Whiteman Airmen fuel deterrence

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
With the high priority of maintaining the nation's nuclear deterrent, the B-2 Spirit get a lot of glory. But without fuel for the aircraft to fly, deterrence would be nonexistent.

The 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron fixed-facilities shop, with help of the 131st Bomb Wing, ensures the B-2 Spirit can fly in a moment's notice and its pilots have the oxygen to breathe. The four-person shop accommodates this by maintaining three fuel sections: the base service system, the hydrant systems and cryogenics.

The base service station is where government owned vehicles can refuel. The shop members visit the station every morning to check inventory and ensure nothing is out of the ordinary and the station is operating safely. All government owned vehicles from the 509th LRS transportation vehicles to the 509th Civil Engineer Squadron ground-readiness lawn mowers fill their fuel tanks at the service station.

"The service station has three 15,000 gallon tanks, which are typically refilled every week and a half," said Senior Airman Deserea Sandquist, 509th LRS fixed-facilities technician, showing the amount of fuel ground forces need to maintain mission readiness here.
Fueling the ground vehicles on base isn't where the fixed facility technicians stop; they also ensure the aircraft are fueled for flight.

The hydrant systems keep a steady flow of fuel to and from the flightline docks and hardstands, where the B-2 and T-38 Talon are filled. There is a north and south system, each handling a side of the flightline, but if needed one system can distribute fuel to the entire flightline.

"We stay busy with up-keep, product rotation and write-ups on needed repairs," said Master Sgt. David Koch, 509th LRS fixed facilities NCO in charge.

Cyrogenics is the controlled use of oxygen for flyers. The fixed-facility Airmen fill oxygen tanks, keep a constant pressure of about 30 pounds per pressure in each tank and ensure the air quality is good.

With the support of these three essential fuel components, the ground power has the necessary energy to support the aircraft, the B-2 has the fuel for flight and their pilots are safe to breathe in high-altitude areas.