by Airman 1st Class Erin O'Shea
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/9/2014 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The
48th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight held a
ribbon-cutting ceremony June 27, 2014, in celebration of their
newly-renovated fuels laboratory.
In 2011, the 48th LRS FMF laboratory was closed to address several
host-nation fire code deficiencies. Once these risks were noted, the
facility underwent renovation. Because of construction complications,
the project was delayed more than two years, forcing the fuels flight to
transport fuel samples several times a week to the lab at nearby RAF
"The FMF is responsible for ensuring all fuel is safely and efficiently
received, stored, and distributed to aircraft and vehicles on RAF
Lakenheath, and we are required to ensure [that fuel is]
on-specification according to applicable fuels technical orders," said
1st Lt. Jacob Maywald, 48th LRS FMF commander.
According to Maywald, this closure has had a negative effect on the unit, costing the 48th Fighter Wing manpower and money.
"This extra transit time is more than an inconvenience; it's extremely
costly," Maywald said. "The back- and-forth trips costs the wing an
extra $1,500 a year in fuels costs and makes a 30 minute job of running a
sample into a three-hour ordeal."
The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Defense Logistics Agency representative,
who oversees funding for the maintenance of base-level fuels
infrastructure, recently made an unrelated site visit to the FMF and was
made aware of the wing's frustrations with the laboratory.
"[The 48th Civil Engineer Squadron] programmed a new design and
construction plan for performing an in-house training project, and we
were able to align DLA with Base CE to fund the construction costs,"
Completing the project in a fraction of the time, the 48th CE design
slashed the laboratory's cost by 90 percent. According to Maywald,
making the project more cost-effective was crucial as the project was
programmed when the harshest effects of sequestration were affecting
plans for new construction base-wide. The original contract for the
fuels laboratory renovation was projected to cost an estimated $750,000,
but with the assistance of the 48th CES and USAFE DLA, the final cost
With the new laboratory complete, the FMF can now reduce their man-hours
and cost, while continuing to effectively support the mission of the