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LRS fuels flight honored with AETC’s top award

Senior Airman Mubarak Rashid, Fuels Laboratory Technician, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, places a seperatory funnel in a Fuel Systems Icing Inhibitor (FSII) shaker to test for for FSII content in the Fuels Laboratory at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as the best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

Senior Airman Mubarak Rashid, Fuels Laboratory Technician, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, places a seperatory funnel in a Fuel Systems Icing Inhibitor (FSII) shaker to test for for FSII content in the Fuels Laboratory at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as the best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

Staff Sergeant Justin Selepack, Refueling Maintenance Technician, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, replaces a Kovatch refueling truck spotlight switch at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

Staff Sergeant Justin Selepack, Refueling Maintenance Technician, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, replaces a Kovatch refueling truck spotlight switch at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

Airman First Class Alexander Andreassi, Fuel Distribution Operator, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, monitors the fuel volume control panel for fuel being pumped into an aircraft being refueled at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

Airman First Class Alexander Andreassi, Fuel Distribution Operator, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, monitors the fuel volume control panel for fuel being pumped into an aircraft being refueled at Little Rock Air Force Base on Jan. 24, 2007. The Fuels Management Flight was recently presented the Roy Bateman Award as best fuels flight in Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan Allen)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron was recently named Air Education and Training Command's 2006 Roy Bateman Award, recognizing them as the best fuels management operation in the command.

The sweet taste of success isn't a first for the 314th LRS. They won the same award in 1999 and again in 2003 - although it was known as the Black Gold Award at the time. Although the award can't be won back-to-back each year, the fuels Airmen know they're the best around, said Lt. Col. Rhonda Soto, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander.

The award was renamed after the passing of an Air Force fuels icon in 2003. Mr. Bateman served during World War II and left service in 1946. After moving to Arizona to help relieve his son's asthma, he began work at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and remained for nearly 50 years. His work helped the Luke AFB team earn two Air Force "Best Fuels Flight" titles, an Air Force "Best Supply Operation" award and numerous command-level awards, according to his biography.

"Winning this award isn't really a surprise to me," said Colonel Soto. "The time they put in, the professionalism they demonstrate and the quality of work they provide are exemplary of the best fuels flight in the Air Force. They're winners no matter what they do."

"No matter the mission, our Airmen will prevail," said Chief Master Sgt. Randy Little, 314th LRS Fuels Flight manager. "From a surge in operations during Hurricane Katrina to taking care of vehicle fuel at military service stations, our 'Hawgs of War' cannot fail. They're simply the best."

What sets the 314th LRS fuels team apart from the crowd is that every task they carry out is treated like a one-time opportunity to strut their stuff, said the chief.

"Everything we take on shines," said Chief Little, "and we couldn't be more proud of our Airmen."

With 94 Airmen in the flight, the numbers speak for themselves, he said. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 632,000 gallons of jet fuel were delivered to 193 aircraft with an average five minute response time.

During the May 2006 Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Inspection, fuels storage received zero discrepancies and was lauded by the inspection team as "the cleanest ever seen."

The fuels laboratory prevented possible damage to a $6 million C-130J flight simulator after work with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base area lab detected possible contamination in a coolant/hydraulic system.

The resource control center took in 8,589 fuel requests last year and demolished the 30-minute standard for support by more than 22 minutes, averaging a 7.7-minute response time at Little Rock Air Force Base. They also processed more than 21,000 accounting transactions, resulting in $98-million in billing.

Twenty-seven percent of the 94 fuels Airmen deployed within the last year, and more have left since.
Five of the deployed Airmen received achievement medals and one received a joint meritorious service medal.

"The Bateman Award showcases the excellence our fuels Airmen show here everyday," said Colonel Soto. "It demonstrates our capabilities here, in the Area of Operation and with the Global War on Terror."

"The award validates what we already knew," said 2nd Lt. Dennis Riechman, 314th LRS fuels management flight officer-in-charge. "The 314th LRS fuels 'Hawgs of War' are the best across the board."

Fuels management will now compete at the Air Force level.
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