USAF conducts F-35A hot pit refuelling training exercise with RAF

24 July 2019 (Last Updated July 24th, 2019 11:13)

The US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) have conducted a joint F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft hot pit refuelling training for the first time at RAF Marham, UK.

USAF conducts F-35A hot pit refuelling training exercise with RAF
Airmen assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing and 419th FW instruct Royal Air Force airmen on refuelling an F-35A Lightning II at RAF Marham. Credit: USAF / Airman 1st Class Shanice Williams-Jones.

The US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) have conducted a joint F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft hot pit refuelling training for the first time at RAF Marham, UK.

During the joint training exercise, airmen assigned to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, trained RAF personnel on the refuelling procedures.

Hot pit refuelling is a technique that allows an aircraft to refuel without the need to turn off its engine.

This approach enables the aircraft to resume its flight as quickly as possible.

75th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman Senior Airman Anthony Louden said: “It’s amazing that we have been given the opportunity to come to the UK and train with the airmen of the RAF.

“If one of our F-35s needs to refuel at an RAF base, we now have the confidence and trust that these guys know what they’re doing.”

The exercise was performed in preparation for future partnership capabilities between the two airforces.

The training marks the first USAF F-35A refuelling for the RAF Marham Visiting Aircraft Servicing Section (VASS) team.

As part of the training, the team had the opportunity to learn the safety and troubleshooting procedures, including emergency shutdown and evacuation processes.

VASS personnel Senior Aircraftman Technician Joshua Staff said: “We’ve not had the F-35s here very long and this is the first time we’ve gotten to work with the F-35A model. The US airmen were very professional and taught us exactly what we needed through a step-by-step process.”

Staff noted that the training allowed personnel to improve their ability to respond to operational mission requirements.

Meanwhile, the USAF stated that bilateral training activities will enhance its interoperability with Nato allies.

The F-35A aircraft arrived at RAF Marham airbase earlier this month to participate in joint training.