ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Airmen from the 139th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s petroleum, oils and lubricants office conducted a “wet-wing” defuel at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base for the first time Aug. 16.
“This process is new to the Air Force and allows aircraft to defuel while the engines are running,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ed Sollars, fuels superintendent assigned to the 139th LRS.
Two POL Airmen received certification training at Rosecrans from the Connecticut Air National Guard to conduct the wet-wing defuel, which is considered a special fueling operation. Those Airmen can now train the rest of the shop or other units that need certification, said Sollars.
The event consisted of classroom training followed by a walk-through during daylight hours. The session was also performed at night to provide Airmen the experience of limited visibility operations.
This procedure supports the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment concept by using existing weapon systems to fuel the fight on forward operating bases.
“They could drop a C-130 off at a remote location where you didn’t have a bulk [fuel] storage,” said Sollars. “You could get fuel from certain aircraft and refuel helicopters or fighters.”
There are also requirements on the aircrew side, said Sollas.
“It’s all part of ACE … and part of the operations group’s plans to get certified on [this training].”