On the fringes of a busy runway at Kadena Air Base in Japan, the vehicle maintainers of the U.S. Air Force’s 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) – a unit made up of both military and civilian personnel – work in steady shifts to ensure R-11, R-12 and C300 refueling trucks are up and ready to keep a variety of combat aircraft ready for action.
“There won’t be airplanes taking off if we don’t have these refueler trucks – the flight line would shut down if we didn’t have any fuel,” explained Staff Sgt. David Bustria, an 18th LRS vehicle maintainer.
He said the ultimate focus of his shop is to ensure that every U.S. military aircraft that lands at Kaden is able to be refueled and sent back up into the sky without delay as needed.
Understanding the importance of such “behind the scenes” on the support end of the U.S. Air Force’s mission is what keeps Bustria and the rest of his team motivated to continually improve their skills.
“For me, learning, training and fixing trucks … you get a sense of accomplishment every day,” he stressed.