The Selfridge Air National Guard Base will massively update its fuels storage and delivery system over the next two years. The “fuel farm” It will allow large aircraft, such as the KC-135, to “pull up to the pump” to receive jet fuel.
The $32.6 million contract went to Garco, a defense logistics agency headquartered in Spokane, WA. It is the largest builder’s contract ever given out by the base. Prior to this award the largest contract was a $30 million operations and intelligence hub operated by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at the base, which opened in early 2011.
“We are excited to see these kinds of improvements happening here at Selfridge,” says Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, commander, 127th Wing. “This new fuel storage and distribution system will help make your hometown Air Force safer and more efficient. It will also enable us to be better stewards of our environment.”
The base’s current systems have been around since 1958, so the replacement that will come once the project is completed is more than due. The new system will greatly facilitate fuel delivery to the 127th Air Refueling Group’s fleet of KC-135s, which are primarily used for air-to-air refueling operations.
Right now the jet fuel is trucked into the fuel storage area for Selfridge’s fleet of KC-135s, once completed the new hydrant will allow the planes to “pull the pump” when it receives fuel. This will allow a great boon for the aircraft’s air-to-air refueling.
“The hydrant system will reduce truck traffic volumes on the base, creating a safer and more efficient way to deliver fuel to our tanker aircraft,” says Master Sgt. Eric Henderson, fuels superintendent for the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron at the base.
This is also a new avenue for aircraft smaller than the KC-135s, such as fighters and helicopters. This especially useful because they use less fuel and there are many aircraft of that kind at Selfridge used by the Army, Coast Guard and Customs & Border Protection.
The new construction will feature three primary components:
- An above ground, 630,000 gallon storage complex
- An eight-station hydrant refueling system that will allow even the largest Air Force aircraft to “pull up to the pump”
- A new, remote fuel truck unloading site that will further enhance safety and security on the installation
“This kind of infrastructure investment is exactly what we need to posture Selfridge to be a cutting-edge military facility for continued aircraft operations in the future,” Slocum says. “This project is a testament to the community and national support for Selfridge as a bedrock of enduring national defense and security for both our State and our Nation.”
Other recent major construction projects at Selfridge include:
- Renovation of existing taxiways and runways, $5.3 million, 2014
- Renovation and expansion of Joint Reserve Intelligence Center-Detroit, $6 million, 2013
- Reconstruction of the 127th Operations/107th Fighter Squadron building, $6.6 million, 2013
- Construction of a new aircraft munitions complex, $8.5 million, 2013
- A new digital airport surveillance radar and tower, $17 million, 2012
- Renovation of a Security Forces operations building, $4.2 million, 2011
The project was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District. The Corps’ Louisville District is providing the project management services.
The project comes at a perfect time with the base’s centennial only a little more than a year away… July 1, 2017.