News: Pope NCO helps fuel the fight in Kyrgyzstan
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Staff Sgt. Benjamin Lowers is a fuels distribution craftsman deployed with the 376th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan.
Lowers is deployed from the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 43rd Airlift Wing, at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
Fuels airmen like Lowers operate mobility fuels equipment such as the R-11 and R-12 fuels trucks to refuel aircraft, his Air Force specialty job description states. They also maintain and operate petroleum-related facilities and equipment and perform quality analysis on products. Additionally, they perform operator maintenance on fuels handling equipment and facilities and prepare receipt, inventory and issue documents for fuels products accounting.
The job description also requires maintaining storage and dispensing facilities, rotating stocks to prevent product quality degradation, and ensuring an effective operator maintenance program is carried out.
Fuels airmen like Lowers also operate a fuels control center to monitor all product movements and ensure timely response to mission requirements. They coordinate refueling requirements with supported agencies and ensure appropriate prioritization of support requirements.
Furthermore, as a fuels distribution airman, Lowers has to maintain mandatory job knowledge in numerous areas such as composition, properties, and characteristics of petroleum products and cryogenics fluids.
He must also know about environmental protection procedures; conservation; methods of receiving, storing, testing and evaluating fuel and cryogenic fluids under normal, field or remote conditions; and fuels deployment and contingency operations.
The Transit Center at Manas has four missions -- air refueling, airlift, onward movement of troops and humanitarian assistance, according to the 376th AEW web page. They do this with the help of 850 military members and 750 U.S. and host nation civilian employees and contractors. The 376th AEW owns, maintains and operates the Transit Center's KC-135s.