Fueling The Struggle: Petroleum Supply Specialist Retains Arctic Eagles Flying
Photo By Sgt. David Bedard | Alaska Army Nationwide Guard Sgt. Cody Foster, a petroleum supply specialist with E…… read extra learn more
Photo By Sgt. David Bedard | Alaska Army National Guard Sgt. Cody Foster, a petroleum supply specialist with E Firm, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, returns the unit’s Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck tanker to its parking area after refueling a 1-207th Aviation UH-60 Black Hawk Dec. 2, 2017, at Bryant Army Airfield on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The HEMTT tanker has a 2,500-gallon gas capacity. (U.S. Military National Guard photo by Sgt. David Bedard/Released) see much less | View Picture Page
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, ALASKA, AK, UNITED STATES
Story by Sgt. David Bedard
134th Public Affairs Detachment
For Alaska Army National Guard Sgt. Cody Foster, attending Fundamental Fight Coaching at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, was his first time to the South, or wherever exterior of Alaska for that matter.
To battle the unfamiliar, stifling heat and humidity, the Kenai native did what the drill sergeants instructed him to do: he drank lots of water.
Because he succeeded at Fort Jackson and later during Superior Particular person Training at Fort Lee, Virginia, the petroleum provide specialist with E Firm, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, realized the value of following directions within the Army.
On the subject of safely pumping fuel into 1-207th Aviation UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, following directions to the letter is crucial to the job, Foster stated.
Foster dispenses the fuel from an eight-wheel-drive Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck tanker parked near the flightline at Bryant Army Airfield on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Throughout the unit’s December 2017 drill, Foster partnered with fellow petroleum provide specialist Spc. Jesse Grey to high off a UH-60 following a sortie. The duo scrambled to the cab of their HEMTT fueler and drove a number of hundred yards to the helicopter.
The Soldier’s uniforms are totally different than their ground unit counterparts. They wear a special hearth-retardant jacket for obvious reasons; they don gas-proof gloves to make sure any fuel spilled on them in subzero weather doesn’t instantly cover their palms with frostbite. Eye and listening to protection are all the time a should.
For a “cold” refuel, the Black Hawk is tied down and has floor wires staked into grounding factors. Foster and Gray additionally grounded the HEMTT to make sure a spark would not ignite the risky JP-8 fuel onboard.
“Any and all static that comes from the hose, the line and the aircraft all goes straight to floor and stops us from having a [mishap,]” Foster said.
Foster and Grey labored with the deliberate velocity and exact consideration to detail of a NASCAR pit crew.
Foster paid out the refueling hose from a spool on the back of the HEMTT before hooking up to the idle UH-60. Gray managed a valve at the truck finish, giving him the flexibility to chop fuel movement if he recognized an rising hazard.
The operation was fast, limited in speed primarily by the point it takes to fill the gas tanks of the helicopter. Fast as crude oil live chart with buy sell signal it’s, refueling is merely the fruits of Foster’s efforts.
Earlier than he can crude oil live chart with buy sell signal fill up a whirlybird and ship it again into motion, Foster has to get the gas. He said he requisitions the JP-8 from the Air Drive gas farm on the bottom. The gasoline is then stored in giant tanks operated domestically by the battalion.
Before the gasoline is certified for use, Foster exams it for contaminants and water content material.
“Every time we receive gasoline, we have to do a pattern on every tank to ensure the fuel we’ve got is nice,” he stated. “It’s by no means come up bad, however it’s simply an extra precaution.”
As layered and nuanced as refueling helicopters on an energetic airfield is, Foster is able to do the identical mission in austere situations in a combat zone.
Foster’s firm is equipped and educated to ascertain an advert-hoc logistics operation, referred to as a ahead arming and refueling level, on an improvised airfield.
Without Bryant Air Subject’s hardstand helicopter parking spots with their pre-positioned tie-down and grounding factors, Foster mentioned he relies on the tools in his tanker to floor the helicopter in the sector.
Apart from eating subject rations, skipping just a few showers, and residing out of a duffel bag, the job in any other case modifications little in a subject setting, Foster mentioned. Even throughout a “hot” refuel when the helicopter is running and often flies away after topping off, the basics of grounding the hen and maintaining security keep the identical, Foster mentioned.
Sgt. Zachary Adams, a petroleum provide squad leader in E Company, mentioned Foster serves as a great function mannequin for different Troopers in the unit. Adams mentioned Foster takes satisfaction in his work and is thought for his reliability and accountability to the requirements of the job.
“He really takes the time to ensure he and other Soldiers take the time to do the job safely,” Adams said.
Because the unit’s charter never stops, Foster mentioned he relishes staying busy in help of the fight.
“My favorite a part of this job is we at all times have a mission,” he mentioned. “Those birds need to fly. Pilots all the time want flight time.