Pumping life through the Wolf Pack

Base Info
Senior Airman Jorge Zaragoza, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, directs an F-16 Fighting Falcon before a hot pit refueling at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 10, 2014. Refueling the aircraft while the engine is running allows the Wolf Pack to quickly get jets back in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt/Released)
Senior Airman Jorge Zaragoza, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, directs an F-16 Fighting Falcon before a hot pit refueling at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 10, 2014. Refueling the aircraft while the engine is running allows the Wolf Pack to quickly get jets back in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt/Released)

Pumping life through the Wolf Pack

by: Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | .
Kunsan Air Base | .
published: April 19, 2014

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Wolf Pack is fueled by an important flight on base - one that enables the Wolf Pack to defend the base, accept follow-on forces and take the fight North.

"[The fuels management flight] is important because we fuel the base by receiving, storing, sampling and issuing clean, dry fuel to all aircraft, vehicles, generators and support equipment," said Master Sgt. Rocky Sasse, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron distribution chief.

The 41 Airmen in the 8th LRS fuels management flight work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide the fuel needed for the rest of the Wolf Pack to perform its mission.

"I deliver the fuel directly to aircraft, vehicles and generators," said Senior Airman Jacob Rickard, 8th LRS fuels distribution operator. "If I don't deliver the fuel ..., they're going to be incredibly hard pressed to get any part of that mission done."

While delivering fuel may seem like an easy enough task, this Air Force job is nothing like being a gas station attendant.

"Technical school was two months and upgrade training was four to six months," said Rickard. "You have to be able to operate different refueling units, but those different units can fill different types of aircraft."

The fuels management flight delivers more than 1 million gallons of jet fuel each month, which is equivalent to filling almost two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Given the amount of fuel this unit works with on a weekly basis, there are many hazards and challenges associated with this necessary career field.

"You need to know emergency procedures in case of a fire, which is the greatest risk in our job," said Rickard. "The machinery hazards [and] the fuel itself - we just get trained on it all the time."

This job may have its hazards and challenges, but Rickard still feels satisfaction in knowing his job impacts the entire base.

"My favorite part about doing my job isn't anything I do individually or anything one section in my career field does," said Rickard. "Without us, nothing could get accomplished; nothing could move."

Sasse has a similar viewpoint on how his flight impacts the mission.

"We touch virtually every organization on Kunsan," said Sasse. "Every time we hear or see a jet taking off, it's evident the importance of POL to this base and the mission."

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