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    NAVSUP, mission partners in Spain boost support to NAVEUR warfighters with restored fuel tanks

    NAVSUP, mission partners in Spain boost support to NAVEUR warfighters with restored fuel tanks

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class John Owen | Avelino Lopez Rodriguez, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella...... read more read more

    NAS SIGONELLA, Italy - Personnel assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella's (NAVSUP FLCSI) Fuels Division and their mission partners at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain manage the U.S. Navy's largest Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) in Europe.

    After the completion of an overhaul and modernization of the installation's two fuel storage tanks in late July 2022, the DFSP's capacity to support the fuels requirements for U.S. and NATO vessels and aircraft operating in the region just became larger.

    The return-to-service (RTS) of both tanks brought back to the installation an overall storage capacity of 1.9 million U.S. gallons of fuel per tank, which translates into 15% greater storage capacity of ship propulsion fuel, called F76, and 9% greater storage capacity of aviation fuel, called JP8.

    "With increased operations in the Mediterranean Sea due to world events and various homeport shifts of U.S. Navy vessels to the AOR, the return-to-service of tanks #1 and #119 aboard NAVSTA Rota will increase the available storage capacities for F76 & JP8 fuel, respectively," said Lt. Lincoln Barber, NAVSUP FLCSI regional fuels officer. "This will allow us to maintain higher levels of inventory in direct support to the Fleet and increase sustainability for ships and aircraft."

    The installation's two fuel tanks had been out of service for several years due to the need for repairs that were delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. NAVSUP FLCSI and NAVSTA Rota mission partners made the decision to restore them to operational status after thoroughly performing an operational risk assessment (ORA). NAVSUP FLCSI's mission partners included NAVSTA Rota's commanding officer, NAVFAC's public works officer, lead engineer and environmental specialist.

    "Because fuels management at NAVSTA Rota is everyone's responsibility, it was paramount to the success of returning these tanks back to service that we and our NAVSTA Rota mission partners were actively engaged in the ORA briefings before the restoration process began," said Cmdr. Bert Phillips, NAVSUP FLCSI Site Rota site director.

    Once the restoration process began, NAVSUP FLCSI Site Rota's Fuels Division worked with a commercial contracting mission partner over a period of three weeks to restore the tanks to full operational status.

    "We worked with our commercial contracting mission partners to do everything possible to mitigate risks associated with the handling of such large quantities of fuel," said Lt. William Coffey, NAVSUP FLCSI Site Rota fuels officer. "Our process to restore and modernize the tanks was both meticulous and methodical."

    The contractor's operators and mechanics supplied the fuel, expertise and oversight needed to properly commission the installed equipment and validate its effectiveness within the automated fuel handling equipment (AFHE) system. Meanwhile, Coffey's team oversaw fuel movement and levels around the clock to ensure the integrity of the system. They also manually gauged fuel levels throughout the process to validate the AFHE was properly synched up to the tank.

    During the repairs and modernization process, Coffey's team and their contracting mission partner placed an emphasis on maximizing environmental safety measures by thoroughly testing fuel handling equipment and ensuring the structural integrity of the tanks, pumps and pipeline.

    "Each tank was deep cleaned and any corroded areas were identified and either entirely replaced or reinforced," Coffey said.

    Coffey's team and their contracting partner also upgraded monitoring equipment with state-of-the-art technology and created a redundancy system in the pipeline that enables operators to closely manage the flow of fuel at all times.

    "Being the largest DFSP in Europe and handling tens of millions of gallons of fuel daily, it is absolutely imperative that we have a real time and precise picture of our tank levels and fuel movements," Coffey said. "The redundancy of the system is pivotal to the environmental safety of our operation. If the need ever arises, we are always able to redirect flow into another tank, minimizing risk of spills, keeping all fuel safely within the system."

    Now that the two fuel tanks have returned to service, NAVSUP FLCSI's fuels professionals at NAVSTA Rota can execute its support mission of delivering sustainability to warfighters whose ships and aircraft are homeported at NAVSTA Rota: USS Ross (DDG-71), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51). The Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) 79 established a new detachment aboard NAVSTA Rota in June 2022.

    The DFSP's other major customers are transiting U.S. and NATO aircraft and ships, including Military Sealift Command's Combat Logistics Force (CLF) vessels like the dry cargo, ammunition ships USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) and USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5). CLF vessels are the supply line to U.S. Navy surface combatant ships, with their multi-purpose capability to provide food, mail, fuel, spare parts, ammunition, and portable water; allowing fleet units to remain at sea for prolonged periods of time.

    NAVSTA Rota provides cargo, fuel and logistics support to units transiting the region, supporting U.S. and NATO ships with three active piers; U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft with a 670-acre airfield; and the largest weapons and fuels facilities in Europe, all located within a single, secure fence-line.

    Site Rota is one of NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella's five logistics sites positioned across U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa. Site Rota provides supply chain management, bulk and aviation fueling capability, material handling equipment, contracting, hazardous material management, household goods and vehicle processing and postal operations to fleet, installation and other service components throughout the area of operations.


    Date Taken: 08.17.2022
    Date Posted: 08.17.2022 06:05
    Story ID: 427396
    Location: IT

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