Endurance Mission - Team March's first Hot Refuel in the base's 100+ year history

  • Published
  • By Maj Perry Covington
  • 452 AMW

On the KC-135 Stratotanker, Team March completed the base's first-ever Hot Pit refueling on Oct. 6, 2022.

Hot pit refueling is when one engine is kept running while an aircraft is fueled right after landing.

This method of refueling keeps aircraft ready to complete any mission, anywhere and reduces response time.

"We're increasing reliability and decreasing the downtime of an aircraft," said 1LT Tyler Cross, Maintenance OIC, 912th Air Refueling Squadron.


Cross is the OIC in charge of getting the hot refuel program off the ground. "We'll be able to get these jets off the ground within 2 hours, drastically decreasing the time our jets are out of the fight."

Because the aircraft (KC-135 Stratotanker) does not have to shut off or restart its engines completely, it not only cuts down on the amount of time it takes to turn each aircraft but also improves its capabilities and the locations it is able to reach.

"It really helps with the components of the aircraft, not having to shut everything off and then on again,” said Staff Sgt. Austin Quinn, Crew Chief, 912th ARS. "More importantly, though, is that tactically it helps our warfighters because they need that fuel, and the faster we can get our jet in the air, the better." 

Team March's ability to execute this quickly and successfully make this technique a viable mission multiplier. It exemplifies our airmen's innovation and preparedness.

Captain John Dike, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 912 ARS, stated, "We're a part of this Endurance Mission to test the capability to keep 135s in the air over a 72-hour period. This is the first time this has been done anywhere since the inception of the hot refuel concept. By including the Air Force Reserves, we increase capability and flexibility. This tactic is now a total force multiplier that helps us project power globally." 

Hot pit refueling expands mission capabilities and ensures that our KC-135s are prepared to compete, project power, and win in any theatre.