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Airmen, Soldiers employ the FORCE

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Michael Coad
  • Seventh Air Force Fuels

United States Air Force and Army units from across the Pacific  recently combined on Daegu Air Base, Republic of Korea (ROK), to employ a Fuels Operational Readiness Contingency Equipment package, known in the Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) community as FORCE.

Among the units were Seventh Air Force and 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron, Osan Air Base, ROK, 607th Material Maintenance Squadron, Daegu AB, ROK, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, and the 246th Quartermaster Liaison Team and 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Camp Henry, ROK.

The FORCE is a deployable modular fuel system capable of receiving, transferring and issuing petroleum products to support aircraft generation and equipment at forward locations where fixed systems do not exist or require augmentation.

The established system was utilized solely as an R-11 fillstand - a gas station for refuelers.

The permanent fillstand infrastructure at Daegu AB requires R-11 drivers to navigate busy base roads to access the fillstands, increasing the time it takes to return to the flightline to continue refueling aircraft. The FORCE set-up prevented the need for personnel to drive thru base roads and reduced aircraft turnaround times by providing a fillstand on the flightline. 

This event, led by Master Sgt. Clarence Graves, 607th MMS Fuels Management flight chief, was three fold.

“It gave us the opportunity to experience the contingent operation capability of our sister service, which increases interoperability as we continue to serve in a joint environment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Darnell Williams, 246th Quartermaster Liaison Team Petroleum noncommissioned officer.

 In addition to joint experience, it also allowed for participants to interact with other units within the Pacific region.

“It [also] increased our ability to support twelve Wild Weasel F-16 aircraft from Misawa as the FORCE fillstand system reduced the standard flightline to bulk storage fillstand transit time by an hour ensuring a faster response to aircraft, zero take-off delays and, more importantly, safety of all the service members on Daegu”, said Master Sgt. Graves.

Furthermore, it increased the readiness and strategic outlook of all involved.

“The set-up and operation of the war reserve material FORCE increased the ability of 7th AF contingency war planners to make informed decisions on future operations and provided vital hands-on experience with FORCE to all the POL members involved with the training event,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Rey, 7th AF POL contingency war planner.

The POL team was critical to the success of the event at Daegu AB and Gwang Ju AB, issuing a total 173,000 gallons of jet fuel to 23 deployed aircraft supporting 86 sorties, 108 flight hours and the movement of 398 personnel and 194,000 pounds of cargo.

“Exercising our capability allows us to expand the options available to the commander, and sharing our training, techniques and practices with our sister services ensures that when the time comes, we can provide seamless support to fuel the mission,” said Graves.