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News | May 14, 2021

Fuels Program delivers cost-saving services to Anderson AFB

By Kristen Bergeson Huntsville Center Public Affairs

Guam may be a tropical island paradise for residents and visitors, but its warm climate and salty, humid air wreak havoc on fuel infrastructure at military installations on the island.

In order to proactively combat this problem and protect vital fuel systems at Anderson Air Force Base, the U.S. Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, and Defense Logistics Agency Energy teamed up with installations on Guam to provide ongoing maintenance that reduce costly large-scale corrective repairs.

“Guam is in an environment that is more corrosive than a lot of the environments we deal with because it’s out in the middle of the ocean,” said Rich Resler, project manager, Huntsville Center Fuels Recurring Maintenance and Minor Repairs Program. “When we got involved 18 months ago, there were some significant mechanical repairs and a lot of coating work that needed to be done.”

In 2018, DLA Energy funded a corrosion control survey of the installation’s entire fuel system, resulting in a series of service orders and projects. In order to effectively and efficiently complete this work, Huntsville Center was able to complete initial repairs quickly and efficiently by leveraging contract coverage via a newly awarded task order. Service orders were utilized for this work via the Corrective Maintenance Contract Line Item, said Ron Brook, former RMMR program manager.

“Service orders are usually in and out, but we were able to significantly reduce deployment costs by implementing a phasing plan to address all of the repair needs associated with the fuel systems,” said Brook. “We had to process and plan each service order to prevent gaps and keep a crew on the ground for the duration of the initial repairs.”

According to Ressler, refining the service order approach also allowed Huntsville Center to apply what they learned from one project to other similar tasks, ultimately increasing quality while decreasing costs.

“The best example of that is the coatings,” he said. “We noticed that, in one location, they had not used the correct type for that environment, so we were able to examine that holistically and ensure the proper one was being used across the island.”

Rhonda Fetner, Fuels lead program engineer, explained the importance of coatings.

“Ensuring carbon steel fuel systems are properly coated with a three-part coating system specialized for use in these types of climates is a crucial part of the RMMR Program’s preventative approach,” said Fetner. “Coatings such as the one used at Andersen has been tested and approved for use by USACE Paint Technology Center  to prevent further deterioration of the system."

The Fuels Program’s unique method of organizing smaller service orders is now being used as a model for other sites in the region and other remote locations, such as Hawaii, said Brook.

Though the initial service orders for Fuels repair work, which included multiple installations on the island, is nearing completion, a new contract for ongoing maintenance was awarded in January.

“While there’s still work to be done, it’s in a much more sustainable condition at this point,” said Resler. “Going forward, we’ll be able to develop much more of a routine maintenance activity rather than the significant repairs we’ve been doing.”

In 1980, the Defense Logistics Agency approached Huntsville Center to acquire contracts for the creation of Operations and Maintenance manuals for their Defense Energy Support Center Fuel Support Point (now the Defense Fuel Support Point) coastal fuel sites. Due to the success of this effort, DLA requested Huntsville Center develop a recurring maintenance and service order program. The Recurring Maintenance and Minor Repair Program’s purpose is to provide recurring maintenance to maintain the capital investment and repairs (service orders) with emergency response to sustain the operational readiness of petroleum facilities. Learn more about Huntsville Center’s RMMR Program.

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center website.