Marines Train To Fuel Aircraft In Contaminated Environments
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan, Nov. 20, 2017 — Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 trained here to keep aircraft in the fight while operating in a hazardous environment, Nov. 15.
Wearing protective gear, the Marines refueled F-35B Lightning II aircraft while their engines were running -- a process known as “hot refueling.” During the scenario, the Marines were at the highest readiness level -- Mission Oriented Protective Posture 4 -- which requires personnel to wear a mask, suit, boots and gloves.
Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps
“This exercise enables us to refine our standard operating procedures while familiarizing the Marines to operate in gear they aren’t used to,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Martin Aldrete, a maintenance controller with VMFA-121. “It’s important to practice in MOPP gear because the Marines don’t get many opportunities to wear this on a daily basis. So in the instance where they do have to wear MOPP gear in a real-life scenario, it’s not going to be a shock or surprise to them of how they are going to operate.”
It’s essential for operational readiness to train for hazardous scenarios where lethal agents such as chemical, biological or radiological weapons can hamper mission success.