasoline, liquid oxygen, de-icing fluids as well as personnel, equipment and vehicle inventory for the base,” said Binford.

Producing the REPOL report is a great opportunity for the fuels management flight as it allows members to inspect every aspect of the fuels systems housed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

During the UTA, the fuels management Airmen performed quality testing on the liquid oxygen and serviced the systems and cryogenic components. The storage and management of all different types of fuels is a full-time job. The flight includes traditional Reservists, Air Reserve Technicians, Active Guard Reserve Airmen and contractors from the Defense Logistics Agency, all working together.

“These liquid oxygen carts are installed on the aircraft and are the source of oxygen for aircrew members during flight,” explained Binford. The fuels systems and equipment at Wright-Patterson undergo extensive daily, weekly and monthly inspection and testing.

Binford said contractors have been utilized since 1979 at Wright-Patterson and are responsible for all fuels operations for the 88th Air Base Wing.

“Having two Airmen from the 445th Fuels Management Flight work for the contractor has vastly improved our relationship and increased training opportunities,” she said.

Tech. Sgt. Justin Rogers, noncommissioned officer in charge of the fuels information service center, said because the flight manages so many different types of fuels and resources, including seven Jet AA fuel tanks and two ground fuels service stations, the system is quite complex.

“The flight manages more than two million gallons of fuel annually,” Rogers said. “Our fuels are piped throughout the ground in a loop and progress through fuel separators to ensure the fuels are very, very clean and no contaminates go into the aircraft.”

The training proved beneficial to all involved.

“Training during the week has given us a better opportunity to get hands-on with more aircraft runs and allows us to build relationships with our partner contractors,” Rogers said. #ReserveReady

(Zimpfer is assigned to the 445th Airlift Wing public affairs office.)