Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    127th Area Support Battalion Refuelers Keep Division Moving



    Courtesy Story

    1-230th Cavalry Regiment

    By Staff Sgt. Tony Sailer

    BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Whether by air or by land, 1st Armored Division vehicles and aircraft won't go anywhere without JP8 fuel and help from trained military refuelers.

    Since the mission extension in mid-April, the refueling Soldiers of 127th Area Support Battalion, Division Support Command, Task Force 1st Armored Division have been busy running the Forward Arming and Re-fueling Point, a bulk fuel storage and retail fuel distribution point on the flight line of Baghdad's airport.

    "I am most proud of my soldiers for how they handled being stopped," Master Sgt. Robert Elders, a platoon sergeant with 127th ASB said. He also said that when they were told they were not going home in April, his unit had to return to Baghdad and resume the refueling mission, pumping more than 50,000 gallons in the first five days.

    "We immediately started looking for the equipment we needed to set up the fuel points," Elders said. "We had to borrow filters. The 1st Cavalry [Division], those guys were great. They hooked us up with anything we needed -- filters or whatever."

    Soon the Soldiers had their vehicles back on the flight line and began pumping fuel into aircraft within 24 hours of receiving the mission. This was accomplished despite having recently cleaned their fuel tanks for the trip home.

    "We had purged our tanks prior to leaving in early April to clean the fumes and vapors out of the tank for the trip home," Elders said. "It takes a while to get the cleaning solvents out of the tank so they don't contaminate the gas. Once you put purging fluid in the tanks it is hard to get a good quality fuel out of them." Another challenge the group faced was the quality of the local fuel. During the process of transferring fuel from civilian contract fuel tankers over to the bulk facility, contaminants were getting into the fuel. "It is hard to look and see if you gave bad fuel. You can look at the color and say well that looks good, but you have to test it to be sure," Elders said.

    "Before I can put our fuel into anything flying, I have to send a sample to the lab. The Air Force has a very good lab here. They let us send our fuel over to be tested and they gave us the results," he continued.

    "The results were disappointing. The tests confirmed that the first batch of fuel was no good. It had to be removed," he said. "We spent hours and hours and hours re-circulating the fuel, cleaning the fuel."

    Now, armed with a portable, state-of-the-art piece of equipment called a water detector test kit, the refueling team can test the fuel on the spot. "The test kit tells us if the fuel is on grade or off grade," Elders said.

    Elders will not accept any reading of more than 5 parts water per million, though the Army standard is 10 parts water per million. The Soldiers test every tanker at every refueling to ensure a quality product.To date, Elders and his platoon have provided over 4.5 million gallons of fuel to aircraft, track and wheel and continue to keep Task Force 1st Armored Division moving.



    Date Taken: 07.06.2004
    Date Posted: 07.06.2004 14:21
    Story ID: 81
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ

    Web Views: 225
    Downloads: 163