The Far East District Kunsan resident office recently completed a project to construct ten hardened aircraft flow-thru shelters for aircraft refueling and a new JP-8 hydrant fueling system. The system is comprised of two 1.6 million liter fuel tanks, two new pump houses, and a 250 millimeter underground hydrant loop routing the fueling systems to each of the individual aircraft refueling shelters. This $39 million project was completed and accepted by the 8th civil engineer squadron on Aug. 1.
While the technical requirements of such a project are quite complex, the concept of the “hot pit” refueling system is simple. It provides aircrafts “quick turn” capability to concurrently load munitions and refuel aircrafts while parked in aircraft shelters. It allows aircrafts to meet the minimum times required to support various air operations throughout the Pacific theater. Kunsan is home to two F-16 squadrons: the 35th Fighter Squadron and the 80th Fighter Squadron. These facilities will be exclusively used by the 35th Fighter Squadron.
A project of this size naturally presents a host of challenges to the project delivery team in the field, with all of its main and supporting facilities intricately connected by a series of piping systems, not to mention stringent standards that must be met by facilities that receive and transfer fuel of any kind. The most substantial project milestone, by far, is the commissioning and acceptance testing of the aircraft fueling system, which took place over an approximately five week span, culminating in government witness by the Defense Logistics Agency (project owner). Key to the successful completion is close coordination with the contractor, Defense Logistics Agency, title II service contractor, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise (MCX), and the Air Force IMSC (installation’s technical representative). Like most projects, a little teamwork goes a long way, but that is especially true on fueling system projects, which tend to require a high degree of inter-agency interaction.
The successful completion of this project reflects highly on the close teamwork the Kunsan Resident Office has with the 8th Fighter Wing, known as the Wolf Pack and the fighter squadrons that form the backbone of their operations at Kunsan Air Base. This project will continue to support the Wolf Pack’s mission for many years to come.