The Tank Perspective

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ned T. Johnston
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
"As Airmen, we are so focused on completing our jobs to the best of our abilities that sometimes we give ourselves tunnel vision, and we only see our piece of the pie instead of seeing our overall impact to the mission," said Senior Airman Caleb Cano, a type 3 hydrants operator with the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

What Cano is explaining is something many Airmen have felt at some point in their careers. Often times, Airmen have a difficult time understanding where they fit into the bigger picture.

"When all you see is what you're doing every day, it's easy to get burnt out," said Cano. "Not seeing the fruit of your labor can really weigh you down mentally."

Cano has found a way around this tunnel-vision burn-out.

"It's all about perspective," marveled Cano standing atop a one-million gallon fuel tank. "Every job matters and plays a role in the larger mission, and it wasn't until the first time I came up here that I really understood that."

Cano is responsible for the tubes and pipelines that run underneath the pavement of the flight line, which are filled with fuel from these one-million gallon fuel tanks. As part of his monthly inspections, Cano has to trek to the top of these tanks and inspect their fuel levels.

"When I come up here, I see more than just the readings on a fuel meter," explained Cano. "I see the maintainers working on the jets, and I watch as pilots climb the ladders into the KC-135s. Off in the distance, I can see the air traffic control tower, and the coolest thing of all, is that I can see the fuels trucks using my fuel to gas up the planes."

"Being able to visualize my impact on the mission empowers me," said Cano. "Normally, I'd be sitting in a room checking gauges, opening and closing fuel lines, or running some sort of checklist completely separated from this part of the mission."

But not everyone has a couple one-million gallon fuel tanks lying around in their work section to give them the tank perspective.

"I would tell other Airmen that what they're doing matters, and to ask a supervisor or a friend about why they're doing what they're doing," explained Cano. "Chances are, you'll find that you have a bigger impact on the mission than you think."