BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. –
With a large tube not easily moved from the back of the truck into a manhole in the flight line, aviation fuel is pushed out from the underground piping system beneath the base, into the truck and then into the fuel tank of the aircraft.
“We fuel the fight,” said Senior Airman Joe Brown, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuel Management Flight fuels service accountant in his Texas accent. “We provide on-time servicing for all aircraft, government vehicles and anything that needs fuel. We’re pumpin’ glory.”
According to their records, the Barksdale fuels management flight, or POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants), pumped between 1.5 and 2 million gallons of aviation fuel monthly over the course of the last year. Those gallons primarily fueled the B-52’s on base as a part of Air Force Global Strike Command’s responsibility to provide the United States with combat-ready forces for global operations and nuclear deterrence.
“Our career field has a saying ‘Without fuel, pilots are pedestrians’,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Stump, 2nd LRS Fuel Management Flight fuels distribution supervisor. “Anytime we see an aircraft overhead we know that couldn't happen without the service we provide.”
That is a feeling shared by others in the flight. For some Air Force career fields, it can be challenging for Airmen to understand their role in serving and protecting the country, but POL has an easy time understanding how “pumpin’ glory” keeps the mission going successfully.
A lot of that success is attributed to the sense of comradery that exists within the POL team.
“It’s a huge family here,” Brown said with a big open mouth smile. “Every month the whole shop and their families will get together to barbeque, do a fish fry or a crawfish broil and just try to keep them involved. We all take care of each other.”
After long days spent working together smelling like jet fuel, these Airmen have become closer and bonded over three things: fuel, family and food. And they like it that way.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Barksdale Air Force Base website.