Lowndes County - Members of Moody's fuels management flight were hard at work Wednesday. They're job is one of the air force's most important. "Planes can't fly without us, so we're an integral part of the military," said Lt. Thomas Freeland.
This group is responsible for fueling every engine that belongs to or is just passing through the base. But with a vital part of their department deployed, their duties are more strenuous than ever.
"We've got about 45 percent of our group deployed right now and it really makes things hard," said Freeland. "More will be going out soon, and we'll be working 12 hour shifts to accommodate a 24 hour schedule."
Across the base at Moody's fire station, firefighters are even more shorthanded. "More than 50 percent of our men are gone," said Staff Sergeant Michael Teets.
Teets was scheduled to fly out Monday, but his deployment was postponed. He and several more firemen will be deployed any day now, possibly leaving the department will less than 30 percent of their workforce.
"When our men leave, its not only hard because we're short staffed, but its difficult to say goodbye because we're like family," said Fire Chief Brad Collard.
Like the fuel supply group, firefighters are making major adjustments to accommodate their loss of staff. "We're having to bring in the young guys, and we have some civilian help, but its really hard when so many people of our veteran, experienced guys aren't here," said Teets.
With more airmen deployed nearly every week, most all groups from Moody will be seeing a major loss of staff. But those left behind say they'll go the extra distance to make sure those leaving are well equipped for duty.