Race Against The Tide To Recover Air Force Fuel Pod

F-4 Phantom fuel pod recovered with great plan and team work.


by Mike Ford

It was a cooperative race against time Tuesday morning at the Port of Anchorage. Joint Base Elmendorf Richardsons 3rd Maintenance Squadron taking the lead in the effort to recover a fuel pod from an F-4 Phantom aircraft discovered in the mud by Port personnel.

Other members of the 673d Air Base Wing as well as Port workers collaborating to recalim the 20 foot long pod. Empty the tank would weigh around 250 pounds but filled with silt and mud it was estimated to be ten times heavier.

Efforts began at 1:30 a.m. placing plywood sheets on the mud so workers could begin digging the pod out when low tide arrived at 3:59.

Thanks to good planning the excavation team was able to wrestle the pod 75 feet to a rocky bank. Utilizing a Port crane the cargo was lifted onto a cargo trailer for transport to JBER.

The 673d Air Base Wing historian will now begin researching how and when the fuel tank may have ended up in its current location.