War on Terrorism

Monday, April 05, 2010

Manas Airmen move troops into Afghanistan

by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/5/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan (AFNS) -- Airmen from the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron here moved approximately 50,000 multinational, U.S. and coalition troops, and the petroleum, oil and lubricants flight Airmen issued 12,500,102 gallons of jet fuel in March.

The previous record number of passengers processed in a month for the unit was 36,000 in November 2009. Now, the Transit Center is busier than ever because there are more troops passing through.

"It took a team effort from LRS Airmen," said Senior Master Sgt. Will Schwartz, the aerial port flight superintendent, who credited his team of six NCOs and an Airman, calling them "superstars."

Of course, it took help from the transportation flight Airmen as well, who moved the baggage bins and pallets, he said.

"We've had 204,000 passengers transit through since October 2009," Sergeant Schwartz said.

Processing extra servicemembers took around-the-clock work from the terminal counter, terminal yard and baggage representatives.

"The normal ops were consistently steady, but now it is truly busy," Sergeant Schwartz said. "By comparison, in December, we moved 5,388 passengers by the third week. Within our third week of March, we moved about 12,000."

Airmen 1st Class Destin Noak and Dustin Hammond pumped 1 million gallons of jet fuel in March 2010, working 12-hour shifts six days a week.

The 12-million gallon record was a team effort, but what these two guys did was an individual record, said Master Sgt. Scott Hunkins, who supervised both Airmen.

"The million gallon club (issued in one month) is a very exclusive club and is quite an accomplishment at any installation, not just Manas," he said.

"I know of only a few places that any Airman has pumped that much gas in a month," he added, noting Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia.

But there is a definite difference in how these two guys joined that club, he continued.

"At Ramstein AB and (Southwest Asia) they use hydrant servicing vehicles, or hydrant pantographs, to issue fuel to an aircraft," he explained. "With this equipment, a person can issue up to about 40,000 gallons of fuel at one time. So using this equipment makes it a lot easier to issue a million gallons. Here at Manas, we have fuel trucks that issue approximately 5,000 gallons at one time. After that, the driver must fill his truck and go back out to the aircraft. So it would take a driver several trips to equal one HSV or pantograph run.

"In order for these guys to issue a million gallons of fuel in a month, they had to take more than 200 truck runs instead of the 25 to 50 runs it would take in a HSV/pantograph."

The 18-year veteran said he has never heard of anyone reaching that milestone in a truck alone, let alone two people doing so in the same month.

"I would be willing to bet that this is the first time ever that two people pumped a million gallons of fuel in a single month using only the fuel trucks we have here," he said.

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