WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Keeping airplanes refueled is no easy task, especially in some of the most remote places on earth, but one former Petroleums, Oils & Lubricants (POL) airman says he wouldn’t have changed a thing about his journey around the world.

Wanting to provide a better life for his young family, Chris Evans joined the Air Force in 1998. After tech school, Evans received orders for Rammstein Air Base in Germany, beginning his career in pumping up the flight lines.

“I got to be able to join the service and pass gas for a living,” Evans said with a laugh.

For Evans, all things fuel was the theme for much of his 23-year career in the Air Force.

“There’s a lot of different aspects of the job, whether you’re in a laboratory, whether you’re at hydrants receiving and storing it, issuing it out to aircraft,” Evans said.

For the first four years of his career, Evans was based in Germany, fueling missions during the Kosovo War.

“Understanding all the refugees that were, that we were dropping food too, you know, I could only imagine what it was like over there,” Evans said.

From Germany to Guam, Honduras to New Jersey, Evans would go on to fuel aircraft around the world and learn the tricks of the trade.

“Every base I went to, I got the opportunity to do something different and different,” Evans said. “My most favorite job was when I was in the Azores because I got the opportunity to be the flight chief.”

In charge of supervising 58 people, Evans became a flight chief as a Master Sergeant E-7, a rare feat at the time.

“We also had a fuel farm that had millions of gallons of fuel in it that I oversaw, and that was contracted out, so that job itself, it gave me an opportunity to put all my passion into it, to be able to make sure we’re taking care of the mission day in, day out without hiccup,” Evans said.

Evans would be deployed three times during his career: keeping flights fueled in Turkey, Qatar and Iraq.

“My son was born, and two weeks later, I left for Iraq,” Evans said. “We had some A-10s (anti-tank aircraft) … when you see them fully loaded, and they come back, and they’re empty, you know something happened.”

Evans says the Balad Air Base, where he was stationed while in Iraq, was a constant target.

“You take care of one another, and you make sure your head’s on a swivel,” Evans said.

After years of serving abroad, Evans ended his career closer to home at McConnell Air Force Base.

“I’m thankful that I got to be able to come in and join, and be a part of it and meet the people I met,” Evans said. “Thank you, I think, is huge because I wouldn’t be where I’m at today and be the person who I am today if I wouldn’t have.”

During his time at McConnell, Evans would switch gears and become a career assistance adviser. In his new role, he used his years of experience to help hundreds of airmen and airwomen achieve their dreams as well.


If you would like to nominate a veteran for our Veteran Salute, email KSN reporter Hannah Adamson at hannah.adamson@ksn.com.