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Shaw team saves dollars, protects environment

Photo of two people in front of fuel tank.

John E. Morgan III, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) tanks program manager and John Placke, 20th CES power production work leader, stand in front of a reused fuel tank at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 13, 2021. Morgan and Placke identified fuel tanks scheduled for destruction and found a new purpose for the containers to save money. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ingold)

Photo of fuel tanks.

Members of the Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants Cross-Functional Team developed a project to extend 20th Fighter Wing aboveground storage tanks (AST) to save money and conserve resources. The project began when John E. Morgan III, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron tanks program manager, noticed unused AST’s awaiting disposal on base and wanted to reuse them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ingold)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Members of the Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants Cross-Functional Team developed a project to extend 20th Fighter Wing aboveground storage tanks, enhance processes, promote mission effectiveness, protect the environment and save Air Force money!

Oftentimes with upgrades, there are pieces of equipment that seem obsolete or appear they can no longer be useful, like a jar of loose nuts and bolts in the shed.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has an unofficial motto: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron emulates that motto wherever possible. With that in mind, and saving Air Force dollars, an idea was born.

The idea of tank repurposing came from several individuals. Shaw AFB tanks program manager, John Morgan, Blackson Arrow Terminal superintendent, Mark Yarke, 20th CES power production work leader, John Placke and Senior Master Sgt. Keith Handley, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels superintendent.

This began when I noticed a white cylindrical AST curiously out of place in front of building 330. This AST was recently taken out of service by power production with the installation of a new generator. Senior Master Sgt. Handley later mentioned he needed a new AST to free up a fuel truck currently serving as a waste fuel tank. It was an unplanned match-making event, but it worked!

The idle AST was available for reuse and a work order for a new concrete pad was made for the tank’s new home.

Three other small AST’s were scheduled for demolition and instead were reused. All of the tanks are scheduled to be installed as part of a base-wide atmospheric tank replacement project. Instead of tossing them out, they will be repurposed to save Air Force funds for other mission-specific projects.