News: More accountability; less Soldiers lives in danger
Story by Spc. Audrey Hayes
CHESTERFIELD, Va. - In addition to testing and distributing fuel in support of the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise (QLLEX) 2014, the 439th Quartermaster Company, from Middletown, Conn., is pairing up with Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) and Penn State Applied Research Lab during their annual training at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., June 3 through 16, to test state-of-the-art technology.
QLLEX is a multi-service, annual training exercise led by the 475th Quartermaster Group. During this exercise, Army Reserve Soldiers have the opportunity to work with other services to transport water and fuel to support military operations around the nation.
The 439th QM Company’s main mission is to test fuel and distribute it.
“The fuel is coming from Defense Fuel Supply Point, Yorktown, Penn., said Master Sgt. Christopher Jackson from Avon, Conn., a non-commissioned officer in charge of the 439th QM Company’s fuel farm. “The fuel belongs to the Defense Logistics Agency. During this exercise, we replace the Defense Logistics Agency trucks with our trucks and Army Reserve Soldiers will be delivering the fuel to customers such as aviation units at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. and the school house at Fort Lee, Va.”
While Soldiers from the 439th QM Company are training with fuel, they will be simultaneously testing equipment that has never been used by the Army.
“We are not only training with operational fuel, we are helping facilitate a mission with CASCOM and engineers from Penn State Applied Research Lab, to test different gauges and simulations of the fuel movement for possible future equipment,” said commander of the 439th QM Company, Capt. Richard Crandall from Nashville, Tenn.
Scott Pflumm, an engineer from State College, Penn. with the research lab, said the device they are testing called a smart meter, will connect to a fuel flow meter, and will keep accountability of where the fuel is going and to whom.
“We’re trying to find out what’s the best accuracy we can provide in a field environment without the Army having to purchase equipment that’s more expensive and less field expedient,” he said.
Soldiers from the 439th QM Company can already see the difference the smart meter is making.
“Since we’re wasting less fuel, were having to put less trucks on the road,” said Jackson. “This is especially ideal for when we’re in theatre; because the less trucks on the road, the less Soldier’s lives are in danger.”
Sgt. Dan Kiser, a fuel supply specialist from New London, Conn. with the 439th, who has been deployed twice as a fueler, notices the potential in the smart meter.
“There’s nothing worse when you’re in the field and you don’t have a printer while you’re trying to get fuel logs,” he said. “Then, fuel receipts blow away in the wind. The smart meter will take the place of those logs and make our job easier.”
QLLEX may be the first time Soldiers from the 439th QM Company have used a smart meter, but if all goes well, not only for the unit but for the rest of the Army, it won’t be the last.
Having the opportunity to test future equipment and help make Army history is a rewarding experience, said Kiser.
“I may see this technology down the line, during my next deployment and be like ‘hey, I remember this, I tested it.’”
Date Posted:06.13.2014 15:43
Location:CHESTERFIELD, VA, US
Hometown:AVON, CT, US
Hometown:FARRELL, PA, US
Hometown:FORT A.P. HILL, VA, US
Hometown:MIDDLETOWN, CT, US
Hometown:NASHVILLE, KS, US
Hometown:NEW LONDON, CT, US
Hometown:STATE COLLEGE, PA, US