NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland –
DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Martin Chapin and Air Commodore Stephen Winterton, Director General of the Fuels Services Branch of the Australian Department of Defense, signed an agreement April 12 to facilitate fuel support between the two nations' militaries.
“The amount of fuel that we move through international agreements is vital to supporting the warfighter,” Chapin said. “By exchanging fuel seamlessly, it expands options and gives the warfighter flexibility.”
The fuel-exchange agreement, which concludes a 19-month negotiation, replaces the direct-bill agreement in place since August 2007 and authorizes either country to repay the other for fuel by replacing the fuel, instead of requiring monetary reimbursement.
“Most importantly, the FEA expands the scope of reciprocal fuel support and enhances interoperability between our military forces by enabling bulk fuel exchanges that optimize our supply chain,” Chapin said.
The DLA Energy International Agreements Program helps planners and joint petroleum officers provide fuel support for foreign militaries partnering with the United States in supply operations, deployments and exercises or operating from U.S. military bases. The program offers non-contracting alternatives, such as agreements on cross-servicing, acquisition, fuel exchange, direct billing and fuel support.
“We can’t charge the foreign military more than what we can charge our military,” said International Agreements Division Chief David Alexander. “The goal is to get as many implementing agreements as possible with approved countries.”
The United States' fuel exchange with Australia, averaging 35 million gallons per year, is one of the nation's largest fuel accounts with a partner nation.
“Australia is one of our longstanding strategic partners not only in the Pacific, but in many operations around the world. From anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden, to air operations over Iraq, we support each other logistically and will continue to do so in the future,” Chapin said.
The new fuel exchange agreement will facilitate joint training and exercises between Australia and the U.S., including this summer's Exercise Talisman Sabre, which aims to boost interoperability between the two nations and maintain readiness.
“It is really a privilege to be here in person,” Winterton said. “I am honored to sign and cement relations between the U.S. and Australia, and I look forward to strengthening relationships with DLA Energy.”