HomeNewsArticle Display

Luke AFB changes refueling truck color, mitigates F-35 shutdowns

Senior Airman Jacob Hartman checks out the newly painted R-11 refueling truck at the Logistic Readiness Squadron vehicle yard at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. After receiving waiver approval from the Air Education and Training Command, the 56th LRS had the fuel tank painted white to keep the fuel inside from overheating. The changes to the truck were made because the F-35 Lightning II has a fuel temperature threshold and cannot function properly if the fuel temperature is too high. Hartman is a 56th LRS fuels distribution operator (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.)

Senior Airman Jacob Hartman checks out the newly painted R-11 refueling truck at the Logistic Readiness Squadron vehicle yard at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. After receiving waiver approval from the Air Education and Training Command, the 56th LRS had the fuel tank painted white to keep the fuel inside from overheating. The changes to the truck were made because the F-35 Lightning II has a fuel temperature threshold and cannot function properly if the fuel temperature is too high. Hartman is a 56th LRS fuels distribution operator (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron recently added a new fuel truck to its fleet designed to improve mission effectiveness and safety on the flightline.

However, it’s not really a new fuel truck, but an old fuel truck with its tank painted white.

What LRS Airmen once referred to as "Big Green," the “new” truck with a white fuel tank has been a little difficult for some to get used to; however, the change has a better purpose then just being aesthetically pleasing.

"We painted the refuelers white to reduce the temperature of fuel being delivered to the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter," said Senior Airman Jacob Hartman, a 56th LRS fuels distribution operator. "The F-35 has a fuel temperature threshold and may not function properly if the fuel temperature is too high, so after collaborating with other bases and receiving waiver approval from (the Air Education Training Command), we painted the tanks white."

With the change, the 56th LRS hopes for no delay in aircraft take-offs, all while maintaining mission sorties and ensuring pilots meet training requirements.

"It ensures the F-35 is able to meet its sortie requirements," said Chief Master Sgt. Ralph Resch, the 56th LRS fuels manager. "We are taking proactive measures to mitigate any possible aircraft shutdowns due to high fuel temperatures in the future."

The squadron adopted the idea after it was first implemented at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

In the summer months at Luke AFB, temperatures can reach beyond 110 degrees. Painting the tanks white now will help prevent fuel stored in the tanks from over-heating.

"This is the short-term goal to cool the fuel for the F-35; however, the long-term fix is to have parking shades for the refuelers," Resch said.

The white paint is special because it is a solar polyurethane enamel that reflects the heat of the sun's rays. Interestingly, after dropping off the first truck to be painted, the 56th LRS learned it is not the color that reflects the heat.

"The painting process is a two-part process, and the second part is the reflective process," said Master Sgt. Joseph Maurin, the 56th LRS fuels distribution NCO in charge. "The painter said it did not have to be a white color, so we are going to send one of the four vehicles to get painted green, if possible. We will then compare temperatures between the green and white trucks."

Luke AFBs refuelers are also deployable and a white fuel truck would stick out like a sore thumb down range. The 56th LRS is hopeful that the tanks can be painted green and still keep fuel temperatures down.

The 56th LRS has been approved to paint four trucks and it takes about a week to complete, at a cost of $3,900 per truck.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
The #AirForce have been pioneers in uncontested space, maintaining the world's most cutting-edge lethal force for o… https://t.co/JqWLA93gqO
.@RAFMildenhall flew a #KC135 Stratotanker to Romania on Mar. 10, 2019 to conduct air refueling training with the R… https://t.co/CD0VLgBNuv
RT @DeptofDefense: What drives some of the most fearless and talented pilots in today’s @USAirForce? Check out our Q&A with pilot Capt. Mic…
#ICYMI, #USAF senior leaders, #CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright and @SecAFOfficial, discuss their priorities on the future of… https://t.co/qfmTLLg8xW
#F35 experts from the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea met recently to build on the success of the March 2017… https://t.co/fvVd3EARAT
A #B52H Stratofortress taxis on the runway @TeamMinot on March 5, 2019. The B-52 can perform #strategic attack, clo… https://t.co/AyWJ5zFo6M
#DYK, #MWDs go to basic training just like #Airmen do. Learn how teams train to build a rapport to bring a mutual k… https://t.co/HcD2pnqu1v
.@the182AW #Airmen do not mind getting greasy making missions happen. @AirNatlGuard @IL_Natl_Guard https://t.co/B6pkJ7LB3v
Refueling procedures differ from aircraft to aircraft. Learn how #CV22 Osprey #pilots performed recently with the… https://t.co/iXfoGWYCZ3
RT @Southcom: #SOUTHCOM Military Dep. Commander @USAirForce Lt. Gen. Michael Plehn met today w/ Colombian Army Maj. Gen. Luis Navarro Jimén…
RT @AFSOUTH: 🇨🇴The @FuerzaAereaCol is training with 🇺🇸U.S. joint forces and 5 Partner Nation Air Forces at @NellisAFB for🚩#RedFlag! This is…
Our friends over @48FighterWing got a great photo of an #Airman working on the #F15 #StrikeEagle, helping to ensure… https://t.co/3voiBxkfa1
#Airmen from the U.S., Thailand, & Singapore visited a local school as part of a cultural exchange during Exercise… https://t.co/7yUZ8QIwRK
It's all in the details as Aircrew Flight Equipment #Airmen supply lifesaving equipment, ensuring aircrews continue… https://t.co/7zbizluJOU
The #AirForce is all about going the extra step to ensure things are done the right way. This precaution is pertine… https://t.co/EcLxM9LYXJ
RT @Offutt_AFB: “We took a hit with some flooding, but we are going to regenerate and we are going to come back stronger, more lethal, and…
RT @SecAFOfficial: Right now, 1/3 of @Offutt_AFB is heavily-flooded, including their HQ building. Thankfully, people & aircraft are safe...…
#ICYMI: We recently released our latest Air Force TV Podcast, featuring @AstroHague! Never miss a future #USAF TV p… https://t.co/ubBdl730Dl
“Fulfilling our Nation’s Promise” is the motto of @dodpaa located at @JointBasePHH. Its mission – “To provide the f… https://t.co/WWxcKOUUaF
.@Offutt_AFB #Airmen worked around the clock to fortify facilities w/ 235,000+ sandbags and 460 flood barriers, min… https://t.co/Hw45u8RNhT