News | Dec. 7, 2021

16th annual international DLA Energy Europe and Africa Fuel Exchange Agreements Forum

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Representatives from 15 countries met in person for the first time in two years to talk fuel infrastructure, future operations and increased partnership opportunities during the 16th annual Defense Logistics Agency Fuel Exchange Agreements Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Nov. 16-18.

Since 2007, the Forum has provided officials the opportunity to learn more about the DLA Energy International Fuel Agreement program and share information within the NATO fuel community.

a man stands at a podium
16th annual international DLA Energy Europe and Africa Fuel Exchange Agreements Forum
Defense Logistics Agency Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas gave opening remarks during the 16th annual Defense Logistics Agency Fuel Exchange Agreements Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Nov. 16-18. Representatives from 15 countries met to strengthen NATO relationships and discussing fuel infrastructure, future operations, and increased partnerships. Photo courtesy of DLA Energy Europe & Africa.
Photo By: Photo courtesy of DLA Energy Europe & Africa
VIRIN: 211116-D-D0441-801

“Your willingness to participate and share information from your organizations represents the multinational cooperation and cohesion that is engendered in an event such as this,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas during his opening remarks. “The excellent fuel support provided by all of you and your fuels organizations is extremely valuable to DLA Energy and the U.S. Warfighter and together we are stronger.”

About 65 military and civilian officials from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe attended. The Forum enabled the partners the opportunity to explore ways to strengthen interoperability, discuss mutual fuel support efforts and troubleshoot challenges. Topics of discussion centered around Acquisition Cross-Service Agreements, pipeline systems, and the progression of alternative fuels. 

a man speaks from a podium in front of an audience
16th annual international DLA Energy Europe and Africa Fuel Exchange Agreements Forum
In his opening remarks, Defense Logistics Agency Energy Europe & Africa Commander Army Lt. Col. Benverren Fortune welcomed the representatives from 15 countries and thanked them for attending. This year’s Forum gave the community an opportunity to build camaraderie, cohesion, and understanding after 20 months of virtual isolation. Photo courtesy of DLA Energy Europe & Africa.
Photo By: Photo courtesy of DLA Energy Europe & Africa
VIRIN: 211116-D-D0441-804

“The Forum gave our community an opportunity to build camaraderie, cohesion, and understanding after 20 months of virtual isolation,” said DLA Energy Europe & Africa Commander Army Lt. Col. Benverren Fortune. “This year’s event would not have been possible without our International Agreements Chief Mr. Gerald Candelaria who envisioned it and exceeded that vision. Finally, I would like to thank our allies and partners for attending and look forward to next year’s FEA!”  

British Army Headquarters Maj. Georgina Mawbey said the face-to-face conversation were valuable. “The Forum is a great platform to share best practices, understand mutual support and discuss issues and future developments,” she said.

“The Forum is critically important not only to DLA Energy, but to all of NATO's partner and allied countries as we collectively posture our forces to deter adversarial aggression and build readiness for the next fight,” said Chief of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Petroleum & Water Branch U.S. Army Lt. Col. Justin Darnell. “It added tremendous value because my team had the opportunity to network and build valuable relationships with our bulk petroleum partners.”  

Germany Ministry of Defense, POL Finance, Niels Schmidt said the event was informative and well-structured.

“It was a unique opportunity to meet the counterparts of DLA Energy Finance and representatives of the European and African POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) community,” Schmidt said. “It’s an ideal environment to discuss issues and solutions for challenges in and out of multinational cooperation.”

This year was the first time Morocco attended the Forum. 

“It is an important opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with other nations, to share knowledge and information on different logistic systems in the field of oil support, and to know the existing agreements,” said Maj. Kamal Alila, Morocco Royal Armed Forces.

For many of these partners, this meeting served as a launching point to begin the agreement process and collaboration efforts. DLA Energy has authority from U.S. European Command to expand negotiations with several Eastern Europe countries. 

“These fuel agreements are essential elements not only during routine and emerging operations but also during international exercises like RIMPAC, Vigilant Shield, and the Defender Exercises in Europe,” said Gerald Candelaria, DLA Energy Europe & Africa International Agreements Chief. “They help build supply chain efficiency, enhance interoperability with participating foreign militaries, and strengthen long-term collaboration with partners around the world.”

DLA Energy has 43 fuel agreements with allies around the world. In the past year, DLA Energy has signed new fuel exchange agreements with Lithuania, India, Romania, Estonia, and the United Kingdom.

DLA Energy’s International Fuel Agreements team is responsible for establishing and maintaining long-term Department of Defense fuel agreements with foreign militaries. Synchronized with DLA Energy regional offices, the team focuses on providing a global capability to meet future fuel requirements.