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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2023

Mission Efficiency: 155th ARW's hot-pit refueling

By Senior Airman Alexander Schriner 155th Air Refueling Wing

LINCOLN, Neb. – The 155th Air Refueling Wing performed a hot-pit refueling for their KC-135R Stratotanker, Nov. 4, 2023, where Airmen from the maintenance and operations groups received their initial training.

Hot-pit refueling is a method that facilitates the refueling of aircraft while their engines remain operational. This streamlined approach ensures a seamless transition, enabling aircraft to receive the necessary fuel without the need for engine shutdown, ultimately minimizing downtime and optimizing operational efficiency.

“This was our first great opportunity to train over a drill weekend,” said Maj. Travis Carlson, 173rd Air Refueling Squadron instructor pilot. “We are refining certain aspects of the process since this is new within the last two to three years.”

The Air Force is continuously seeking to enhance this critical process said Carlson.

“By sequencing the maintenance and operations procedures, it will improve the speed and precision of refueling,” said Carlson.

Accomplishing this training at home helps prepare Airmen for deployments that may be in austere environments said Master Sgt. Evan Hanlin, 155th ARW crew chief.

“Repetition of this helps us become a lot faster and save time in the future,” Hanlin said. “It’s a three-phase training process with powerpoint classroom, a jet walkthrough on the flightline and lastly a actual hot-pit refuel.”

A crucial component of the Air Force's strategy to maintain air superiority, hot-pit refueling extends mission durations, and ensures the readiness of its fleet said Hanlin.

The 155th ARW’s implementation of hot-pit refueling training stands as a vital component within the array of tools that ensure the state of Nebraska and the nation's security and safeguard its global interests.