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NEWS | May 2, 2007

$339,129,016.36 and every drop of fuel accounted for

By Staff Sgt. April Quintanilla 437th Airlift Wing

In early 1997, the Air Force noticed they were losing millions of dollars on fuel and no one knew why.

In order to reduce loses Air Mobility Command created the wing refueling document control office position, dedicating one person to manage and provide technical and managerial support to wing commanders and organizations for the aviation, petroleum, oil and lubrication program.

In August 1997, Bill Snyder retired from active duty and was hired as Charleston's WRDCO. Not only did Mr. Snyder start a new job he also had to start a job no one had ever done before.

His goal was to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the AVPOL program. He developed procedures for the tracking and validating of off-station refueling and ground service billing, thereby strengthening the program.

A year after being hired, Mr. Snyder was able to account for 37,525 flying hours and $93.4 million in fuel costs, saving the Air Force more than $1.4 million in erroneous billing charges.

He also devised financial and accounting policies with functional agencies within the Air Force, civilian and governmental agencies in order to validate billings and ensure payments for fuel and ground services were made accordingly.

Mr. Snyder also reconciles Defense Energy Supply Center interfund-billing transactions with the AVPOL Data Management System. He ensures corrective action with DESC and other agencies are processed for erroneous charges, reports savings, credits due to billing errors and follows up on the correction of the errors prior to payment.
In 2006, Team Charleston hit an all-time high in fuel cost. 

"We used more fuel than any other base with a total of 50,347 flying hours. The wing spent $339 million on fuel - that's 150 million gallons - saving the Air Force $4 million in erroneous billing charges," said Mr. Snyder.

"Before Sept. 11, the work load was tolerable, there was still a lot to do, but for only one person, it was suitable," said Mr. Snyder. "After Sept. 11, the workload doubled, but the manning stayed the same. If I took a day off, it would take me two to three days to catch up." 

Mr. Snyder created training guides now used Air Force-wide. He also maintains a website to keep other WRDCOS updated. His guide allows aircrews to be aware of which fuel companies to use due to government contracts when landing in different locations.

"I get to communicate with many people in different countries on a daily basis," said Mr. Snyder. "I've traveled to more than 50 Air Force bases to hold conferences about the job." 

Mr. Snyder said the best part of his job is the variation in his daily routine. 

"Every day is different," he said. "There's never a boring day."