by Dan Clevenger (original source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lc-salutes-day-life-fueler-us-air-force-dan-clevenger/)
Rows of forest green fuel trucks stand at the ready as Airman First Class Crenshaw and his crew, Williams and Hayes, conduct a daily checkpoint, inspecting each vehicle for readiness and operability. The tasks, completed daily, seem excessive – but not so in this truck yard at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Being fully-operational at all times is nothing short of mission critical for the Logistics Readiness Squadron of the United States Air Force.
“This job is critical because aircraft literally cannot fly without our fuel, and other vehicles that get the job done, can’t move without our fuel. Pretty much anything that needs to move can’t do it without our team.”
The team of three work quickly and efficiently, leaving no detail unchecked. For a serviceman in his twenties, a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of Crenshaw, who is in charge of maintaining the trucks and making sure fuel is delivered in a timely fashion to whoever needs it on base, including a fleet of C-17 aircraft that stand at the ready to deploy anywhere in the world.
“There are a lot of responsibilities. You’re responsible for everyone and everything in your field, servicing, and safety zone, as well as keeping aircraft on schedule.”
You wouldn’t believe by watching him work that Crenshaw has only been in the service for a year. University trained in culinary arts, he realized after graduating that he needed a fresh start and new opportunities. That’s when he found the USAF.
“I went to a four-year college for Hospitality Management and Tourism then decided that wasn’t for me, and I wanted to do something more with my life. So, I went and joined the air force which had plenty of options for me.”
There have been a lot of lessons to learn over the last year of sink or swim training. And with many of his section being recently deployed, top-notch performance is requisite.
“I’ve learned that hard work gets you far, be confident in yourself, and always take your time and pay attention to details because the tiniest thing can just set everything off. That should be a model for anyone’s life really.”
Off the job, Crenshaw enjoys bass fishing, building things, and, most of all, spending time with his wife. Together they hope to start a family when the time is right.
Liquid Controls Salutes is a series of behind-the-scenes documentaries that acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of unsung heroes who keep the world’s industries fueled and moving. To view more stories, visit LCmeter.com/LCSalutes.