CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The 27th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight was awarded the first place 2022 American Petroleum Institute Award by the U.S. Air Force for the Best Fuels Organization out of 78 flights. This year is the first time Cannon Air Force Base Fuels Management Flight as an Air Force Special Operations Command unit has been selected to win first place.
The award recognizes the Air Force installation with the premier active duty fuels management flight that delivers the greatest accomplishments of the year.
While a typical day for fuels Airmen varies from section to section, fuels Airmen deal with large amounts of fuel and heavy machinery daily. Airmen often have schedules that depend heavily on defining hours and flight schedules.
Everything that the fuels management flight Airmen do affects the mission of the Special Operations wing, whether directly or indirectly.
“We fuel the fight because planes don’t fly without jet fuel,” said Airman 1st Class Matthew Huyck-Trout, 27th LRS fuels distribution operator.
Because of the manning, Airmen are often working among the different sections.
The 27th Special Operations Logistic Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight is the smallest fuel flight in the Air Force with about 46 personnel but approximately 16 Airmen tasked with other wing support requirements.
“We are a small flight compared to our competitors in the Air Force, and anything is possible with all the challenges we’ve faced. It's not been easy for us, we’ve had struggles and had to make adjustments, but we’ve pulled through as a collective,” said Staff Sgt. Andre Brown Fuels Environmental and Safety non-commissioned officer in charge. “We’ve had to evolve and elevate, which got us that trophy."
The mission at any base or major command is essential to the Air Force mission, but for the Air Force Special Operations Command, the focus is readiness and on-demand capabilities. The flight is not only responsible for the home station mission but supports global operations with the Forward Arming Refueling Point team that delivers special operations on-demand fuel capabilities directly.
“Balancing those two missions and maintaining a very elevated state of readiness is one thing that makes us unique from other flights,” said U.S Air Force Master Sgt. Groda Soeprapto, 27 SOLRS fuels superintendent.
Each tier of the flight is doing what is required for the mission and leaders encourage Airmen by leading from the front.
“The key to our success is we’ve developed a culture that inspires everyone to reach their potential and elevate the team as a whole and our mindset to do whatever it takes to execute the mission, to lean on each other and embrace teamwork to fuel the fight,” said Soeprapto.