Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, US Forces Japan commander, cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the introduction of the new aircraft fueling system at Misawa AB, Japan, according to a base release. The Type III hydrant system, coupled with R-12 fuel servicing vehicles, will enable maintainers to refuel aircraft much more efficiently than the previous setup, states the May 12 release. It will allow the northern Japan installation, home to the F-16s of the 35th Fighter Wing, to serve as “a high-volume and high-speed pit stop” for transport aircraft moving cargo and personnel through the Asia-Pacific region, states the release. “We’re now able to support heavier aircraft so they don’t have to fly to other bases,” said SSgt. Derek Schmidt, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron field hydrant supervisor. The Type III system features underground tanks that feed fuel with constant pressure to hydrants placed at parking stations on the flight line. The R-12s connect to the hydrants and pass fuel to the airplanes. The previous setup required R-11 vehicles to drive back and forth from fuel tanks to the aircraft. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was on May 11, but maintainers first used the Type III system in February.
A majority of panelists convened by the Atlantic Council to assess the situation in Ukraine believe that Russia will have enough forces—and recent practice in Belarus—to invade Ukraine within a month. A senior Air Force official concurred, saying the service expects the conflict soon.