News | Oct. 18, 2018

Fueling hurricane recovery efforts

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

Heavy rains, flooding and severe damages haven’t stopped Defense Logistics Agency Energy from providing fuel to hurricane response and recovery efforts after two major hurricanes, Florence and Michael, struck the nation over the past two months.

The DLA Energy Task Force Americas team has moved from staging areas in the Mid-Atlantic to staging areas in the Florida Panhandle prepositioning personnel and fuel trucks for quick deployment to hurricane ravaged areas in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“While the recent hurricanes have been devastating to our nation, we take great care to plan ahead and forward deploy resources to assist in recovery efforts,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller. “The expeditionary capability DLA Energy’s Task Force Americas provides FEMA and all our customers enables rapid flexible responses to get resources where they are needed quickly.”

Starting Sept. 6, DLA Energy responded to official notification from FEMA to activate contracts for emergency fuel support for Hurricane Florence as the storm moved towards the Mid-Atlantic coast. The task force forward deployed fuel and personnel to staging areas along the East coast in preparation for storm recovery response efforts. 

On Oct. 11, as Hurricane Michael built in strength aiming for the Florida Panhandle, six task force personnel including two DLA contingency information technology support experts along with the Mobile Command Vehicle deployed to the FEMA Incident Support Base on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to support relief operations.

“Task Force Americas relies on contingency IT (information technology) personnel and assets to execute their mission,” said DLA Energy TFA Commander Army Lt. Col. Josiel Carrasquillo. “The coordination and communication between TFA, DLA Energy Americas East (at Houston), DLA Energy headquarters and FEMA is essential to the successful execution of DLA Energy’s support to FEMA relief operations.”

In support of FEMA during major disasters, the task force actively manages the FEMA fuel contract and contingency fuels contractor, Foster Fuels, ensuring fuel is deployed where it is needed to support responders. With FEMA’s Hurricane Michael mission assignment for 35,000 gallons of diesel, 20,000 gallons unleaded gasoline and 12,000 gallons of propane, 32 fuel trucks were on site at Maxwell AFB ready for deployment while several trucks have been deployed to federal fuel points in the Florida Panhandle including Panama City and Fort Walton Beach with five trucks forward staged at Duke Field to support response efforts.

“Our task force works tirelessly with FEMA to provide timely and effective energy capability to first responders and FEMA supply points of distribution,” said DLA Energy TFA Team Lead Air Force Maj. Charles Morton III. “Our goal is simple; at the time of greatest need, essential fuel is available to sustain recovery and relief efforts to help as many people as possible.”

In addition to supporting FEMA, DLA Energy quality assurance representatives have been conducting post storm support on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, drawing samples to test the fuel quality. The QARS also conducted post-storm assessments at several Defense Fuel Support Points located in the affected areas to ensure fuel was not compromised during the powerful storms. 

Until fuel facilities recover from the storm and DLA Energy’s supply chain can resume normalization, DLA Energy TFA is standing by, ready to respond and support disaster recovery fuel needs.