TROMSO, Norway –
When the Navy destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) needed fuel in the northern Atlantic, they used Defense Logistics Agency Energy’s Ships’ bunkers easy acquisition, or SEA, Card online system.
“The SEA Card® program offers an efficient, easy-to-use, secure Internet-based solution to procure bunker fuel,” said DLA Energy Fuel Cards Program Chief Mike Park. “Fuel orders can be directly placed to DLA Energy bunker contracted suppliers, or if a port does not have a bunker contract in place, the vessel can place an order through a competitive quote open market ‘spot buy’ process.”
Underway on a scheduled deployment as the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group One, the USS Gridley was conducting operations in the northern Atlantic when it stopped for fuel in Tromso, Norway, Nov. 23. Tromso is located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is the largest city in Northern Norway.
“The USS Gridley’s refueling in this isolated location highlights DLA’s strategic line of effort, Global Posture,” said DLA Energy Europe & Africa Commander Army Lt. Col. Donna Welch. “The SEA Card® program strengthens DLA Energy capabilities for rapid response in support of U.S. European Command’s theater initiatives.”
The DLA Energy Customer Operations Fuel Card Office administers the program which provides global support and 24/7 fuel ordering for Warfighters around the world.
The program allows military services, U.S. Coast Guard and authorized federal agency vessels to purchase fuel from commercial ship refueling merchants at more than 170 bunker contracted ports worldwide and open market support at roughly 2,000 commercial ports.
After refueling, the USS Gridley joined the Norwegian navy-led exercise Flotex off the coast of Norway. The annual NATO exercise trains the Norwegian navy in planning and executing tactical operations at sea.
“This event demonstrates DLA Energy’s global operational reach and capability to provide energy solutions via bunker contract to its customers,” Welch said. “The SEA Card option allows our customers to pay standard price instead of market price when purchasing bunker fuel.”
The fuel card online management system benefits the Warfighter by adding flexibility to ships’ bunker refueling and electronically connects DLA Energy bunkers merchant to vessel ordering officers eliminating inefficient manual paper processes.
In 2019, the SEA Card® program was used in more than 7,000 transactions totaling $11 million and provided $200,000 in fuel purchase rebates.
Besides the SEA Card®, DLA Energy’s Government Fuel Card Program Office manages other customer purchasing tools used worldwide including the Aviation Intoplane Reimbursement Card®, Swipe SEA Card® and DoD Fleet Card supporting more than 70,000 card holding customers and their component program managers.