Friday, February 9, 2007

TOP STORY >>LRS fuels flight honored with AETC's top award

By Senior Airman Tim Bazar
314th Airlift Wing Strategic Information Flight

The 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron was recently named Air Education and Training Command’s 2006 Roy Bateman Award, recognizing them as the best fuels management operation in the command. The sweet taste of success isn’t a first for the 314th LRS.

They won the same award in 1999 and again in 2003 — although it was known as the Black Gold Award at the time. Although the award can’t be won back-to-back each year, the fuels Airmen know they’re the best around, said Lt. Col. Rhonda Soto, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander. “The Bateman Award showcases the excellence our fuels Airmen show here everyday,” said Colonel Soto. “It demonstrates our capabilities here, in the Area of Operation and with the Global War on Terror.”

“Winning this award isn’t really a surprise to me,” said Colonel Soto. “The time they put in, the professionalism they demonstrate and the quality of work they provide are exemplary of the best fuels flight in the Air Force. They’re winners no matter what they do.” What sets the 314th LRS fuels team apart from the crowd is that every task they carry out is treated like a one-time opportunity to strut their stuff, said the Chief Master Sgt. Randy Little, 314th LRS Fuels Flight manager.

“No matter the mission, our Airmen will prevail,” said the chief. “From a surge in operations during Hurricane Katrina to taking care of vehicle fuel at military service stations, our ‘Hawgs of War’ cannot fail. They’re simply the best.” “Everything we take on shines,” said Chief Little, “and we couldn’t be more proud of our Airmen.” With 94 Airmen in the flight, the numbers speak for themselves, he said. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 632,000 gallons of jet fuel were delivered to 193 aircraft with an average five minute response time. During the May 2006 Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Inspection, fuels storage received zero discrepancies and was lauded by the inspection team as “the cleanest ever seen.”
The fuels laboratory prevented possible damage to a $6 million C-130J flight simulator after work with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base area lab detected possible contamination in a coolant/hydraulic system.

The resource control center took in 8,589 fuel requests last year and demolished the 30-minute standard for support by more than 22 minutes, averaging a 7.7-minute response time at Little Rock Air Force Base. They also processed more than 21,000 accounting transactions, resulting in $98-million in billing.

Twenty-seven percent of the 94 fuels Airmen deployed within the last year, and more have left since. Five of the deployed Airmen received achievement medals and one received a joint meritorious service medal. “The award validates what we already knew,” said 2nd Lt. Dennis Riechman, 314th LRS fuels management flight officer-in-charge. “The 314th LRS fuels ‘Hawgs of War’ are the best across the board.” Fuels management will now compete at the Air Force level.


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