HomeNewsArticle Display

Fairchild brings hot pit refueling for the first time to CONUS

Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron perform hot pit refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling occurs nearly immediately after an aircraft lands, maintaining one engine remaining on during the refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron perform hot pit refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling occurs nearly immediately after an aircraft lands, maintaining one engine remaining on during the refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman attaches a hose to a KC-135 Stratotanker to perform hot pit refueling on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling shortens the amount of time spent servicing aircraft which in turn allows more aircraft to be turned over in the same amount of time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman attaches a hose to a KC-135 Stratotanker to perform hot pit refueling on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling shortens the amount of time spent servicing aircraft which in turn allows more aircraft to be turned over in the same amount of time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman guides a fuels truck toward a KC-135 Stratotanker in preparation for hot pit refueling on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Being the first base in the Continental U.S. to bring the hot pit refueling capability CONUS, this showcases the innovation and preparedness Team Fairchild and the Air Mobility Command possess and implements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman guides a fuels truck toward a KC-135 Stratotanker in preparation for hot pit refueling on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Being the first base in the Continental U.S. to bring the hot pit refueling capability CONUS, this showcases the innovation and preparedness Team Fairchild and the Air Mobility Command possess and implements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron read through a technical order prior to performing hot refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling requires cohesiveness between several key players on base, including but not limited to the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 92nd MXS, and several air refueling squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron read through a technical order prior to performing hot refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling requires cohesiveness between several key players on base, including but not limited to the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 92nd MXS, and several air refueling squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman inspects a KC-135 Stratotanker after it lands prior to a hot pit refueling operation at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling occurs nearly immediately after an aircraft lands, maintaining one engine remaining on during the refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 92nd Maintenance Squadron Airman inspects a KC-135 Stratotanker after it lands prior to a hot pit refueling operation at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 25, 2021. Hot pit refueling occurs nearly immediately after an aircraft lands, maintaining one engine remaining on during the refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Team Fairchild successfully completed the Air Force’s first-ever stateside Hot Pit refueling on the KC-135 Stratotanker on March. 25, 2021.

Hot pit refueling occurs when an aircraft is fueled immediately after landing, while the aircraft keeps one engine running.

This form of refueling reduces response time and keeps aircraft ready to complete any mission, anywhere.

“By performing a hot pit refuel, maintenance can turn multiple aircraft in the amount of time it would take to service a single aircraft. That usually includes shutting engines down, doing the engine checks, fueling, and getting up off of the ground again,” said Tech. Sgt. Gregory Eilenstein, 92nd Logistic Readiness Squadron NCO in-charge of fuels distribution. “After-flight checks can take hours, and with hot pit refueling, we can cut it down to potentially an hour.”

In addition to shortening the time it takes to turn each aircraft, it also strengthens capabilities and locations that the aircraft, in this case a KC-135 Stratotanker, can reach due to not having to completely shut off engines or restart them.

“This also allows us to land in an area where KC-135s aren’t prevalent. We can then refuel without worrying about potential errors that take a long time to service, due to a lack of parts and maintenance experience,” said Maj. Myles McDowell, 92nd Operations Support Squadron deputy chief of wing tactics.

Being the first base to bring this capability to the continental U.S. showcases the innovation and preparedness Team Fairchild and the Air Mobility Command possesses and implements.

“Fairchild is the super tanker wing, so we want to lead the way with this new capability,” McDowell said. “We need to accelerate change or lose. We didn’t want to wait for this to come to us. We wanted to beat everyone and posture Fairchild so when AMC says go, we’re ready to execute.”

Bringing hot pit refueling to Fairchild and CONUS expands mission capabilities and ensures that KC-135s are ready to compete, deter, and win.