U.S. Airman increases Afghan AF capability

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay
  • 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Aircraft are useless without proper maintenance, pilots and the fuel needed to feed the beast.

One senior NCO is working to improve the capabilities of the Afghan air force one fuel sample at a time.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jeremiah Fentress, a fuels flight advisor with the 439th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, recently conducted training on basic fuels laboratory analysis with three Afghan air force fuels specialists assigned here.

"The training we conducted mainly focused on pulling multiple types of fuels samples," Fentress said. "We discussed the basics on how to properly conduct a fuels analysis and used the different laboratory equipment needed to accomplish the various tasks."

The course consisted of specialized training needed to properly perform an American Petroleum Institute density test, Fuels System Icing Inhibitor test, Conductivity Unit test and an inline sample test.

"The training we conducted will allow the Afghans to properly analyze their fuel supplies in the future," said the Longmont, Colo., native. "They will be able to determine if the fuel is within specification and therefore suitable for use."

In addition to analyzing fuels samples, the students learned the proper use of weight bottles and bacon-bomb samplers to collect accurate fuel samples and to function check the fuel and filter separators from fuel storage tanks.

Without this training, said Fentress, the AAF would not be able to assess the current status of its fuel. Contaminated fuel may cause serious damage to aircraft or loss of human life.

"This is very good training that we are receiving and we have learned a lot," said Sayed Ghani, AAF fuels flight civilian liaison officer. "This is beneficial to us and Afghanistan because these are things we can continue to use in the future."

Currently the AAF has more than 6,000 oil items that are managed and distributed to the aircraft maintenance squadrons across the airport. One of the biggest challenges, Fentress explained, is that the Afghan air force is still working on getting the equipment and supplies needed to have the full capability to get the actual job done.

"Basically we can only perform training runs because the AAF doesn't have the capability yet to conduct full analysis on the fuel," Fentress said.

AAF Lt. Mohammad Hamayoon said he appreciated the opportunity to attend training, even with the unique supply challenges.

"We had a lot of problems trying to get training done before," Hamayoon said. "Since the mentors have arrived we have seen many improvements and have started receiving the equipment we need to do our job like oil, lab equipment and of course the fuel."

Fentress said that he was very impressed with the students and by using their new found skills the AAF will benefit in the future.

"We are here to help them and build on our future relationship, so I look forward to working with my Afghan brothers the rest of the time I'm here," Fentress said.