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Seymour Johnson AFB tests new military refueling unit

The Isometrics R-11 Refueler team tests the truck’s revolutions per minute and fuel consumption, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Seymour Johnson AFB was chosen as a test facility to determine adjustments before distribution to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

The Isometrics R-11 Refueler team tests the truck’s revolutions per minute and fuel consumption, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Seymour Johnson AFB was chosen as a test facility to determine adjustments before distribution to the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

The Isometrics R-11 Refueler truck works on the truck fabrication team fuel sensors, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new R-11 was constructed to refuel jets as well as tankers more efficiently than current units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

The Isometrics R-11 Refueler truck works on the truck fabrication team fuel sensors, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new R-11 was constructed to refuel jets as well as tankers more efficiently than current units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Senior Airman Terrence Baker, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron petroleum, oil, and lubricants fuels lab technician, takes fuel samples from the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The R-11 has the ability to carry fuel to jets and pump fuel from underground hydrant systems to refuel aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Senior Airman Terrence Baker, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron petroleum, oil, and lubricants fuels lab technician, takes fuel samples from the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The R-11 has the ability to carry fuel to jets and pump fuel from underground hydrant systems to refuel aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Joe Robinson, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron fire truck and refueling maintenance technician, adjusts a fuel sensor on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new R-11 has more automatic features to help prevent fuel waste and accidents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Joe Robinson, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron fire truck and refueling maintenance technician, adjusts a fuel sensor on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new R-11 has more automatic features to help prevent fuel waste and accidents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Mike Nelson (left), Air Force Petroleum Agency operations director, and Greg Clay (right), AFPET liaison for Warner Robins Depot, survey gauges on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler’s panel, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The high and low pressure levels were tested and tracked while refueling F-15E Strike Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Mike Nelson (left), Air Force Petroleum Agency operations director, and Greg Clay (right), AFPET liaison for Warner Robins Depot, survey gauges on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler’s panel, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The high and low pressure levels were tested and tracked while refueling F-15E Strike Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Thomas Edison, TEC Inc. electrical engineer, reprograms a panel on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new truck‘s capabilities allow it to automatically control the amount of pressure needed to refuel aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

Thomas Edison, TEC Inc. electrical engineer, reprograms a panel on the new Isometrics R-11 Refueler, May 17, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The new truck‘s capabilities allow it to automatically control the amount of pressure needed to refuel aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

Airmen from the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron participated in a first-time military testing of a new Isometrics R-11 Refueler Unit May 16, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The Airmen conducted fueling operations on F-15E Strike Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers to assisted the designers field testing and trail runs of the newly designed refueling truck.

“What this Isometrics R-11 does is it brings R-11 and R-12 capabilities with one unit,” said Tech. Sgt. Justin Davis, 4th LRS non-commissioned officer in charge of the fuels service center. “It can take 6,000 gallons of fuel out to the flightline, but it can also be hooked into the ground and pump fuel straight into the aircraft. Essentially, it does both things that two separate vehicles do.”

The new Isometrics R-11 Refueling Unit is more cost efficient, costing approximately $40,000 per truck compared to the current refueling units in use. Currently, there are plans to distribute around 150 trucks Air Force-wide.

Not only does the Isometrics R-11 do the job of the current refueling units, it incorporates new safety features for the user.

“They wanted to make things better from a safety and fuel consumption aspect; it’s the most self-sufficient unit that the Air Force has ever seen as far as fuel capabilities are concerned,” Davis said. “It eliminates a lot of operator error. You basically select what type fuel servicing you want to do with just the turn of a knob. It’s more simplified and efficient.”

Parking and side sensors on the Isometrics R-11 inform the driver whether they are too close to an object using light signals and an alarm system.

“It completely regulates the throttle itself, so you’re not burning up a bunch of extra fuel when you’re trying to complete the servicing operation,” Davis said. “It drastically cuts down the amount of diesel fuel consumption that the vehicle is using.”

“It took 10 years to get it off the ground from that first concept to where it is now,” said Mike Nelson, Air Force Petroleum Agency operations director. “It’s way more efficient than the other truck. The other truck can filter the fuel as it’s coming out of the hydrant adapter to the airplane, but it wasn’t filtering when it went from the hydrant adapter to the truck. This one, we are also filtering the fuel as it goes back into the tank.”

Davis also expressed his and the 4th LRS Fuels Management Flight’s excitement about the opportunity to assist the AFPET Agency and Isometrics teams with the new R-11 testing in its first operational environment.

“This refueling unit could potentially be the most versatile fleet addition to date, and the entire petroleum, oil, and lubricants fuels lab community is anxiously awaiting its full release,” said Davis. “The tests conducted assisted the manufacturer and government by providing vital aircraft refueling pressure data that will allow future production vehicles to be programmed to service aircraft more efficiently.”

“I believe that this is going to be the 21st century refueling vehicle for military and commercial vehicle,” Nelson said. “I think once everybody sees this thing and once we get it fine-tuned and operating the way we envision it would operate, this is what everybody’s going to be using for both military and commercial aviation.”