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Military

Refueling maintainers run largest 'gas station' in Atlantic

by Airman Caitlin Putman
Detachment 6, Air Force News Agency


2/14/2007 - LAJES FIELD, Azores (AFNEWS) -- Imagine pushing your vehicle down the road to a service station to refuel. Now imagine pulling a more than 30,000 pound F-16 Fighting Falcon to an island in the middle of the ocean to get gas. 

Airmen at Lajes Field like Senior Airman Justin Madsden keep the biggest gas station in the Atlantic running just as smoothly as your neighborhood's pump.

Airman Madsden and the other refueling maintainers from the 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron keep the refueling trucks operational and ready to complete the mission every day. That job often means long hours.

"If these trucks go down, we have to stay and work until these trucks are fixed," Airman Madsden said. "We can only be out so many trucks, so if we have a bunch of trucks break, I won't be going home."

Airman Madsden works with the intricate refueling systems of more than 20 refueling trucks, working against enemies such as water and sediment.

"If our trucks aren't working, we can't get fuel on to our planes and our planes don't fly," Airman Madsden said. 

The refueling maintainers work rain or shine, and all hours of the day and night, Airman Madsden said it's all part of the job.

"I like my job," he said covered in jet fuel. "Every day I come out here and get to spend time outside. Rain or shine, it doesn't matter; we're checking the oil to make sure these trucks are operational for our drivers to complete the mission."



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