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Scott Air Force Base achieves successful hot-pit refueling of F-35 aircraft and gains certification


  • Published

  • By Airman 1st Class De’Quan Simmons

  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Scott Air Force Base recently hosted a pair of F-35A Lightning IIs from the 388th Fighter Wing based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, as a part of an Air Force-wide push to expand hot-pit refueling capabilities, Jan. 18, 2024. 

Hot-pit refueling is the practice of refueling an aircraft immediately after landing while keeping the engines running to minimize time spent on the ground. Hot-pit refueling allows sorties to be generated faster, allowing more effective power projection capabilities.

This practice goes hand in hand with the Air Force’s focus on the Agile Combat Employment concept, which works on improving resilience and survivability while generating combat power. ACE was created in response to growing threats from rapidly developing technology, resulting in increased vulnerability of bases, as well as budget limitations, and the changing political landscape. 

“It allows aircraft to rapidly get back into the fight,” said Tech Sgt. Lauren Carosi, 375th Operations Support Squadron airfield management operations non-commissioned officer in charge. “It is critical to the ACE construct as the 375th Air Mobility Wing prepares Airmen to be combat-effective in dispersed and contested environments.”

Tech. Sgt. Bobbie Clark, 388th Maintenance Group quality assurance inspector, and Senior Airman Derek Ayers, 388th Logistics Support Squadron training instructor, trained Airmen from the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron and civilians from the 375th OSS on refueling the aircraft. 

“The new concept we’re going to, the whole ACE concept, it’s helping out Air Force wide”, said Clark. “We’re starting to see it more, and it’s trickling down now to our Airmen and civilians. It’s amazing that everyone’s looking at the big picture.” 

The ACE concept comprises five core elements: posture, command and control, movement and maneuver, protection, and sustainment. 

The F-35A Lightning II is the Air Force’s primary multi-role fighter aircraft, having replaced the aging F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II when it entered service in 2016. Adding this certification to Scott’s growing list of refueling capabilities is a vital piece of the ever-changing puzzle of air superiority. 

After adding the F-35 A Lightning II, Scott Air Force Base is certified to hot-pit refuel the following aircraft: 

●    UH-60 Black Hawk

●    F-16 Fighting Falcon

●    E-A 18G Growler

●    E-2D Hawkeye

●    CH-47 Chinook

●    F-22 Raptor 

●    F-35A Lightning II 

“The addition of F-35s to the list of airframes that Scott AFB is certified to Hot Pit Refuel increases the ability for this base to multiply the effectiveness of joint air power,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Brown, 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander. “We are strategically located in the middle of the continent and can now effectively increase the legs of almost every type of Air Force, Navy, and Army combat aircraft in the absence of air tanker support to make it from coast to coast as fast as possible.”

 Not only do these capabilities benefit the Air Force as a whole, but they also allow Airmen to gain expeditionary skills to carry out duties beyond their primary job. 


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