News | June 24, 2016

DLA Energy Americas assists in bringing fuel, clean water to QLLEX 2016

By U.S. Army Sgt. Anshu Pandeya

As Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise 2016 approaches its end, the two-week training exercise has largely been a success.

Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas personnel worked with Army Reserve and Air Force counterparts to provide water purification and petroleum support to different military installations.

DLA Energy Americas deployed six personnel to Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, and operated out of the DLA Mobile Command Vehicle to exercise Task Force Americas’ capabilities in support of Defense Support to Civil Authorities and contingency operations. In addition, five military personnel from Americas regions served as liaison officers and quality assurance representatives in support of QLLEX 2016.

The 475th Quartermaster Group, based in Farrell, Pennsylvania, had nearly 3,200 Army Reserve soldiers at different sites throughout the nation including Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Lewis, Washington; and Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and here, the main hub of operations with nearly 700 Soldiers.

“This is the exclusive exercise for the United States Army for the petroleum community,” said Army Lt. Col. Michael McCaskey, 475th support operations officer and executive officer for the exercise. “We store, distribute, test and deliver to real-life customers.”

“We also do water purification, storage and distribution so we can provide pure and potable water for the Soldiers on their missions as well as provide water for bath and laundry assistance,” McCaskey said.

The exercise didn't proceed without its difficulties as severe storms forced troops to evacuate their cantonment at Archer Camp, Fort A.P. Hill, to hard structures at Wilcox Camp, another area on post. Nine soldiers were injured due to the storms. They were treated and released from local hospitals. They are being monitored and doing well.

“It was a very good test for us because it doesn't always happen at every exercise, and I'm very proud of my staff and also all the other sections, as well as the battalions on the communication,” McCaskey said.

“We had some glitches, setbacks and situations to work through,” said Sgt. Maj. Larry Houston, support operations sergeant major with the 475th. “We worked through them. We did what we had to do, but as long as soldiers are trained, that's the important part.”

“It was a good experience,” said Pfc. Didier Vanegas, a truck driver with the 348th Transportation Company based in Buckeye, Arizona. “I stayed flexible and accomplished a lot of missions.”

Vanegas, a Phoenix native, said he also worked security at the entry checkpoint and was a driver for the combat lifesaver's emergency vehicle.

McCaskey had nothing but praise for the soldiers and encouraged them to take the training to heart and learn from any mistakes made during the exercise.

“I feel confident in the current practices and the training that they received out here,” McCaskey said. “They'll be an asset to whoever they get deployed with in the future.”

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from an article 
originally found on the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System.