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Moody, Vermont Air National Guard Total Force Integration Fuels the fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Courtney Sebastianelli
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, GA -- Vermont Air National Guardsman from the 158th Fighter Squadron partnered with Airmen from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia Dec. 12-14, 2023, to perform special fueling operations familiarization. 

The Guardsmen spent three days with Airmen from the 23rd Logistics Readiness Squadron to demonstrate effective Total Force Integration (TFI) and gain a better understanding of specific skills and assets such as Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP), the Versatile Integrating Partner Equipment Refueling (VIPER) kit and STARCART.  

The concept of TFI serves as the Air Force's benchmark, harmonizing active duty, guard, and reserve components during exercises and contingency operations across the globe, ensuring successful integration when the need arises. 

“The diversity of strength we have together makes us more effective and more efficient across all functions,” said Chief Master Sgt. Maurice L. Williams, Air National Guard command chief. “Being inclusive of all components brings us together as one team, building trust and giving us the cohesiveness needed to accomplish missions efficiently.”

Building on this philosophy a team of six Guardsmen trained alongside Airmen from the 23rd LRS to gain more insight into fuel operations supporting ACE concepts.

“We came out to Moody to get a better idea of what these fuel systems look like and how they work,” said Master Sgt. David Smith, 158th FS noncommissioned officer in charge of fuel distribution operations. “The goal is to take these lessons back to our home squadron and share our understanding of what systems might be better used in certain situations.”

When it comes to refueling, knowing how each system works and understanding how the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units can successfully implement the systems equates to overall mission success for the Air Force.  

“There’s some good information surrounding ACE that we are excited to share with the Guard,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Turner, 23rd LRS fuels equipment supervisor. “Ultimately our hope is we can better equip them to use these lessons in upcoming exercises and real-world scenarios where we may all have to work together.”

Historically, in austere locations, assets such as fuel trucks can be hard to come by, Turner explained, making the joint training critical to success in various settings.

“Using Assets like the STARCART and utilizing the fuel bladder with it allows us to put down fuel on an airfield that logistically doesn’t have fuel there,” he said. “Training the Guard on these tools will better allow them to implement the ACE concepts within any environment.”

The training demonstrated TFI in real time for both seasoned Guardsmen and new active-duty Airmen, enabling every participant –no matter their level of familiarity – to gain experience.

“These trainings allow us the chance to help our younger Airmen,” Turner said. “Some of them may have never seen or worked with this equipment. This allowed us to spread the knowledge and expertise all the way around so everybody can have one mindset and become agile.”