Fuel for the fight
KUSAN AIRBASE, Korea-- The 501st Sustainment Brigade Support Operations Cell completed training of 95 students assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, Air Force and the Korean Service Corps during the 501st SBDE Petroleum Expo at Kusan Airbase, Korea, August 10, 2012.
The Petroleum Expo is the first Joint Training Exercise held on the Korean peninsula to focus on the fuel supply, consumption and equipment requirements as well preparing for the possibilities of Joint fuel missions during combat operations.
"Without fuel there's no fight," said Warrant Officer 1 Thomas Shipp, 501st SBDE Petroleum and Water Support Expert.
Students conducted fuel specific operations on the M969s, a 5,000 gallon tanker, Tank and Pump Unit (TPU), Forward Area Refueling Equipment (FARE), Tanker Aviation Refueling System(HTARS), Refuel on the Move and Fuel System Supply Points.
"The training is geared for combat operations, not just day to day tasks," explained Shipp. "Ground reconnaissance which checks for road routes and land space is also another aspect of the training."
Driving force behind the planning of Petroleum Expo, Shipp emphasized the importance of the student training and readiness to 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Commander Brig. Gen. Paul C. Hurley, during a walkthrough of the expo.
During the walkthrough, the enlisted Soldiers briefed the General on specific equipment and what they had learned from the course.
The Noncommissioned Officers provided an overview of hazardous material and environmental concerns while conducting fuel operations.
"Whenever a mission happens I want to perform that mission properly," said Army fuel specialist, Pvt. 1st Class Threston Thomas a native of Detroit Mich., assigned to the 348th Quarter Master Company, 194th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 501st SBDE after demonstrating the abilities of the TPU to Brig. Gen. Hurley. "I'm confident in myself and what I do."
"This five-day training exercise is a chance for the US and Korea to show their ability to perform petroleum operations in a combat environment," added 18 year veteran, Cpt. Stephen Francis Smith, 501st SBDE logistics officer. "We have to be prepared for a situation where Air Force fuel equipment would be used on Army vehicles. Our students are cross training on other branch fueling equipment to be able to do if the situation arises."
"We plan on making this an annual Joint Training Event," concluded Shipp. "We will likely have far more units participating next year."