MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Station fuels supplies the Air Station with the necessary fuel it needs in order to carry out some of its missions, such as maintaining flight, transporting equipment and having enough energy to keep Fightertown flowing.
During “Station fuels pumps up Fightertown,” readers had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about one of Fightertown’s most overlooked units. The first story explained the process of transferring fuel from a fuel barge for the Air Station.
In part two, readers learned about the testing phase of the newly pumped fuel for sediment and water residue.
The final chapter in the station fuels’ saga is the most essential: the delivery of the fuel.
After the testing is complete and positive for use, a driver waits until a squadron or unit calls for fuel. Once called upon, they transport fuel to the squadrons so flights can be maintained and vehicles can run properly.
“We have a very important job here,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Miller, the station fuels staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “A lot of people depend on us to have their vehicle functioning properly.”
They can encounter different levels of danger during delivery everyday, such as possible fuel spills or aircraft malfunctions, however, they stay prepared for those types of situations. According to Sgt. Thomas Schultz, the station fuels operations chief, station fuels have fire-resistant coveralls and fire extinguishers on hand during every delivery,.
No matter what time of day, station fuels is prepared to do their job for the Air Station. The Marines work three shifts during the day: morning shift from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., night shift from 3 p.m. to midnight and the midnight shift from midnight to 6 a.m.
Station fuels refuel aircraft with hot and cold fuel. At times, such as when field carrier landing practices are being conducted, hot fuel is given during refueling while jets are still running. Cold fuel is for stationary vehicles, such as trucks, parked planes and the base fuel station for government vehicles.
“(The 2009 Beaufort) Air Show was one of the biggest jobs we completed recently,” Miller said. “The Blue Angels, and everyone else involved in the Air Show, were very appreciative of what we did for them to keep them fueled and flying.”
Station fuels’ job is never finished. When one job is complete, they return to their unit -- knowing another call will come for the sustainment of Fightertown’s success.
A lot of people don’t think about station fuels until they need them, but what they’re doing is an extremely important task, day in and day out, according to Miller.
“If no one gets their fuel, aircraft wouldn’t fly, bombs wouldn’t get dropped and the “sound of freedom” would never be heard,” Schultz added.