Fueling Fighters

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Dickinson keeps watch at his R-11 refueling truck as he refuels an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Nov. 6.  Dickinson is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Dickinson keeps watch at his R-11 refueling truck as he refuels an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Nov. 6. Dickinson is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Hunter III secures grounding cables prior to refueling an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 177th Fighter Wing on Nov. 6 at Atlantic City International Airport, N.J. Hunter is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Hunter III secures grounding cables prior to refueling an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 177th Fighter Wing on Nov. 6 at Atlantic City International Airport, N.J. Hunter is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Hunter III pulls a hose from an R-11 refueling truck to refuel an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Nov. 6.  Hunter is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexander Hunter III pulls a hose from an R-11 refueling truck to refuel an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Nov. 6. Hunter is a fuels specialist assigned to the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)

Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. -- Fuels specialists transport and deliver the lifeblood of the U.S. Air Force - aviation fuel! Not only do these airmen help to optimize the transport and delivery of fuel, but they are also stewards of the environment, making sure that fuel gets where it's going safely.

After basic training, airmen that are studying to be fuels specialists spend an additional 31 days at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, where they learn the ins and outs of the trade.

Staff Sgt. Alexander Hunter III from the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron has been in the business for seven years, and has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"What helps me enjoy my job, aside from the people in my shop, is knowing that what I do every day contributes to the bigger picture," said Hunter.

"No matter what, we always make sure the planes have what they need to do the mission."

"POL is an outstanding organization," said 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander Lt. Col. John J. Fogarty III. "They play a critical role in providing a valuable commodity to keep us flying, fighting, and winning; No fuel, no fly, it is as simple as that."