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19th LRS Airmen mark milestone

a fuel bladder on a flight line

A Fuels Operational Readiness Capability Equipment mobile fuel bladder is filled on the flight line during Air Mobility Command’s premier large-scale mobility exercise, Mobility Guardian 2019 at Fairchild AFB, Washington, Sept. 11, 2019. This was the first time the FORCE system has been used stateside in an uncontested environment. Through robust and relevant training, Mobility Guardian is designed to build full spectrum readiness and develop Mobility Airmen to ensure we deliver rapid global mobility now and in the future (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Travis Edwards)

a truck and fuel bladder

An 8,000 gallon fuel truck delivers gas to a 50,000 gallon Fuels Operational Readiness Capability Equipment mobile fuel bladder, which is used to refuel aircraft and mobile fuel trucks, during Air Mobility Command’s premier large-scale mobility exercise, Mobility Guardian 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Sept. 11, 2019. This was the first time the FORCE system has been used in an uncontested environment. Through robust and relevant training, Mobility Guardian is designed to build full spectrum readiness and develop Mobility Airmen to ensure we deliver rapid global mobility now and in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Travis Edwards)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

September 11, 2019, during Exercise Mobility Guardian 2019, marked the first time mobile fuel bladders have been used stateside in an uncontested environment by employing a Fuels Operational Readiness Capability Equipment system — FORCE.

Team Little Rock Airmen from the 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants flight were part of this milestone, setting up the FORCE system in less than 24 hours.

FORCE systems retain readiness for Airmen by allowing them to quickly set up a fuel system in an area, providing the ability to rapidly deliver fuel to aircraft.

“This was a fully functioning fuels system that you could lay on the flight line, or anywhere,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Baker, 19th LRS POL flight NCO in charge. “It was faster to put up, more mobile and easier to use.”

The FORCE system holds up to 50,000 gallons of fuel and can be used to refuel an aircraft or provide a refueling station for fuel trucks. Using the system was an opportunity for 19th LRS Airmen to provide agile support and employment in future contingency operations.

Mark said POL Airmen rarely set up fuel systems, which is why the experience was not only unique, but trained them for future tasks.

“Not many people get the hands-on training like that because typically when we deploy, it’s already in place and we just run it,” Mark said. “Being able to set it up, use it, and tear it down all within 30 days was a lot of experience.”

The team was able to fill everything from C-130s to C-5s, plus all the generators to keep the tents and power carts running. Their contribution to the exercise was imperative to every day needs.

“It gives the Air Force a new aspect to be able to see it work if we dropped it anywhere,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kynneth Baker, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel cryogenics journeyman. “It can hold a lot of fuel and if it was needed for a quick place to fuel the fighters, it would get them going. It allows the mapping of warfare to be easier in the long run.”

This milestone showcased the flexibility and resilience POL Airmen are capable of in real-world contingency operations or contested environments.

“The overall goal was to see how fast we could set it up, how many people we would need, and how efficiently it worked,” Kynneth said. “I think all of it was successful.”

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