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Airmen retrieve fuel tanks from at Misawa AB

by 2nd Lt. Son Lee
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/11/2012 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Eight Airmen from the 35th Fighter Wing recovered two external fuel tanks from the Draughon Range bombing facility here June 1.

On May 17, 2012, at 9:15 a.m., an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base inadvertently released the two external fuel tanks while conducting flight training on Draughon Range.

A team of seven Airmen led by Tech. Sgt. Brandon Smith, of the 35th Operations Support Squadron, departed at 5:30 a.m. on June 1 to retrieve the dropped tanks. By 9:00 a.m. the same morning, the tanks were secured and ready to be transported.

"With the proactive nature of our Airmen and the benefits of a well thought-out plan, the tanks were retrieved expeditiously with emphasis placed on safe recovery operations," said Lt. Col. Timothy Lewis, the 35th Operations Support Squadron director of operations.

One hundred percent of the debris was accounted for and there was zero impact on the environment, said Lewis. There was also little to no impact on flying operations for both the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force throughout the process.

The tanks impacted the range, but no personnel or personal property were harmed or damaged during the incident.

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