Team Mildenhall, 48th Fighter Wing don’t cry over spilled gas

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath participated in a fuel spill exercise at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 15, 2019.

The exercise, conducted annually in accordance with Defense Logistics Agency regulations, replicated a fuel spill and tested Airmen’s reaction to an event that could halt the base’s aerial refueling mission.

“The exercise was meant to simulate a large jet-fuel spill of 65,000 gallons,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Peabody, 100th Air Refueling Wing Inspector General’s office.

The fuel spill exercise was organized by the wing’s inspection and exercise planning team and involved the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron, 100th Security Forces Squadron, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 100th Air Refueling Wing Command Post, 48th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, and personnel from the 352nd Special Operations Wing.

“The inspector general inspections team coordinated the examination,” Peabody said. “We were testing our response and recovery capabilities. The fire department came and assessed how bad the spill was. Security forces cordoned off the area to make sure it was safe, and bio-environmental came out to determine how bad the fumes were.”

Airmen who participated in the exercise believe training like this is important for being prepared to respond as a base.

“It’s important because it tests our capability to be able to work with agencies other than ourselves,” said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Straub, 100th LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of fuels facilities. “It’s always going to come down to communication and working together to minimize the impact of a disaster of this magnitude.”