News: Forward area refueling point at Mustang Ramp is operational
Story by Karla Marshall
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Kandahar Airfield is busy. Every day, cargo and people are transported into and out of this major military hub in Southern Afghanistan via fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Every day, those same aircraft need refueling and beginning Aug. 20, there are six more fueling points for rotary-wing platforms—Black Hawk, Apache and Kiowa helicopters.
Part of a two-phased military heliport construction project that began on KAF in February 2009, the forward area refueling point was completed in August and represents the last component of the contract.
Phase one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project at Mustang Ramp included adding 45,000 square meters of ramp space and 20,000 square meters of runway. It was constructed by Contrack International Inc. for $10.9 million.
Phase two, was constructed by Yenigün Insaat for $16.9 million, and includes an additional 120,000 square meter ramp area completed in January and the refueling point.
“We look forward to using this new fueling point,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Hart, the non-commissioned officer in charge of class III operations and who is deployed with the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky. “At full capacity, our platoon can dispense between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons of fuel each day.”
The six fueling points receive fuel via underground steel pipes. “This fueling point is the only one in Afghanistan with an underground piping system from the fuel source,” said Maj. Eric Peterson, 563rd Aviation Support Battalion executive officer.
Each fueling point has two other important features as well. “They can double as storage areas for various rotary-wing aircraft because each has tie down points. They also have oil and water separators that we can use to safely clean fuel spills,” said Peterson.
Surrounded by a fence and separate from the fueling points, the fuel facility requires only one Soldier to effectively run. There are fuel turnoff switches at each fuel point, but the main switch is at the fuel facility.
“The fuel facility is pretty self-sufficient,” said Brian Zickefoose, Kandahar Airfield resident engineer who is deployed from Lancaster, Pa. “Once the main switch is turned on, the [JP8 jet] fuel in the 50,000-gallon bladders travels to the fuel points automatically.”
For additional information regarding phase one construction of the heliport, click on the following link: http://www.aed.usace.army.mil/news/NR11-02-27.pdf
USACE’s Afghanistan Engineer District-South provides design and construction services throughout southern Afghanistan to support the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. The work is carried out in Regional Commands South, Southwest and West with the goal of achieving counterinsurgency effects and bolstering the Afghan Government’s services to its people.
Please visit http://www.aed.usace.army.mil/AES/news.asp for more news and features.