DLA Energy, French commanders build partnership

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller met with his French counterpart to discuss ongoing and upcoming fuel support and ways to continue to build their partnership May 15-16.

Commander of the French Military’s Joint Petroleum Service, Service des Essences des Armées, Maj. Gen. Jean-Charles Ferre and French SEA Lt. Col. Dominique Mattei met with DLA Energy senior leaders at the McNamara Headquarters Complex on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, participated in discussions with DLA Energy business units and Service Control Points as well as visited the Pentagon and Fort Lee, Virginia, during the two-day tour.

“SEA is a major partner for DLA Energy,” Miller said. “Being able to meet in person to collaborate, talk about current and future operations and get to know one another is important to synchronizing our efforts and sustaining our partnership.”  

SEA is an inter-service branch of the French Army and is directly responsible for supporting all French forces with fuel including the execution, training and planning for future operations. 

“The visit continues bi-lateral fuel interoperability engagements between SEA and DLA Energy,” said Mark Brewer, chief of DLA Energy Strategic Initiatives Office. “SEA operates as a joint petroleum support component like DLA Energy does, and these exchanges enhance our working relationship with SEA.”  

During the visit, the two commanders went to Fort Lee, Virginia, for an office call with the U.S. Army Quartermaster General, Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride, and to visit the Army’s Petroleum and Water Department training facilities. 

“The Petroleum and Water Department at Fort Lee provides joint petroleum training to U.S. military fuels troops. SEA provides similar training to their own troops and the comparison of the two nations’ schools offers opportunities to leverage knowledge and improve training for both nations,” Brewer said. “It’s also an opportunity to expose the greater Department of Defense petroleum community to the capabilities of SEA.”

Annually, SEA and DLA Energy conduct an officer exchange program between the two fuel organizations to share experiences. In February, two French fuel officers spent a week with DLA Energy to discuss experiences and strategic initiatives in support of Warfighter fuel. In April, two DLA Energy Europe & Africa members went to France for the annual officer exchange program with the French SEA. Air Force Capt. Keyanna Spears and Army Sgt. 1st Class Scott Tejada learned about the capabilities of the French SEA and the departments within their organization through briefings and hands-on site visits of depots, air and naval bases and training grounds.

In addition to discussions on training, DLA Energy facilitated a meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy Lisa Jung. The discussion focused on the U.S. vision for future energy and the role of electric vehicles on the battlefield.  

Ferre said he was pleased with the information he received over the two-day period as it contributes to the goal of increasing strategic efforts between France and the U.S.