Team Fairchild conducts hot-pit site survey in the Pacific

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Morgan Dailey
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Team Fairchild conducted a site survey mission to certify multiple airfields in the Pacific for KC-135 Stratotanker hot-pit refueling, January 2023.

“Certifying these sites is important so we can practice distributed logistics and operations,” said Capt. Blake Kidd, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron chief of tactics. “These fields will enable our forces to prepare and train for the next fight.”

While this mission strengthened national partnerships, enhanced refueling and cargo procedures, and taught aircrew on Real Time Information in the Cockpit (RTIC) systems, the primary goal was locating and certifying landing locations suitable for hot-pit refueling. 

The team also demonstrated cross utilization proficiency and multi-capable airman concepts on maintenance ground duties and integrated with the 203d Air Refueling Squadron to conduct an air-refueling mission, enhancing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concepts and capabilities.

Hot-pit refueling occurs when an aircraft is fueled immediately after landing, while the aircraft keeps one engine running, providing a reduced response time to the mission. The KC-135 Stratotanker requires an adequate response time of emergency services to hot-pit.

“The Civil Engineering Squadron plays a crucial role in certifying Fire Protection and Pavement conditions for all new locations,” said Master Sgt. William Silva, 92nd Civil Engineering Squadron pavement and equipment specialist. “We review and annotate the ground of any defects that could affect our aircraft.”

Fairchild’s hot-pit refueling team coordinated with members from the Royal Australian Air Force and Darwin International Airport Fire & Rescue personnel to conduct the first-ever KC-135 Stratotanker hot-pit refueling in Australia.

This mission demonstrated Team Fairchild’s global reach capacity while taking all necessary precautions to ensure a seamless process certifying new hot-pit locations across the Pacific.