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No fuel, no force

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Chelsea E. FitzPatrick
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich.- The one factor undoubtedly controlling the ability of the Air Force to succeed is simple: jet fuel. 
Members of the 127th Fuels Management Flight based here routinely work around the clock to ensure the Base is prepared to service all fuel needs, responsible for storing, distributing and receiving clean, dry and serviceable fuel, the unit keeps the heart of the base beating.
“Our career field is important to the Air National Guard mission because, without fuel, nothing would happen on base,” Senior Airman Nick Bousquette, fuels distribution operator with the 127th Fuels Management Flight said.
But getting fuel to the aircraft is only a portion of the Fuels mission. Comprised of five sections, troops assigned to the flight are responsible for fuel distribution, storage, quality, transportation and Airmen readiness and dispatch. It’s not limited to jet fuel either. 
“We manage fuel for aircraft, vehicles and other systems on-base that require support such as generators,” Bousquette said. 
The vast majority of the unit’s mission however, is jet fuel and they manage a relatively new hydrant system, officially opened for operation here in 2019. The facility houses two underground storage tanks, capable of storing approximately 350,000 gallons of fuel each. Three pumps distribute fuel locally at a rate of 600 gallons per minute. 
“The hydrant system at Selfridge is nice because it’s newer and because of the technology installed,” Bousquette said.
Bousquette, who has served in the Michigan Air National guard since 2019 and served a four-year active-duty tour prior to that, has worked in fuels his entire career. While it wasn’t his first choice during his enlistment process, he says he enjoys his job. 
“The best part of my job is getting to be in close proximity to aircraft,” Bousquette said. “I like to feel like I’m making a difference.”
For new recruits coming into the fuels management specialty, Bousquette recommends they learn as much as they can about it as quickly as they can so they can determine what their favorite section will be. 
“The best thing about serving in the Michigan Air National Guard is being able to have an impact on my community and getting the chance to serve in my hometown,” Bousquette said.