FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Improving interoperability between military forces across the world, Defense Logistics Agency Energy signed a new Fuel Implementing Arrangement with Romania Jan. 19.
This first-ever fuel agreement with Romania establishes the terms and conditions for reciprocal fuel sales and purchases between U.S. Defense Department and Romania Ministry of National Defence forces.
Romania Ministry of National Defense Chief of Logistics Directorate Brig. Gen. Constantin Negrea called the agreement a “catalyst.”
“The IA with DLA Energy represents a major step forward to develop and strengthen the co-operation between our militaries that may also constituite a suitable catalyst for the implementation of the Military Mobility concept,” Negrea said.
DLA Energy Lead Negotiator for Europe and Africa Dave Lamm said they overcame challenges building an agreement of this magnitude in a virtual environment.
“Completion of this agreement is a new and different type of excitement for the International Agreements team,” he said. “While we much prefer to meet in person with our foreign military partners to negotiate and sign these agreements, completing this in a COVID-19 virtual environment shows we are capable of supporting DoD forces around the world, no matter the limiting factors or restrictions.”
The agreement is a culmination of about four years of work, Lamm said. It is the 39th fuel agreement with countries around the world.
In September 2016, DLA Energy and the Romanian Air Force began the global mutual exchange of fuel support supplies and services through an annual Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreement Order. ASCAs are applicable worldwide to acquire logistics support, supplies, and services directly from or provide them to a foreign government organization.
Over the next two years, this support expanded to include the Romanian Navy and Land Forces. To solidify the relationship and enhance the process, DLA Energy began negotiations with the Romanian Ministry of National Defence to establish a Joint Direct Bill Agreement for fuel.
DLA Energy Lead Negotiator for U.S Indo-Pacific Command Tawnya Moreno described fuel DBAs as, “a long-term agreement that enables the provisioning of fuel for all service branches of both countries.”
She said the DBA doesn’t require the countries to meet annually to reconcile accounts or determine how remaining balances will be settled by replacement in kind, equal value exchange, or cash.
“It’s a straight up direct billing with monetary payment,” she said.
Lamm said it was about 18 months of negotiations, authorizations, coordination and staffing efforts to finalize the agreement.
“We don’t rush the negotiations; we collaborate to ensure the agreement meets both countries needs,” he said. “There are a lot of people and technical steps involved to establish an international agreement.”
The agreement was developed and negotiated by Mike Holgate, DLA Energy International Agreements Division Chief, and Romania Naval Capt. Ardian Petrovschi, Chief of Logistics Capabilities Branch. To establish accounting and reporting systems for fuel transactions, DLA Energy International Agreements Programs and Analysis team members Michael MacLean and Rey Venus reported the international support through the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, to the U.S. Congress through the ACSA Global Automated Tracking and Reporting System. From the DLA Energy Europe and Africa International Agreements office, Sam Fedele provided direct interface with Romania to hold multiple negotiation meetings.
Whether U.S. forces are conducting coalition exercises, providing humanitarian support or executing a strategic mission, DLA Energy ensures they have fuel available worldwide to perform their duties. DLA Energy prides itself on understanding customer requirements and anticipating future needs to ensure warfighters have reliable and efficient fuel sources across an increasingly complex global environment.