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Military

Elmendorf Airmen boost aviation fuel with additive

by Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross
3rd Wing Public Affairs

9/4/2009 - ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) -- Elmendorf Air Force Base officials started to blend a thermally stable additive known as Plus 100 to its JP-8 aviation fuel Sept. 1.

The additive prevents coking and carbon buildup in the engine, which will greatly reduce engine maintenance.

Even before base officials began using this additive, the 3rd Logistics Readiness Squadron's Fuels Management Flight team was always ready to provide gas, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Airmen refuel all aircraft assigned here and any passing through day or night. On average, the team refuels 60 aircraft a day.

Fuel pumped to aircraft goes through an inspection.

"The fuels laboratory is responsible for ensuring all fuel that moves on Elmendorf meets stringent Air Force standards," said Master Sgt. Eugene Cataldi, the NCO in charge for the fuels information service center.

The presence of water and particles are just some of the things the flight members look for.

"Aircrew safety is our biggest priority," Sergeant Cataldi said. "Lives are on the line. If fuel doesn't meet specifications, it could result in catastrophic consequences."

The filter separator elements on refuel trucks and dispensing equipment are changed out ever three years. Sergeant Cataldi said it doesn't matter if the part was used once or 20 times. His team must be sure only clean, dry fuel is issued to the aircraft.

After the fuel is checked and meets Air Force standards, it's up to the truck drivers to get it out on the flightline and fill the aircraft.

"We have 20 plus drivers in the flight and we do multiple types of refuels," said Tech. Sgt. Karl Andrescavage, the fuels distribution supervisor for the fuels management flight.

The hot pit refuels is one of the refueling methods used, which is common in deployed environments. The aircraft rolls up, without shutting down engines, to a spot where a team is ready to refuel it. After the aircraft is fueled, it takes off.

Sergeant Andrescavage said it's only a matter of about 10 minutes to refuel the aircraft and have it back in the air.



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