113th Fuels Management Flight wins American Petroleum Institute award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daira Vargas
  • District of Columbia Air National Guard

Members of the 113th Fuels Management Flight—also known as POL for petroleum, oils and lubricants—of the 113th Logistics Readiness Squadron, D.C. Air National Guard, at Joint Base Andrews, won the American Petroleum Institute Trophy Award (Golden Drum).

The API trophy is awarded annually to the top Air National Guard fuels management flight in recognition of their outstanding contributions, commitment to excellence and dedication to the warfighter mission.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected as the prime POL team inside the Air National Guard,” said Senior Master Sgt. Forte, superintendent for the 113th Fuels Management Flight, DCANG. “We really appreciate the National Guard Bureau for selecting us to be the top tier fuels management team for 2020.”

The POL team of 14 won the award out of 91 other units in the nation.

The behind-the-scenes functions of the POL team are wide-ranging. In addition to fueling aircraft, they manage facilities that conduct lab testing of fuel and manage the components required to ensure the fuel reaches its destination anywhere on the flightline, including via an underground fueling pantograph system.

Among a long list of accomplishments in 2020, the POL team pumped more than 2.5 million gallons of Jet-A fuel, supported domestic operations for the National Capital Region and established a COVID-19 financial hardship collection point, collecting over 200 clothing items to support the local community.

Master Sgt. Brian Janssens, operations section supervisor for the 113th Fuels Management Flight, DCANG, said the POL team distributed jet fuel up to fifteen times a day, and conducted quality assurance, in addition to maintaining three important missions. 

“What makes us unique are having three missions,” said Forte. “It's pretty unusual for a National Guard POL. We have the aerospace control alert mission, where we patrol and control the environment in the National Capital Region. We have the combat training mission, which are training opportunities for pilots to get the combat hours they need for wartime readiness. The third mission is the 201st flying mission. They have the C-40.”

The C-40C is the aircraft used by the 201st Airlift Squadron, DCANG, to provide unique first-class service within the Air National Guard: transporting diplomats, military personnel, distinguished visitors and other dignitaries from Joint Base Andrews to locations around the world. 

“We were able to do those missions and meet the domestic operation's needs,” said Forte.

Staff Sgt. Alfred Davis, a fuels technician with the 113th Fuels Management Flight, DCANG, feels happy that the POL team was recognized.

“I'm just happy for us in general,” said Davis. “Just being able to actually see everybody being recognized for their efforts, that was the most fulfilling thing to me.”