News: Bulk fuelers bolster expeditionary operations
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The expeditionary needs of the Marine Corps in ‘every clime and place’ extend from the sea.
To power any kind of operation, from war to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, bulk fuel Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, trained to rapidly deploy a hose that can transport fuel from a ship to a facility deep inland, from Feb. 24 to March 1.
“Our purpose during this field [exercise] was to simulate ship-to-shore operations,” said Master Sgt. Christopher D. Collins, an operations chief with Bulk Fuel Company, 7th ESB, 1st MLG. “[We deployed the hose] from Red Beach to Lake Pulgas training area which is approximately a five mile spread.”
The hose-reel system is a series of hoses on a giant spindle that are deployed from the back of a 7-ton truck, and a small team of Marines adjust the line as they help pull it off the truck.
“What makes the hose reel a good system is that it is a lightweight, rapidly deployable six-inch hose line,” said Collins, 34, from Conroe, Texas.
The line helps a large force, such as a Marine expeditionary brigade, quickly move inland after landing on a beach and conduct follow-on operations.
“[The hose gives us] the capability to embark from a ship to a beach, put a hose reel in place and deploy that hose reel up to five miles,” said Collins. “It extends the logistical capabilities of our maneuver units.”
The bulk fueler’s ability to place this reel quickly is useful in both war and peace.
“Disaster relief missions go from ship to shore. [In that scenario], we would do what we are doing right here,” said Cpl. John R. Bennett, a tank farm noncommissioned officer with Bulk Fuel Co.
“Then we would set up booster stations for whoever needed it, so we can fill up generators and power medical supplies or whatever is needed.”
The Bulk Fuel Co. Marines trained for combat during the exercise, and provided force protection to their hoses. They built, protected, and maintained the vital supply line that would fuel trucks, tanks, and aircraft supporting the mission.
“I am very confident with the Marines under my charge,” said Bennett, 22, from Detroit. “They know exactly what they are doing, and this field [exercise] is very helpful. A lot of Marines have started to take more charge, and we are coming together as a whole.”