165th Airlift Wing POL fuels Savannah response and recovery effort
By Master Sgt. Darin Hubble, 122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 06, 2017
SAVANNAH, Ga. --
Air National Guard C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft have airlifted hundreds of Guardsmen and hundreds of thousands of pounds of cargo from Savannah, Georgia, to Puerto Rico and the island territories this week.
Since October 1st, the 165th Airlift Wing's Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants shop has grown from 6 to 13 members—several from other units from around the nation—in order to accommodate the flights to and from Hurricane-affected areas.
“Not a lot of people actually have the chance to help people like this, to know that the cargo cannot get down there without the amount of fuel that we have been able to provide, it’s a pleasure to do this,” said, Staff Sgt. Justin Bradford, Fuels Distribution System Technician, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. “To know the cargo is going down there and is helping to save lives, you can’t really beat that!”
Fueling all aircraft types, the 165th POL has filled 687,907 total gallons of fuel since hurricane relief efforts began Sept. 19, 2017. The POL team handles on average nine fuel trucks a day, each one delivering up to 9,000 gallons of fuel. A joint aerial combat training exercise, Sentry Savannah, at Georgia Air National Guard’s Air Dominance Center, Savannah, Georgia, helps the 165th prepare for this kind of tempo.
“We are used to this type of volume,” said, Senior Master Sgt. McKinley Anderson, 165th POL Superintendent. “Everyone wanted to do something, all of my guys volunteered because they all wanted to help.”
The 165th’s POL shop motto is “Semper Gumby—Always Flexible” These Airmen, with the help and support from other units, have remained flexible while meeting and exceeding the demand for fuel in support of Hurricane Maria to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“What we do—the long days and hours that we work are a small sacrifice in the much bigger picture for the people who were truly hurting,” said, Master Sgt. Bryan Glasscock, NCOIC of Fuels Bulk Storage. “At the end of the day, we get to go home and those people down there have no home to go to; the things that we take granted every day are actually a priceless commodity!”