LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The digital Christmas cards he scrolled through brought just as much pride as they did memories for Thomas Busch, 47th Logistics Flight contracting officer representative.
The digital cards used to be paper once upon a time, he recalled, but they still represent one of his favorite qualities of being a part of the fuels career field: camaraderie.
He went name-by-name down the festive graphic that is sent out annually, naming out the close friends he’s made over the years. Christmas cards have become a staple of the fuels career field, and according to Busch, a tradition that they carry happily.
“Back in the day you’d go through stacks of these cards, and you could see, ‘oh, that guy moved to that base,’ or, ‘that guy made rank,’ or, ‘that guy lost rank, I wonder what he did,’” he said, laughing. “Ever since I joined the Air Force in ‘83 fuels has put out annual holiday cards, and that was how we kept track of all of our buddies in the career field.”
The fuels career field is approximately 3,500 strong, and according to Busch, that makes it easier to keep in touch with friends. But while small in numbers, fuels Airmen can always be counted on to get the job done, he said.
“Fuels Airmen have kind of always been the quiet folks who get the job done, and that’s how we like it,” Busch said. “A lot of people don’t notice or realize that our job directly impacts the flying mission. But we’re there every day on the flightline making sure the job gets done.”
Busch, a 35-year veteran to the career field and retired Air Force master sergeant of 22 years, went on to recall story after story of how being in fuels put him on the frontlines of a lot of unique situations; gassing up the aircraft that drop the bombs, put out the fires, move the cargo, or in Laughlin’s case, train America’s future multi-domain combat aviators.