Ellsworth AFB: Logistics Readiness Squadron
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING PT. 1
As we begin our morning, our days, our week, some are just getting off work. They’re finishing a long night to make the rest of our week a little safer. These are the people we’re focusing on. NewsCenter1’s Megan Murat gives us a look at what goes on while you’re sleeping.
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – As crucial as oxygen is to our lungs, fuel is to vehicles and aircraft at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Getting that fuel to the right place, fast and sometimes in the middle of night, is all up to the Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“We get here around 10:30 [at night],” said Fuel Distribution Officer, A1C Emiliano Gutierrez. “When we first get here, we clear the building, make sure it’s ready to go so the shift before us can leave. After that, we go proceed to a security check. We go around and check facilities, make sure they’re all locked up and good to go.”
All the fuel on base is owned by the Defense Logistics Agency. “We are pretty much just custodians,” said SSG Peter Mandadero, fuel service center controller. “We keep account of all the fuel that they own.”
They handle 18 million gallons of fuel yearly. To put it in perspective, that’s enough fuel to fill 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“We have a saying in my job that we are the life blood of the Air Force,” said Mandadero. “We fuel basically everything. Without us, pilots are pedestrians.”
If it takes fuel, LRS is on it.
“B-1b’s, emergency response vehicles, snow plows, it ranges to a wide variety of equipment,” said Mandadero.
Once a run gets called, things start to move quickly. But the process can take hours.
“Once they’re ready, they’ll marshal us in and line us up in the pit,” said Gutierrez. “Then, we just get off and do the job. We won’t get back to the shop until 4 a.m. so, keeps us busy.”
The midnight grind, though busy, has some sights that few get to enjoy.
“Back in tech school when they told us this was a shift, I was like that’s the shift for me,” said Gutierrez. “You look out, it’s peaceful. See the city and it’s kind of relaxing.”
Tuesday, Oct. 9 – Logistics Readiness Squadron, Ellsworth AFB
Wednesday, Oct. 10 – Rapid City Fire Department
Thursday, Oct. 11 – Rapid City Police Department
Friday, Oct. 12 – National Weather Service, Rapid City office