By Senior Airman Kaylee Clark
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Two Airmen from Little Rock Air Force Base loaded and flew with an Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System on a C-130J Jan. 16 during GREEN FLAG Little Rock at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Senior Airman Hunter Tucker, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight fuels lab technician and Senior Airman Richard Hayes, 19th LRS fuels management flight fixed-facilities fuels technician, gained experienced with the ABFDS during GFLR.
The Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System is used to deliver fuel to austere locations where fuel may not otherwise be accessible. One complete ABFDS system contains a pumping module and one 3,000-gallon fuel bladder.
Flight qualified fuels management Airmen attend a five-day in-residence course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, as well as receive flight physicals and physiological training. They are required to maintain flight qualifications and perform annual refresher training on the ABFDS equipment.
Little Rock AFB currently has eight members qualified on ABFDS.
“The experience was definitely a lot more fast paced than I originally though it would be,” said Tucker. “I definitely enjoyed getting to see the way our career field operates with a different branch of the military.”
A two-person ABFDS team accompanies and operates the equipment while filling and offloading the fuel.
During flight, the ABFDS team constantly inspects the equipment to ensure no fuel leaks or other deficiencies appear that could jeopardize the safety of the aircraft and aircrew.
After landing in Alexandria, Louisiana, the fuel team filled the bladder with 3,000 gallons of fuel to be flown to a landing zone in Fort Polk.
“We obviously worked outside of our organization, which was also another change, but seeing the way different organizations came together to make this happen was great,” said Tucker.
Once on the ground in Louisiana, the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, secured the area around the C-130J while it downloaded fuel from the fuel bladder onto an Army Oshkosh HEMTT M978 A4 fuel serving tanker.
“The GFLR gave our team an opportunity that many other ABFDS operators around the Air Force never get, and both Tucker and Hayes were motivated and excited to put their training to use,” said Chief Master Sgt. Eric Green, 19th LRS fuels management flight fuels manager. “They did an outstanding job and helped make GFLR a complete success.”