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News | July 20, 2018

POL fuel yard gets first major upgrade since 50s

By Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt 23d Wing Public Affairs

The 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) is currently overseeing the construction of the Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants (POL) fuels bulk storage yard, which is slated for completion Jan. 2019, here.

As the first major upgrade since its original construction in the 1950s, the 23d LRS is modernizing the fuel yard’s infrastructure to improve fueling efficiency and provide faster turnaround for trucks.

“It absolutely, 100 percent impacts the flying mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Killen, 23d LRS superintendent. “So, the fact that we’re able to fuel trucks off the fill stand faster, it means they can get back out on the flight line to issue fuel to airplanes faster.

Killen proclaimed that the new improvements to the fuel yard will allow the 23d LRS to provide more consistent and repeatable support to the wing.

The upgrade will enhance the fuel yard’s filter pumps, storage pumps and the delivery systems for the trucks. Killen stated that such advancements will also make POL more environmentally compliant.

“Most of the piping has (been moved) from underground to above ground and the components that remain below ground will have parameters to tell us whether or not there’s a leak,” Killen said. “If you get anything past a drip, (the system) will start throwing alarms at us, letting us know we have a problem. Having pipes above ground will allow us to visually inspect them, takes less time and is less damaging to the environment.”

Killen explained how the current system is outdated, but that with the new fuel yard, the 23d LRS will be able to more efficiently provide fuel to the aircraft to help keep them flying and the mission continuing.

Killen went on to say how the new system will allow the pumps to fill from 350 gallons per minute to the improved 600 gallons per minute, which will be significant considering some of the aircraft take five or six trucks of fuel.

“It’ll give us a quicker turnaround, because with one truck we can hit four A-10s,” said Tech. Sgt. Lorenzo Cortez, 23d LRS NCO in charge of fuel service center. “Also, we can have four trucks filling up at the same time without losing our gallons per minute and they’ll all be able to fill at the same rate. In ten minutes we’ll be able to fill four trucks instead of only being able to do two in 15 minutes.

“As a controller," Cortez added. "Being able to fill my trucks in 10 minutes or being able to fill more than two trucks at a time will allow me to get trucks back out to aircraft on that flightline faster, so this will streamline the process.”

Some of the Airmen who will benefit from the improvements are the pilots, such as Capt. Kevin Rivera, 71st Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II pilot, who explained how vital the POL’s mission is to his unit’s success.

“Without fuel, the plane isn’t going to get in the air,” Rivera said. “It’s a reminder, there’s more to the mission than just flying and landing in places, and (POL) is always prepared and ready to go. There’s a number of factors you’re always worried about and the less you have to consider the easier your job becomes.”

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Moody Air Force Base website.