Total Force at Maxwell gets mission done
By Airman 1st Class Alexa N. Culbert, 42 Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 13, 2014
08/12/2014--Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. -- The phone rang and John Brown, a fuels lab supervisor and assistant manager from the 42nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Flight, disappeared into the far office to answer the call. Only a few words were exchanged before Brown ended the conversation with, "We're on our way." He hopped in his truck and drove toward the gate to the flightline at Maxwell. The heat of the sun was beating down on the flightline and radiating from the pavement. The light from the sun was almost blinding, but there was no missing the 155,000 pound C-130 Hercules.
Members of the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight and the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were both on the flightline accomplishing one mission, to fuel an U.S Air Force Reserve aircraft. Crew chief Airmen pulled a 60-foot hose from the tank truck until it reached the plane and began to fuel the aircraft. About 20 minutes and approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel later, the C-130 Hercules was full and once again ready for take-off.
While the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight and the 908th AMXS are under separate wings, their missions coincide in many ways. The 908th AMXS generates air power by maintaining and inspecting the aircraft, and the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight stores and supplies the fuel needed to power the plane.
Staff Sgt. Michael Sullivan, a crew chief from the 908th AMXS, said, " We service the aircraft for every mission, and no matter what the mission requirements are we can slap it full of gas, because of the specialists at the 42nd LRS Fuels."
The 42nd LRS Fuels Flight not only stores and distributes the fuel, but also tests it. Once a week, the fuel is tested for a certain percentage of water and sediments. This ensures that only fuel that meets standards is being used.
However, the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight is not trained to handle the aircraft, so that is where having the 908th AMXS crew chiefs pay off. Jacky Sombry, a terminal manager from the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight, said, "We need a crew chief to ensure the nozzle is hooked to the plane correctly and that no damage comes to the aircraft."
Once the crew chiefs get the tested and approved fuel into the aircraft, it's ready to fly again, but when the gas runs out the mission must go on, and the 908th AMXS and the 42nd LRS Fuels Flight will work together to make sure it does.