News: Demons and Devils. Refuelers expand abilities
Story by Sgt. Keven Parry
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Fuelers from the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, hosted aviation refuel operation training for their counterparts in the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div. Sept. 11 – 12 at Marshall Army Airfield.
The training provided the opportunity for petroleum supply specialists assigned to ground units to improve or maintain their knowledge regarding aircraft refueling procedures.
“It’s a refresher for some of the personnel that have done it before,” Sgt. George Charles, a squad leader from Company E, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st ABCT, and a Citronelle, Ala., native, said. “For the soldiers that have never been in aviation it’s a good learning process for them.”
The class taught soldiers that there is a significant difference in the environment around a ground vehicle and the environment around an aircraft. Rotor wash, static charge, approach, and excessive noise all become major factors requiring attention from the refuel team.
“Non-verbal communication is very important,” Spc. Robert Keith, a petroleum supply specialist with Company E, 1st Bn., 1st Inf. Reg., 1st ABCT, and an Atlanta, Ga. native, said. “It’s very important to pay attention.”
The Demon Brigade trainers who taught the class wanted to ensure that 1st ABCT refuelers were prepared for whatever mission they may face during their expected deployment next year.
“As a refueler it is possible to refuel anything. That’s what our job is,” Staff Sgt. Kinnison Venable, a platoon sergeant with 2nd GSAB, 1st Avn. Regt., 1st CAB rear, and a Houma, La., native, said. “If it requires fuel in the Army, we should be able to refuel it. By having this training, it only enhances the usability of all the units’ (petroleum supply specialists).”
The trainers noted that the Devil Brigade soldiers came to the airfield ready to learn and prepared to expand their knowledge of refuel operations.
“Over the course of the last two days they’ve been greatly motivated to learn more,” Venable said. “That just incited our instructors to give them as much knowledge as we can. And between myself and my two instructors there’s well over 30 years of knowledge, and they just drank it down like a cool glass of water on a hot day.”
The trainees benefited from that knowledge and experience, saying the class and the instructors were informative and helpful.
“They definitely know what’s going on,” Staff Sgt. Danielle Adair, a section sergeant with the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT, and a Muskegon, Mich., native, said. “They know this airfield, they know the equipment, so it was very good training.”