Building petroleum leaders

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

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More than 180 representatives from the military petroleum community engaged in fuel logistics discussions during the 19th annual Joint Petroleum Seminar at the McNamara Headquarters Complex at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Feb. 3-7.

Sponsored by Defense Logistics Agency Energy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Logistics Joint Petroleum Office, the seminar brings together fuel logisticians from the military services and combatant commands to expose them to high-level briefings, discussions and system demonstrations designed to expand their knowledge in the joint petroleum arena.

The keynote speaker was Air Force Lt. Gen. Giovanni K. Tuck, director for Logistics (J4), Joint Staff. 

“Fuel is an amazing fungible item,” Tuck said. “As a joint petroleum officer, you will find yourself providing advice to people who need fuel immediately in a critical, possibly contested environment. The relevance of your role is significant and critical to the success of the combatant commander. The one thing you can’t run out of is fuel.”

For Army Warrant Officer Nusen Dorlouis, a petroleum systems technician assigned at 79th Theater Sustainment Command in Vicenzia, Italy, the seminar provided practical information and insights from senior Department of Defense petroleum leaders. The 79th is aligned with U.S. Army Africa and is the designated unit to deploy and sustain Army operations in the event of a crisis on the African continent.

“I think this is a great way to synchronize judgement,” Dorlouis said. “You get the chance to hear what the other services are experiencing out in the field. It’s a very worthwhile time.”

A seminar highlight was the informative panel discussion led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Energy Lisa Jung and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Facilities Investment and Management Michael McAndrew on facilities investment and management.

“We are looking at policies and preparing for long-term policy changes that ensure energy resilience requirements,” Jung said. “It’s not a static environment out there, there is constant change. Solutions must be resilient and mobile.”

Seminar organizer Doug Thomas with DLA Energy’s Strategic Policy & Programs Directorate explained how important the annual event is to transfer critical knowledge to current and prospective joint petroleum leaders. 

“This is the 19th iteration of the Joint Petroleum Seminar and each year we are growing in scope and magnitude,” he said. “The seminar enhances DoD's ability to execute future joint petroleum operations.” 

In her course evaluation,  Army Lt. Col. Shelley Raymond assigned to the 377 Theater Sustainment Command in New Orleans, Louisiana, said how important it was to meet and learn from petroleum senior leaders. 

“I am a logistics officer and this is my first experience with the fuel enterprise,” Raymond said. “I find it tremendously beneficial and it gives me a solid foundation going forward.” 

The DLA Energy Joint Petroleum Seminar enhances the DLA Strategic Plan 2018-2016 lines of effort, Warfighter First, through the training and strengthening of service and combatant command readiness and lethality.