JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va., March 13, 2019 —
The 733rd Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight won the Drake Award for best fuels flight in Air Combat Command for 2018.
The Drake Award is presented annually and recognizes the fuels management flight in Air Combat Command that excels in direct mission support, innovative management and quality of life programs.
“I’m speechless,” said Senior Master Sgt. Justin Oakley, 733rd LRS fuels superintendent. “It’s a great feeling to see our Airmen succeed and bring an award back to the unit that hasn’t won since 2004.”
Airmen throughout the flight believed they had the capabilities to reach a level they haven’t in years, but according to Tech Sgt. Timothy Herron, 733rd LRS NCO in charge of the fuels environmental safety office, it took a little push from leadership to bring it out of them.
“This award started at the top,” Herron said “Everyone in our flight blossomed under our leadership. They saw something in us that could make us great, we just had to show it.”
The flight was selected to test a new system that is utilized to track all fuel transactions. They found 31 software glitches and were visited by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy deputy director. The DLA-Energy deputy director was so impressed, the flight was tasked to construct a class to teach higher headquarters individuals what Airmen are doing on the ground to bridge the gap.
“It’s been interesting to sit back and watch this flight come together and grow as a team,” Oakley said. “We set the bar pretty high and we don’t let them give up. We push them and empower everyone from the lowest ranking Airmen to our senior NCOs to be innovative and come up with new ideas.”
Throughout the year the flight did more than just issue fuel to F-22 Raptors and run American Petroleum Institution density tests on jet propellant fuel.
“We have extremely talented and motivated Airmen who know their jobs,” Oakley said. “It’s not enough for them to just show up do their job, but foster the whole Airman concept and that’s exactly what they did by being actively involved around the base as well as in the community. We are not just going to come in and support the mission, but we are going to excel in every way we possibly can.”
The flight will move on and be one of the top three fuels flight in the Air Force to compete for the American Petroleum Institute award as the best fuels management flight in the Air Force.