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Operation Task Force America

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Caycee Watson
  • 169th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

Recently, the U.S. Air National Guard 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s fuels management flight participated in Operation Task Force America, a joint exercise with the U.S. Army Reserves.

“That is where we coordinate with various reserve units around the country through the Defense Logistics Agency to refill our jet fuel supplies, versus the normal standard civilian contractors,” said Master Sgt. Bronson Priebe, the 169th LRS fuels management flight superintendent.

Army transportation companies are responsible for transporting all the fuel used when deployed in an area of responsibility to U.S. Army aircraft. The 169th LRS fuel storage tanks were used as a standard fuel resupply point for training. Operation Task Force America provides a training opportunity for units to practice their convoy mission with full fuel trucks.

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 465th Transportation Company from Pennsylvania and the 705th Transportation Company from Ohio convoyed their refueling trucks to a Defense Fuel Supply Point in Charleston, South Carolina, to receive the fuel. From there, the units convoyed to McEntire Joint National Guard Base to offload the Jet-A fuel to the storage tanks on base.

“We typically get fuel from civilian contractors, this was specifically through the Army so they could practice their convoy routines since they deliver the fuel in the AOR,” said Priebe.

The U.S. Army Reserves transported 30 thousand gallons of Jet-A fuel to McEntire every day for six days. The Swamp Fox fuels management flight offloaded, tested and issued the fuel for distribution to base aircraft.

“Here at McEntire [JNGB], we provide the Army with all of their fuel. During hurricanes, floods, we still provide the fuel to supplement the Army,” said Priebe. “Everybody on base gets their jet fuel from us.”

During the exercise, the rest of McEntire JNGB maintained normal flying operations. The 169th Fighter Wing’s F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, Aerospace Control Alert F-16s, and the F-16s returning from temporary duty in the Republic Colombia all received fuel as usual, along with the U.S. Army National Guard Apaches and Black Hawks.

During Operation Task Force America, the Swamp Fox fuels specialists spent three to four hours per day offloading fuel and then tested the fuel from every truckload delivered.

“Each truck has to have samples drawn off it and then we do various testing in the POL [Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants] facility to ensure its quality for use in flight,” said Priebe. “Each sample takes about an hour to perform.”

The next time you see a Swamp Fox Airman refueling an F-16 Fighting Falcon on the flight line, a lot of behind-the-scenes action took place to ensure the fuel gets that fighter jet in the air to complete its mission.