Westover awarded $24.5 million for new fuel hydrant system - FOX Carolina 21

Westover awarded $24.5 million for new fuel hydrant system

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CHICOPEE, MA (WSHM) -

Westover Air Reserve Base has been awarded more than $24 million for a new fuel hydrant system that will enable planes at the base to be fueled more quickly, safely and efficiently.

"It's very important that we keep these large aircraft ready to go and able to go any place in the world at a moment's notice," said Col. Steven Vautrain the 439th Airlift Wing Commander. "For most times if we were to refuel a C5 using fuel trucks, it would take 10 trucks and about 7 hours between bringing trucks out here and the slow fueling rate. With the hydrant system, we could do that in about 90 minutes."

The new system is being funded by the Defense Logistics Agency. It will operate similar to ones used at major airports and will include 14 hydrant outlets and two 210,000 gallon above ground fuel storage tanks.

"Westover is a very important part of America's strategic defense operation the investments in this base over the course of a long period of time have been very substantial," said Congressman Richard Neal.

The upgrade is one of several the base has seen in recent years.

"Well if you look just behind me one of the notes that comes to mind immediately is the air traffic control tower that was an investment of the federal government just a few years ago, the housing on the base has improved and the military recruiting operations have been consolidated integrated and improved and we've put money aside for the studying of the new hanger here as well," said Neal.

The fuel hydrant system project will be completed in stages and is expected to take around 2 years.

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