Fuels Drive the Fight North During Vigilant ACE 16
Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight has one of the most critical jobs, to ensure that jets can take off from Kunsan Air Base and take the fight north.
“Aircraft can't take off without fuel; we like to sometimes call it, "Pilots are Pedestrians Without Fuel." It is our job to provide clean, water free fuel in a timely manner and we do it well,” said Airman First Class Ross Karrick, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron mobile distribution operator.
“Fuels takes care of all the aircraft that help take the fight north by providing around the clock, on-time fuel support to home station, transient and commercial aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Amerson, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron mobile distribution supervisor. “That includes not just fighter aircraft that we have full-time at Kunsan, but cargo aircraft that help us accept follow-on forces and defend the base too.”
Amerson added that the exercise and the training it provides improves everyone on the fuels team.
“Exercises help to enhance the readiness of both the U.S. and Republic Of Korea forces to defend the Republic of Korea,” said Amerson. “We have a Training & Support section within the Fuels Management Flight that initiates and schedules training that is beneficial for the Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants team.”
“These training exercises allow us to be effective war fighting Airmen giving us the ability to quickly respond to a variety of scenarios,” Karrick said. “This training without question has prepared us to be effective in the event we had to "Defend the Base, Accept Follow On Forces, and Take the Fight North" in a real world environment.”
Amerson said that they take full advantage of all training opportunities to ensure new arrivals are aware and fully understand the distinct mission of Kunsan and the threats associated with being here. These training opportunities showed how Airmen perform SABC response, CBRNE actions and post-attack reconnaissance sweeps.
The unique nature of this exercise meant many units in the 8th Fighter Wing got to work with their Republic of Korea Air Force counterparts they share Kunsan AB with.
The ROKAF POL team utilizes USAF fuel facilities to fill their trucks they use to refuel ROKAF aircraft, increasing interoperability. Additionally, the Fuels Management Leadership had a meeting last week with the ROKAF POL leadership to establish a training rotation to integrate U.S. and ROKAF Airmen. POL said this coordination helped improve each other’s capabilities and increase rapport with each nation.
“The exercises we do at Kunsan build a mutual respect between the US and Republic Of Korea Air Forces and allow us to know we can count on each other when needed,” Amerson said. “I feel that the bond between us and the ROKAF is strong and will continue to grow.”