News | Aug. 17, 2016

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland civilian employee fuels base mission

By Sean Schroeder Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

For Will Daniels, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Fuels Management Flight fuels distribution worker at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, every day affords him an opportunity to make a direct impact on the mission.

He drives around in different sized refueling vehicles to ensure everything with an engine has the fuel it needs to keep running. This includes everything from aircraft and helicopters parked on JBSA-Lackland’s flightline, to tractors, trailers, golf carts and forklifts.

“Without fuel, nothing can get done,” Daniels said. “Nothing can be operated. Planes can’t fly, vehicles can’t move.”

One of the biggest jobs for Daniels is refueling the C-5 Galaxy, which makes stops at JBSA-Lackland. It has a fuel capacity of 332,000 pounds, which can equate to roughly 30,000 to 35,000 gallons. On a typical day, with everything that needs fuel on base, Daniels said he can pump 50,000 to 100,000 gallons of fuel.

Pumping fuel is just one part of a bigger picture for his unit. Daniels and his Fuels Management Flight team ensure the right fuel, free of contaminants, gets to where it needs to go in a timely manner. Putting the wrong fuel in an aircraft could lead to engine stalls, potentially putting lives in danger.

“We make sure it’s right before we take it out there to the aircraft,” Daniels stated.

One of the first things he and other members of his flight do each day is to inspect every one of the refueling vehicles to ensure there are no safety concerns. He also has to be aware of things in his environment that could potentially spark and ignite the fuel, like static electricity.

“Safety is one of the most important things we need to take care of – that’s first and foremost,” Daniels emphasized.

Daniels has been a fuels distribution worker since 2001. Before that he was a combat engineer for the U.S. Army for nine years. In that career specialty, he helped clear a path for Soldiers on the battlefield by detecting and blowing up explosives.

As an Air Force civilian, he enjoys serving the military mission in a different way. Whenever he looks up to the skies at JBSA-Lackland, he witnesses firsthand the fruits of his labor.

“When I see aircraft flying by, ‘That’s me;’ he’s flying because of me,” Daniels said. “I really enjoy my job.”

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Joint Base San Antonio website.