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News | Oct. 16, 2017

Fuel for sustainment in Puerto Rico

By Sgt. Michael Eaddy 24th Press Camp Headquarters

Multiple government agencies came together at the Regional Staging Area in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, to provide diesel fuel for generators to provide power throughout the island of Puerto Rico.

Agencies such as Defense Logistics Agency, FEMA, Task Force Americas, the Foster Fuels Team and the Puerto Rican Police Department collaborate, daily, to create and successfully carry out fuel resupply missions and provide the area with over 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel to power generators for continuous use.

“I never imagined that I could come back to my home town and do disaster relief,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jose Varjs, deputy commander of DLA Energy’s Task Force Americas Puerto Rico. “This has been the most meaningful mission in my whole Navy career, up to this point. I’m thankful that I’m able to use my background, in the military, to assist, not just people that are in need, but my town; my island.”

Refueling operations at the Regional Staging Area are a combined effort achieved by volunteers from many states, citizens of Puerto Rico, military personnel and government agencies to help bring Puerto Rico back to the condition it was before Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Each RSA will maintain 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 3,000 gallons of motor gasoline on site allowing support to the Federal First Responders and generators. The collaboration and synchronization among key players, such as FEMA, to the Puerto Rican Police Department have been fundamental in providing the right fuel support despite the route, terrain, logistics nodes and communication challenges. In addition to RSA support, we are also conducting missions directly in support of DoD and FEMA customers, said Lt. Col. Josielyn Carrasquillo, DLA Energy Americas at Houston commander.

Relief efforts in Puerto Rico have been a multi-agency endeavor between the federal government, the military, the people of Puerto Rico and volunteers alike.

“I came here because I knew the need was great,” said Gerald Gilbert, volunteer driver with DLA from Louisiana. “The call came out so I seized the opportunity to come help.”

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the 24th Press Camp DVIDS page.