AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
When it comes to providing direct support to the aircraft of Al Dhafra Air Base, including the E-3 Sentry, KC-10 Extender, and RQ-4 Global Hawk, the various types of fuel required play a key part in the mission. Fortunately, ADAB has some of the most talented Airmen in the world handling that fuel.
The 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Flight, also known as Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants flight, or POL, provides, stores, tests and distributes fuel in operation of the Department of Defense’s largest tactical fuel site.
“Since our rotation began in April, we’ve handled the storage and oversight of over 86-million gallons of fuel,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Giovanni Saquilan, 380th POL fuels storage technician. “The fuel comes from an off-base provider, but we store, test, secure, and make sure it’s accessible when needed.”
Saquilan, the two-time Fuels Technician of the Month for ADAB, was responsible for training four new fuels personnel on the local operating procedures since each base differs slightly in fuels management.
At ADAB, the fuels bulk storage section maintains two Type III Hydrant Systems, or Bubba tanks, 29 210-thousand gallon fuel bladders, and a large number of other 50-gallon bladders. The Bubba tanks are the primary storage systems while the bladders are used to maintain a fuel reserve.
“There are miles of underground pipes leading from the Bubbas out to the flightline,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tyrone McDougal, 380th POL noncommissioned officer in charge of fuels facilities. “From there, it’s over to the distribution side of the house.”
The POL distributions section is no slouch when it comes to pumping out enormous numbers, with six Airmen able to proudly proclaim they’ve personally pushed millions of gallons of fuel to aircraft.
The POL Runner of the Month for August and Airman with the most completed fuel service requests in this deployment rotation, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Nasir Lewis, 380th POL distributions operator, says, “The pace of the mission and the number of different types of aircraft here at ADAB make the job challenging.”
“This is a 24-hour mission so we grind day and night, but it all feels worth it knowing the impact we have throughout the area of responsibility when fueling the aircraft for missions,” he continued.
Knowing how critical their operations are, the POL Airmen consistently operate in high gear to stay mission ready.