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First to the fight: Hot pits deliver airpower faster

By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie | 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 1, 2017

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. —

In car racing, the pit stop is where tires are changed, panels get fixed and the car gets its’ life blood or its fuel. During short turn missions and training sorties, U.S. Air Force aircraft have a similar pit stop.

U.S. Air Force crew chiefs assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing and 733rd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels operators work together to perform hot pit refueling, a fast paced fueling method. This allows aircraft to take on fuel while still powered up, getting them back to the fight quicker. 

According to Master Sgt. Justin Oakley, 733rd LRS fuels superintendent, hot refueling gives fuels and fighter wing Airmen the capability to support the mission requirements 66 percent faster, reducing ground time.

“Hot refueling operations are a completely different ball game than refueling day-to-day under the sun shades,” said Oakley. “Having mission success is due to the Airmen in in our distribution element, being properly trained and being superior technicians out there pumping the gas, where the rubber hits the road.”

Oakley added that being able to successfully train and execute in the hot pits, gives Airmen that extra leg up when they are in a deployed environment and are tasked to work with other aircraft in the hot pits.

“We are a very unique mission support function in the 633rd Air Base Wing, as we are directly touching jets, whereas other base support is vital to getting the Airmen and cargo ready,” said Oakley. “Knowing that we are physically fueling the jet, really makes our team respect our small piece of the mission.”

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