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Dover AFB POL, best in AMC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephani Barge
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- When it comes to strategic airlift there are a lot of factors to consider. Weather, cargo and available aircrew all play a role in delivering rapid global airlift. In a sea of ifs and hows, the last thing Air Mobility Command Airmen want to worry about is fuel. Dover Air Force Base can breathe easy on that front as the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron petroleum, oil and lubricant flight has been recognized as the top fuels management flight in AMC and third best fuels flight in the Air Force for 2020.

The 436th LRS fuels flight was recognized thanks to the team’s highly reliable and determined Airmen who fully support the critical demands of the Dover AFB mission. Day or night, they are only a phone call away.

“Our shop [runs] 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Staff Sgt. Danielle Giddens, 436th LRS mobile distribution noncommissioned officer in charge. “It doesn’t matter if it’s blistering hot or freezing cold, our Airmen work very hard to ensure that the mission here at Dover [AFB] is a success.”

Dover AFB supports 20% of the nation’s strategic airlift operations, a mission that demands over 30 million gallons of fuel annually. The fuels service center is accountable for every gallon until it enters the fuel tank of an aircraft. Airmen coordinate the daily fueling and defueling tasks on base as well as maintain accountability of flight members and equipment within the flight.

“[The] fuels management flight distributes jet fuel, liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen for all aircraft missions and sorties that arrive and leave the base. We also support the ground mission,” said 1st Lt. Jessica Serd, 436th LRS fuels management flight commander. “They can’t complete the mission without the products we manage, so we have an important mission for the installation.”

Beyond distribution and accountability, POL Airmen also check for fuel quality. Each day, fuels laboratory technicians perform tests on the base’s supply of jet and ground fuels.

“Every time fuel is delivered on base, we sample it,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Elrod, 436th LRS fuels laboratory noncommissioned officer in charge. “We also sample our refueling units once a month to make sure the filter elements that catch water and particulates are still good.”

While POL Airmen primarily work on fuel-related missions, it’s not their only duty. The cryogenics section is responsible for receiving and storing all oxygen and nitrogen used on base. Liquid oxygen is used for aircraft environmental control systems, while liquid nitrogen is used for aircraft struts and tires.

The Dover AFB POL team plays a part in many missions across the base, making them an essential career field.

With the large variety of responsibilities that POL carries, a culture of teamwork and comradery is what keeps all sections of the shop united and ready to perform.

“I love the culture of the POL career field,” said Serd. “They keep a great network across the Air Force, they take pride in what they do and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”