News | Sept. 19, 2016

DLA Energy Pacific at Guam QAR goes above, beyond for Air Force One

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann, DLA Energy Public Affairs

A Defense Logistics Agency Energy Pacific at Guam quality assurance representative’s initiative and expertise recently enabled timely support of presidential aircraft Air Force One in the nation of Laos. 

Andrew Vallance’s day turned out to be anything but routine when he arrived at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos in support of Air Force One requirements Sept. 2.

It was Vallance’s job to ensure Air Force One’s fuel was tested properly and deemed safe before it was pumped into the president’s aircraft.

However, he noticed something wasn’t quite right with the testing requirements performed by a fuel laboratory unit in Laos. After multiple testing inconsistencies and for safety reasons, it was necessary to take the samples elsewhere to meet the requirements and timeframe.

“I coordinated with the White House Advance Team for a flight from Laos to Thailand to run the required tests, but the mission was a no-go,” Vallance said.

Without delay, he coordinated with the U.S. Embassy Defense Attache Office for support of a secure fuel resource facility to conduct the testing. The U.S. Embassy in Laos chartered a vehicle and driver to transport him and the required samples to Bangkok for testing.

Vallance was under a lot of pressure to ensure he was at the Laos/Thailand border before it closed for the night and proceed on a 12-hour, overnight road trip.
“This was a big deal for our region,” said DLA Energy Guam Deputy Director Victor Madaris. “It was the first time a U. S. president visited the country of Laos and we supported the mission.”

The next morning the receiving fuel lab in Bangkok was on standby ready to meet Vallance for the testing. Testing requirements were successful and final certificates were sent to the Advance team for mission requirements on the presidential aircraft.
“Vallance’s initiatives and perseverance ensured Air Force One was supported with on specification fuel on time and safely,” Madaris said.

DLA Energy Pacific at Guam supports the Pacific Command Joint Petroleum Office as the Sub Area Petroleum Office Western Pacific, with a primary goal of providing effective and efficient supply operations to enable the projection and sustainment of joint bulk petroleum in theater. The goal of bulk petroleum support is to fulfill the requirements of the combatant commander’s concept of operations and intent.