Air Force

November 15, 2013

Old fuel tank gets facelift

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Ed Smith, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels terminal superintendent, stands above a fuel tank under renovation Oct. 21 at Luke Air Force Base. This JP-8 jet fuel tank is the largest at Luke and was built in the 1940s.

The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight is renovating a fuel tank with a scheduled completion date of early February at Luke Air Force Base.

The 1940s fuel tank is under construction to bring it up to code and sustain fighter pilot training.
“We’ve got 1.6 million gallons worth of fuel sitting in there,” said Ed Smith, 56th LRS fuels terminal superintendent. “We’re putting fuel in and taking fuel out every day. That is a lot of stress on the tank itself and a lot of flexing of wells. Inspectors couldn’t guarantee the integrity, so to prevent catastrophic failure to the tank they thought it best to do the repairs.”

Everything short of the tank shell will be replaced to meet current requirements.

“Last week they sealed up the tank, cut a lot of things out and sealed the pan,” Smith said. “The tank was filled with water so the legs could be cut off the pan and now the water is draining down. When the pan is flush on the floor, they will remove the pan, replace the floor, replace the ports where the fuel goes in and out, and put a new floating pan inside it.”

The Defense Logistics Agency Energy is managing the tank overhaul. Western Solutions, a contractor of DLAE, subcontracted the repairs to Landmark.

The fuels management flight, contractors and base agencies are working closely together to ensure construction does not interfere with Luke’s flying mission.

“There has been quite a bit of coordination with airfield management, with cranes and equipment being in the aircraft approach zone,” Smith said. “There can’t be anything in the air interfering with approaching aircraft.”

Luke has seven fuel tanks. Five are JP-8 fuel tanks; one is for unleaded gas and one for diesel fuel. The largest is the one under construction.

“We are moving fuel in those tanks continuously each day,” Smith said. “We receive fuel offsite about 18 miles away. The fuel is pushed out to us from a pipeline. We fill up a tank, let it settle for eight hours, then transfer it to another issue tank. Those tanks fill up the trucks, which go to the flightline to fuel the aircraft.”

Up to 120,000 gallons of fuel are consumed a day here at Luke, but that number can spike up to 150,000 on some days. With the addition of the new F-35s, the number can reach anywhere from 250,000 to 350,000 gallons a day.

“With the current infrastructure we have right now, we couldn’t support that,” Smith said. “That is why it is critical we get this done now.”

Completion of this tank is critical to the success of Luke’s mission, Smith said. Once construction is complete, managing Luke’s fuel supply will be a little easier.

“We’re guaranteed we’ll have a tank that is in compliance and safer,” he said. “We will have 1.6 million gallons added back to our base storage. Right now we are running almost day to day. What we are receiving is what we are issuing. This will give us a little bit of a safeguard.”

Master Sgt. Donald Ray, 56th LRS Fuels Management Flight NCO-in-charge of facilities, has been overseeing the contractors while on base. This renovation couldn’t have come at a better time, he said.

“It’s vital,” Ray said. “When the F-35s get here, it will be critical to the mission.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

LRS Airmen undertake unusual engine repair

Courtesy Photo Staff Sgt. Kyle Saunders, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman, works on a destroyed valve inside the engine of a 2006 Ford Bobtail at Luke Air Force Base. The type of maintenance on t...
 

 

Air Force News – May 15, 2015

Germany Gen. Frank Gorenc, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, presented the 86th Airlift Wing in Ramstein a $250,000 check and a trophy May 1, for winning the USAFE-AFAFRICA Innovation Madness tournament. The tournament-style match determines which wing promotes the best innovative culture. Bulgaria The 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron was...
 
 

People First – May 15, 2015

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, click on the link in the title. AF establishes four new key reporting identifiers...
 
 

Next Week in History, May 21, 1960: B-25 retires

Editor’s note: The Thunderbolt will not be published May 22 due to the holiday down day. The following was provided for that edition. Fifty-five years ago next week, the Air Force retired its last World War II North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell bomber. The B-25’s first flight was 20 years earlier on Aug. 29, 1940....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin