DLA Energy provides fuel support to Hurricane Matthew relief

By Ronald Inman, DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Energy is providing essential fuel support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to ongoing Hurricane Matthew relief operations in the United States and Haiti.

As Hurricane Matthew bore down on Florida and the southeastern coast of the U.S. on the evening of Oct. 6, 25 fuel trucks contracted by DLA Energy had already arrived at FEMA’s Incident Support Base at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Albany, Georgia, to support anticipated relief operations.

“Task Force Americas, led by Lt. Col. Christian Meisel, successfully facilitated the arrival of [contracted vendor] Foster Fuels at both MCLB Albany and Robins AFB but that was only one part of the Americas effort,” said Army Col. Craig Simonsgaard, the DLA Energy Americas commander. “The region staff, sub-regions, and liaison officers to U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command anticipated requirements and developed future staging base locations to support the federal response in the continental United States while also supporting SOUTHCOM with their fuel requirements in Haiti.”

DLA Energy’s goal to provide energy solutions worldwide is equally important at home, and requires effective coordination and planning across multiple agencies.

The next day, Oct. 7, with hurricane winds reaching speeds of 120 mph and expected to reach land in Florida that afternoon, 50 more fuel trucks were on the way to Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia, while arrangements for another 50 trucks were being made.

Prior to the fuel trucks hitting the road, DLA Energy’s Operations Center had already begun coordinating the fuel support though DLA Energy’s regional offices, liaison officers and FEMA.

“Since 2006, DLA Energy has provided ground fuel support to meet FEMA’s fuel requirements during disasters and emergencies,” said DLA Energy contracting officer Karen Hammack.

A formal interagency agreement for logistics support between DLA and FEMA, Annex B of the FEMA/DLA Interagency Agreement outlines the fuel support provisions between the two agencies and covers ground fuel support and services during presidentially declared national emergencies and disasters.

“Our job is to collect data and reach out to the regions and people at headquarters to start developing options for support,” said DLA Energy Operations Center Chief Stephen Grace.

In total, 25 trucks transported more than 63,000 gallons of gasoline and 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel to MCLB Albany; 50 trucks moved more than 77,000 gallons of gas and 94,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Warner Robins, Oct. 6-10.

As the priority shifted to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in hard-hit Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, DLA Energy shifted seamlessly to supporting those efforts.

Matt Moshier, a DLA Energy customer account specialist, deployed to Haiti as part of DLA’s rapid deployment team to coordinate fuel deliveries for Haiti Airfield operations. DLA Energy contracted with World Fuels to provide 500 gallons of diesel twice a day for Haiti’s flight line operations, helicopters and buses. Moshier will continue to work ground fuel requirements for Haiti and monitor potential fuel requirements.

As of Oct. 11, all Foster fuels trucks have been deactivated and released from Albany and Warner Robins. DLA Energy will continue to track Foster Fuel trucks demobilization and fuel return to completion.

“I'm exceptionally proud of the [DLA Energy] Americas team,” Simonsgaard said. “We've been developing the Task Force Americas concept since Hurricane Sandy, and we've run it through several [combatant command] exercises and the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercises to refine the concept.

“We executed the concept for Hurricane Matthew, and it went very well,” he continued. “We'll take the lessons learned from our Hurricane Matthew response and incorporate them into the concept to make Task Force Americas even more effective.”