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    Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise tests mettle of Quartermaster soldiers

    Quartermaster liquid logistics exercise tests mettle of Quartermaster soldiers

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots | During the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise 2011, Lt. Col. Wanda Hawley, 334th...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Jo Hoots 

    214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT PICKETT, Va. - “Sea power can get us to enemy territory, air power can carry war into the heart of enemy territory—it can weaken his powers to resist—but the man in the mud, the fellow with the bayonet in his hands, will deliver the final blow. His courage, his stamina, his devotion—together with that of his brothers on sea and in the air—are the ingredients of victory. But only good logistics will make it possible for them to gain that victory," Lt. Gen. Brehon Somervell, chief of Army Service Forces, May 1944.

    From the east coast to the west coast, U.S. Army Reserve Quartermaster soldiers are pushing out clean fuel and water to their customers during this year’s Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise. With the fruits of their labor fueling jets to Afghanistan and appeasing thirsty troops in the field, these support soldiers are honing their skills in harsh, austere environments resembling what they’ll face when deployed. And QLLEX is the only annual exercise that provides them with this kind of “real-world” training opportunity.

    “Life support of the soldiers is what Quartermaster is all about. It’s the heart and soul of Quartermaster,” said Lt. Col. Pamela Glotfelty, support operations officer from the 475th Quartermaster Group that provided command and control of units at QLLEX. The unit is one of three Quartermaster Petroleum and Water Groups in the U.S. Army Reserve and served with honor in Iraq and other overseas missions.

    With years of experience as a participant, Glotfelty brings institutional knowledge to her role and an affiliation with the very unit that launched the exercise in 1980. Up until 2004, QLLEX was known as the Petroleum Oil and Lubricant Exercise and, over the years, the 475th has expanded its focus to include the entire U.S. Army Reserve logistics force.

    “It is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ exercise,” said Glotfelty. “There is no other exercise out there that gives [these soldiers] the opportunity to do as much as we do at QLLEX.”

    This year, units are located at Forts Pickett, A.P. Hill, and Eustis, Va., Fort Dix, N.J., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and San Pedro, Calif. Glotfelty explained that QLLEX is set in a broad enough arena that support soldiers can train in ways not possible during a weekend Battle Training Assembly. These include driving fully loaded, five-to-seven thousand gallon fuel trucks, operating and maintaining complex field lab equipment such as Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units, and testing and experimenting with newer equipment like the mobile Expeditionary Water Packaging System that bottles purified water for human consumption.

    "We consider it a multi-echelon exercise where we’re exercising the Group staff, brigade staff, battalion staff, and down to company level,” said Glotfelty. She said QLLEX tests every type of Quartermaster function and service, down to laundry, sewing, and bath services, lab testing of potable water, and inspections of field conditions. More intangibly, soldiers are challenged on a personal level.

    “I learn how to be better at my job,” said Pfc. Joshua Cooper, 542nd Quartermaster Company, which managed Laundry and Bath operations at Fort Pickett. “I was put in charge today of the day-shift workers. Our sergeants put one of us in charge [each day] to see how we lead, so you’re definitely getting leadership experience along with your job training.”

    An integral partner over the exercise’s 31-year history, the Defense Logistics Agency is the entity that provides the fuel being purified and shipped by Quartermaster and Transportation soldiers. “[QLLEX] gives us alternative means to deliver fuel to the warfighter in lieu of commercial assets,” said Col. William Keyes, Commander, DLA Energy Americas. “QLLEX is moving fuel that will be in aircraft tonight flying to places around the world. As the army changes force structure, and has moved more assets into the Army Reserve, QLLEX has become more important.”

    Keyes was visiting Fort Pickett to observe operations there, and met up with the commander for units at that site, Lt. Col. Wanda Hawley, 334th Quartermaster Battalion. Although Hawley noted the mission is to supply fuel and water, she appreciated that QLLEX is a venue through which soldiers can test new equipment in a field environment, which is often set up at the training sites by private-sector companies working with the military.

    Said Hawley, “This is a great opportunity to practice those [hands-on] skills. The exercise shows that soldiers can do it, and they’re willing to do it, and they’re excited about their jobs.”



    Date Taken: 06.09.2011
    Date Posted: 06.15.2011 13:50
    Story ID: 72127
    Location: FORT PICKETT, VA, US 

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