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POL maintains Moody readiness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Coates
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Logistics Readiness Squadron plays an often overlooked but keystone role in the safety of pilots and longevity of 23rd Wing assets.

The 23rd LRS Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants flight takes pride in providing the 23rd Wing’s aircraft with clean, water-free and particulate-free fuel.

“We’re basically the last defense on the fuel before it gets to the aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Demarcus Middlebrooks, 23rd LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of the fuel laboratory and Carr’s supervisor. “We’re the ones that make sure it’s within the guidelines of the (Air Force Instructions).”

If the POL flight didn’t comply with the AFI’s, contaminated fuel could damage an aircraft, putting a pilot’s life at risk and preventing mission success.

“On a normal day, a tank truck comes in and we sample the fuel. We inspect the conductivity and flashpoint, check for particulates and water, and add any icing inhibitor it may need to prevent the fuel from freezing,” said Senior Airman Demari Carr, 23rd LRS fuels lab technician. “It’s not really a strenuous process, just tedious.”

The fuel goes through many levels of inspection before it reaches the R-11 fuel truck that transports the fuel to the flight line.

“If there is too much water and the plane gets too high, the water inside can freeze, so we ensure there is enough fuel system icing inhibitor that will prevent the freezing,” Carr said. “Also, it’s important to have fuel here so pilots can do their sorties and mission sets. They need to get their practice in so they can perform well when they go down range.”

Not only does the POL flight provide jet fuel, but also diesel, unleaded and E85 for government operated vehicles and heavy machinery.

As for any job, the days can be hard, but the Airmen at POL understand their impact of accomplishing the 23rd Wing’s mission.

“I really do like POL and I feel like it’s one of the more important jobs in the Air Force,” Carr said. “If a jet doesn’t have fuel, it’s not going up. Without diesel, forklifts can’t bring ammo to the jets.”