Videos: Today's Military
  • Marine Corps

    Marine Aviation Hot Refueling(01:20)

    Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Michael J. Wulf, a bulk fuel specialist, describes how "hot refueling" works. During hot refueling, Marines must refuel a helicopter while the helicopter's engine is still running. This process allows a helicopter to land and take off again as quickly as possible.

    Marines involved in hot refueling must train regularly. This exercise took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico using a helicopter that is part of the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) fleet, which provides transport for the president of the United States.

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Staff Sgt. Michael J. Wulf: I'm a 1391 bulk fuel specialist, a refueler for aircrafts.


Staff Sgt. Michael J. Wulf: We do hot refueling once a month during training exercises. Hot refueling means that the aircraft is currently running while we refuel the aircraft. This would save them a lot of time to get in and out of an area. It takes four Marines to refuel on a hot refueling operation. I taxi the aircraft in myself, and I stop them in the refueling pits, and then the one Marine will come up and chock the aircraft to make sure it doesn't roll anywhere, and there's a grounding rod that gets supplied to the tire, and that's to dissipate static electricity. At that point, we bring out the point, the nozzle operator, and hook up the aircraft.

We use hand and arm signals to tell the Marines it's time to refuel or shut off the fuel. At that point, it's basically the end of the operation. Being so close to the aircrafts and refueling them on a daily basis, all kinds of different types of aircrafts, not just helicopters, it's fun, day to day. Something new.