How the Air Force's 'tank drivers' keep tankers full of fuel and in flying shape
Jan 16, 2020, 23:55 IST
When a fuel leak is reported, fuels technicians must assess the damage to the cell, like a medic triaging a patient. Fuel is intended to remain in the bladder, so if it is found in the aircraft body cavity, airmen perform tests to inspect for damage.
"It's important to maintain the cells and make sure they're in the best condition they can be," said Airman 1st Class Brendon Kozicki, a 6th MXS fuel system journeyman. "We make sure all components are working as they should be and fix anything that would keep it out of the sky."
As with any job involving harmful chemicals fuels comes carefully procured safety regulations to ensure the airmen are safe when they go diving.
Though the Tank Divers call the hangar their home, they also must complete facets of their work on MacDill's flightline.
There's a sense of pride amongst the Tank Divers about their careers; they are the chosen few to do a unique job that puts them in tight places no one else gets to see or experience.
"My favorite part of my job would be fixing the jet myself and knowing I did something to fix what was keeping the jet out of the sky," said Kozicki. "It feels great working together to figure out what is wrong with a jet and seeing the outcome of it being out and ready to fly again."