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News > Rain, sleet or snow—the mission never stops
Rain, sleet or snow—the mission never stops

Posted 2/9/2011   Updated 2/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Andrew Davis
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

2/9/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- It's 6 a.m. and while the rest of the base has been put on mission essential reporting status, the Airmen of the 375th Logistic Readiness Squadron Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants Flight are hard at work getting the job done.
"Given the nature of our business, POL is unable to close operations entirely during inclement weather," said Tech. Sgt. Edward Mueller, 375th LRS NCO in charge of the Fuels Service Center. "Snow plows and deicing trucks still need fuel, and occasionally, the runway will remain open." POL is proactive and initiates plans whenever inclement weather is forecasted. "Prior to any notification, our section chiefs designate personnel to report to work in the event things turn sour," said Sergeant Mueller. "When we are notified that only mission-essential personnel are to report in, a telephone notification recall is initiated, and those designated personnel report in accordingly." The flight's mission continues no matter how bad the weather. "Of course, the bulk of the fuel during the inclement weather is to keep the snow removal equipment running," he said. "Also the automated service station and bulk JP-8 fuel tanks must be accounted for daily, in accordance with Defense Logistics Agency-Energy policies and procedures.

Even fuels samples are collected in these conditions when equipment is due for Quality Control checks or in the event quality becomes suspect. We are able to scale back some maintenance and facility tasks, but the core of our mission never stops." Members of the POL flight are not the only servicemembers at Scott who are mission essential.

Mission essential personnel who are required to report to duty during inclement weather are identified based on their Air Force Specialty Code and their position or duty within their respective unit. Mission essential status is not restricted to active duty members; civilian employees can also be classified as mission essential. Security forces, civil engineer, command post, childcare, dining facility, weather and operations Airmen and civilian personnel are also among those identified as mission essential personnel.

It is the responsibility of commanders and supervisors to identify and inform members if they are required to report for duty during mission essential only status.

Those identified report for duty as directed by their leadership. When Scott is put on mission essential only status those Team Scott members who are not required to report are placed on telephone standby until further notice. Civilian personnel who are not required to report are placed on administrative leave as granted by the installation commander. Some support functions such as the dining facility, child development centers and youth center also remain open during mission essential only status.

These facilities remain in operation to serve those who still have to report and are generally not available for use by the base populace at large. For example, only those children of designated mission essential personnel are allowed to be dropped off at the CDCs and Youth Center. As for the Airmen in POL, inclement weather is just another opportunity to keep the show on the road.

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