As the rating name implies, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate, Fuels (ABF) are responsible for the receipt, storage, inspection, purification, and issuance of aviation fuel; just where they perform these tasks depends on their job title. ABFs can work as technicians either below deck, on the flight deck, or at a shore base.
An Aviation Fuels Below Deck Operations Technician is tasked with the safe delivery and storage of JP5 aviation fuel. Duties include sounding of storage tanks, taking samples to test for purity, and coordinate transfer, service, and stripping system to ensure completion of various functions. Their specific duties include (but obviously are not limited to) monitoring catapult lube oil system operations, performing ballasting and de-ballasting system operations, managing fuel system liquid load, and carrying out fuel transfers. Higher paygrades will verify maintenance plans, manage below-deck manning needs, and approve fuel onload charts and tank sequences.
ABFs working as Aviation Fuels Flight Deck Operations Technicians perform many of the same duties as their counterparts below decks, with the overarching task being to ensure the safe receipt, transfer, and issuance of JP5 fuel throughout the ship. They are responsible for taking fuel sample and conducting quality surveillance and assurance tests, flushing fuel stations, sounding tanks, aligning flight-deck fueling stations, and of course the fueling (and, equally important, the defueling) or aircraft.