New Home for Mountain Home F-15E Fuel Tanks

Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, recently opened a $2.5 million Vertical Tank Storage System to house more than 240 external fuel tanks for its F-15E Strike Eagles. Previously, the external tanks were stored outside on a cement pad, but the severe weather often stripped the tanks of their caps and plugs, creating FOD (foreign object damage) debris on the flightline. The old system required four airmen to manually load and unload the tanks, but the VTSS only takes two. It also significantly reduces the loading time, from roughly an hour to less than five minutes, according to a release. “It saves manpower, reduces the amount of time we are outside, and time we use storing and taking [the tank] back up to the aircraft maintenance unit,” said SrA. Virgil Campbell, aircraft fuels system journeyman with the 366th Component Maintenance Squadron. “It’s a huge safety improvement, being that Mountain Home isn’t the ideal place to be outside constantly.” (Mountain Home release by SrA. Alyssa C. Wallace)