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News | Nov. 7, 2022

DLA Energy Task Force Americas closes out Hurricane Ian support

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

After nearly a month of emergency fuel support, Defense Logistics Agency Energy Task Force Americas closed out Hurricane Ian assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Oct. 19.  

TFA personnel Chris Rogers, Air Force Maj. Timothy Truong, and Ray Juré worked with local authorities, FEMA and DLA representatives at the National Response Coordination Center to coordinate fuel shipments from supply points in Virginia and Alabama to affected areas in central Florida. 

Together with FEMA and the contingency fuels contractor, the TFA team pushed 104 tank wagons and tank trucks, dispensing 1532.9 gallons of propane, 395,589.4 gallons of diesel, and 224,047.6 gallons of gas in support of Florida and federal first responders. The team supported an Incident Support Base at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, as well as fuel points at Immokalee, Florida, and Lakeland, Florida.

Genaro Guerrero was the FEMA fuels officer on site at the Robins AFB ISB.

“Our mission was to provide support from Robins as a staging point to Florida,” Guerrero said. “Our partnership with DLA has been very successful. We worked together, living up to DLA Energy Americas’ mantra ‘one team, one fight, one family.’”

Robins AFB served as a planning and staging site, ensuring space for over 100 vehicles on an active aircraft parking apron according to TFA onsite leader Air Force Maj. Timothy Truong.

“They performed background checks on more than 100 contract drivers and provided access to a secure area for FEMA fuel,” Truong said. “DLA Information Operations set up a mobile command center while the Robins Air Force Base Fire Department and the 339th Flight Test Squadron opened their facilities as a break area for drivers and TFA personnel.”

DLA Americas East quality assurance representatives played a critical role in performing site surveys along affected areas. These representatives, stationed in Florida, drove from their homes, navigated flooded roads and staging areas, and scouted ahead to ensure the safety of fuel trucks moving into the affected area. 

“Such an operation would not be possible without these QARs, who drove detours through flooded routes and downed power lines, and the young security forces airmen, who worked long hours on weekends and holidays clearing fuel trucks into Robins Air Force Base,” said DLA Energy Americas East Commander Army Lt. Col. Chris Masson. “It is these everyday heroes who keep the lights on.”

Hurricane Ian, a deadly and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane, roared into southwest Florida causing widespread devastation and loss of lives on Sept. 28. The storm continued its destructive path up the Atlantic coastline lashing coastal communities in South Carolina and Georgia with massive storm surges.

More than $1.74 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments has been provided to the state of Florida and to households to help survivors jumpstart their recovery after Hurricane Ian according to FEMA.

Since March 2006, DLA Energy has provided ground fuel support to meet FEMA’s fuel requirements during presidentially declared national emergencies and disasters. Notable DLA Energy deployments include Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and in 2017, three hurricanes within 30 days; Harvey, Irma and Maria.