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.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>