Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | April 18, 2017

Forces Join Pipes for Fuel Distribution

By Sgt. Sung Guk Byun

POHANG, South Korea -- Exercise Operation Pacific Reach '17 is a large-scale training exercise that involves multiple units and various branches of the military for both the Republic of Korea and the United States. The focus of the exercise is highlighting the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore capabilities and the interoperability between forces.

One significant part of the exercise is the Inland Petroleum Distribution System operated by 339th Quartermaster Company, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and the Amphibious Assault Fuel System owned by the U.S. Marine Corps. This joint operation requires coordination between the U.S. Army, Marines, U.S. Navy and the ROK Marine Corps.

The two systems work hand-in-hand to store and distribute fuel products from the beach to forward operating bases. Once the AAFS is constructed and fully operational, the U.S. Naval Ship Wheeler utilizes the Offshore Petroleum Distribution System to transfer product from a tanker to a depot on the beach.

After the product reaches the high water mark, or depot on the beach, the USMC takes ownership of the product. It is from this point that the USMC operated AAFS truly comes into play.

USMC Chief Warrant Officer 2 Victor Sanchez, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group bulk fuel detachment officer in charge, supported the 3rd Transportation Support Battalion during the exercise with his expertise.

"We have successfully validated interoperability with seven different bulk fuel systems and across four combined joint services," said Sanchez. "In the AAFS, each system component is designed for rapid employment or reconfiguration without the use of special tools."

The AAFS is a fuel system with a max storage capacity of 1.12 billion gallons of product with the throughput capability to distribute 720,000 gallons in a 20-hour workday. Furthermore, the system took less than 24 hours to be fully operational and ready to receive product, according to Sanchez.

"As of 13 April, 422,370 gallons of product were transferred and stored in the theater between the U.S. Marine Corps, the ROK Marine Corps and the U.S. Army over a 6 day period," added Sanchez.

After the product is initially stored at the high water mark, it is then pushed to a 200,000 gallon tactical fuel site on a ROK Marine base 2 miles from the beach where the tank is interfaced with the IPDS to provide product to the U.S. Army as required.
"The IPDS is meant to be connected to the USMC AAFS," said Staff Sgt. James Rose, 339th QMCO pipeline platoon sergeant. "Additionally, it is intended to be a multi-product pipeline, so it can push every type of fuel the military uses."

For the system, 800 gallon per minute pump stations are placed in between tactical petroleum terminals to push products from each terminal forward as they need fuel. TPTs are essentially large tank farms that can store 1.2 million to 3.6 million gallons of product.

"Nine soldiers worked along side of the 22nd Korean Service Corps Company," said 2nd Lt. Juanne Deguzman, 339th QMCO IPDS officer in charge. "The KSC service members go to Ft. Pickett, Virginia to train on the system and construct the system every year so they have a really good handle on the system. They even invented their own tools because they work so much on this system."

Soldiers from the pipeline operations platoon of 339th QMCO and 22nd KSC service members began building the system March 24. The IPDS was fully operational April 6 when the system passed a fill test, which took two days to complete.

"The test is where we run water through the pipelines to check that it works and test the pressure of the pipeline," said Rose. "We close valves on one end and build up the pressure to the maximum allowable operating pressure for the entire pipeline and run water through. Once we do that, we shut it down, close off all the valves and walk the entire line to make sure that there are no leaks."

Generally the pipeline operations platoon is solely responsible for the operation of the IPDS but was assisted by the KSC for this exercise.

"We laid out all the different parts of the IPDS with the KSC servicemen," said Spc. Ariss Markeese Swain, 339th QMCO petroleum supply specialist. "Over 300 pipes were used and the entire system is about 2.3 miles long."

The hands on experience with the equipment allows the soldiers an opportunity to not only familiarize themselves with the equipment, but gain a realistic perspective of the time and effort that goes into ensuring the system is fully operational and maintained.

"This is by far the best opportunity my platoon has had to work both with the KSC and our Marine counterparts," shared Rose. "There is no training event of any sort that could ever prepare [anyone] to actually do this in real life like the Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore [exercise]. It is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity,"

The AAFS and the IPDS are scheduled to be disassembled the within the coming week as exercise Operation Pacific Reach '17 comes to a close.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
328,390
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Brunei
Courtesy photo
Aug. 9, 2022 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on an overseas trip Aug. 7⁠–⁠9, 2022, where he met with His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, The Sultan of Brunei...

F-22 Raptor Soars with other Aviators during 25th Anniversary
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 3rd Wing fly over Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, during Polar Force 22-4, March 30, 2022. This is the first Polar Force to be led by the 3rd Wing, with the primary focus on developing Agile Combat Employment and the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ ability to fight in a contested, anti-access area denial environment. Operationalizing readiness-enhancing concepts like ACE is critical to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Aug. 9, 2022 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) has been giving the United States Air Force and its allies extensive simulated combat training for decades, and this year is no different.This year marks the...

JED Engineers Participate in Bilateral Boat Race on Lake Miyagase
Advanced Individual Training recruits from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force’s 4th Engineering Squadron rush to a group of moored boats during a training exercise on Lake Miyagase, August 5th, 2022. The exercise was held with the purpose of building teamwork between the 4th Engineering Squadron recruits and JED’s American counterparts.
Aug. 9, 2022 - KANAGAWA, Japan -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Japan District personnel accompanied Advanced Individual Training recruits from the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) 4th Engineer Group to Lake Miyagase for a...

Secretary Blinken Leads Handover of Medical Supplies as U.S. Covid-19 Aid for the Philippines Exceeds $50M
During his first visit to the Philippines as U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary Antony Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ continued support to the fight against COVID-19 in the Philippines in the presence of representatives from the government and civil society.
Aug. 9, 2022 - MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ support for the Philippines’ COVID-19 response during a turnover of medical equipment and supplies in Manila on...

Soldiers Build Roads and Community Relations
Sgt. El Jessica Balajadia, a construction engineer from the 797th Engineer Vertical Construction Company completes her vehicle inspection at Old Harbor, Kodiak Island, Alaska July 27, 2022. Army Engineer Companies from Hawaii, Guam, America Samoa, and Alaska are constructing an access road from Old Harbor to a water source where a proposed hydroelectric plant will be built.
Aug. 9, 2022 - OLD HARBOR, Alaska -- Army Reserve Soldiers from units around the Pacific have assembled in a very rural location in Alaska to help with the development of a community, testing their mettle while strengthening bonds among the...