Team McChord certifies Specialized Fueling Operations aircrews

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Team McChord certified Specialized Fueling Operations aircrews during Exercise Rainier War at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, on April 21. 

Specifically, 62nd Airlift Wing is focused on wet-wing defueling. A wet-wing defuel procedure is used to quickly offload a specified amount of fuel from a receiver aircraft, in this case a C-17, and de-fuel that into an R-11 Refueler truck. During this scenario, a C-17 operated by the 62nd AW landed and kept all engines running, while Airmen with the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight transferred fuel from the aircraft to the fuel truck.

“The main premise behind the wet-wing defuel procedure is to expeditiously take that fuel and put it back into another aircraft via hot refueling,” said 1st Lt. Stephen Gardella, 627th LRS Fuels Management Flight commander.

An advantage of the wet-wing defuel procedure is to cut down the time an aircraft is grounded then re-launching it for another mission.

The Airmen are currently participating in the Exercise Rainier War, a semi-annual exercise led by the 62nd AW, designed to train aircrews under realistic scenarios that support a full spectrum operations against modern threats and replicate today’s contingency operations.

As part of the exercise, the wet-wing defuel procedure targets Rainier War’s lines of effort – Agile Combat Employment, High-End Tactical Training and Accelerate Change in how the 62nd AW and 627th ABG conduct warfighting.

“The reason why [conducting a wet-wing defuel procedure] is important is because it gets all of our Airmen capable to do multiple functions,” said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Straub, 627th LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of fuels distribution. “By performing this procedure, they are able to complete these operations safely and efficiently when they are at deployed locations.”

Moving forward, the 627th LRS aims to incorporate wet-wing defuel procedures as part of its Airmen’s annual training requirement.

“The end goal is to make us more Multi-Capable Airmen,” Straub said.