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News | May 19, 2021

DLA Energy supports Northern Edge 21 exercise

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas North provided fuel solutions for Air Force and Marine Corps units operating at remote Alaskan sites during exercise Northern Edge 21, May 3-17.

NE21 is a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercise designed to provide war fighter training, test joint interoperability, and enhance the combat readiness of participating forces while utilizing Alaska's strategic location.

“This is a huge accomplishment to support the exercise of these expeditionary capabilities here in Alaska,” said DLA Energy Americas North Commander Air Force Maj. Marcus McWilliams. “DLA Energy’s contracting team helped put the solicitations together for these unique opportunities and our vendors totally delivered.”  

Deputy Director for DLA Energy Americas North, Julio “Randy” Banez, said the services are experimenting with ways to conduct distributed operations at remote sites far from main operating bases. 

To support the warfighters training, DLA Energy contracted with multiple vendors to provide innovate fuel solutions at two different sites in Alaska. 

In King Salmon, Alaska, the logistics supply chain to deliver fuel stretches 750 miles from the refinery to the airport to military refueling equipment. 

In Cold Bay, Alaska, the DLA Energy contractor used a commercial mobile additive injection system to convert jet fuel in to military standard fuel on site. The fuel was used to support the Marine Corps’ 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, who is providing the on-ground support to a mix of Marine, Navy, and Air Force aircraft.

Air Force personnel also used the Agile Combat Employment concept to support flying operations using a mobile fuel bladder system at Allen Army Airfield, near Fort Greely, Alaska, Banez said.  

“U.S. defense strategy has made increasing our combat capabilities to defend the Arctic/High North a priority,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas. “Like the military units operating during the Northern Edge exercise, DLA Energy also uses the exercise as an opportunity to test our ability to advance combat tactics and expeditionary support processes in the region.”

Canlas participated in pre-exercise planning when he was in Alaska during a command familiarization tour to the Indo-Pacific region, April 25-May 5.

McWilliams said he is eager to see how the partnerships developed during NE21 will grow for executing these types of missions worldwide during future exercises and operational missions.