News: Bulk fuel Marines set up, run amphibious assault fuel system
Story by Pfc. Codey Underwood
CAMP HANSEN — Bulk fuel Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion conducted an amphibious assault fuel system exercise at the Camp Hansen parade deck May 7.
The Marines conducted the training to teach the unit’s newer Marines how to set up and use the amphibious assault fuel system in a deployed environment.
The amphibious assault fuel system is used for receiving, storing, transferring and dispensing fuel for all elements of the Marine air-ground task force, especially in remote locations. The system has the capability to transfer bulk fuel to expeditionary airfields or stations, and dispense it to ground vehicles.
“This training is a great way to give new Marines an opportunity to have a blueprint on how to run (an amphibious assault fuel system),” said Sgt. Marcos Torres, a bulk fuel specialist with 9th ESB, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Before this training, they didn’t know what it’s like to set up and run an amphibious assault fuel system.”
The training simulated pulling fuel from a ship into a boosting station, where the speed of the fuel flowing is increased, according to Pfc. Samuel J. Trigiano, a bulk fuel specialist with 9th ESB. From the boosting station, it is then pumped into fuel bladders at more than 100-gallons per minute.
Once at the station, the fuel can be stored until it is needed to refuel vehicles.
“This exercise shows the whole process of running the amphibious assault fuel system, from taking the fuel off the ship to pumping it into a vehicle,” said Lance Cpl. Charles D. Bendler Jr., a quality control noncommissioned officer for 9th ESB.
Although the training area was small, when used in theater the amphibious assault fuel system can reach hundreds of yards in length.
The entire amphibious assault fuel system includes four 600-gallon-per-minute fuel pumps, 25 50,000-gallon fuel bladders and thousands of feet of hose, according to Torres. The system used for this training was much smaller than many used in theater.
“There is a lot of gear and equipment here, and it takes a lot of manpower and effort to set up and run it,” said Bendler. “Showing the new guys how to run something on this big of a scale will help them out in the long run when they are deployed.”
Although the primary use of the system is to pump fuel and help advance the battlefield by providing fuel to vehicles forward deployed, it can also be used to help with humanitarian efforts, such as providing drinking water during flood-relief efforts, according to Bendler. The bulk fuel specialists can pump water from one place and store it in the fuel bladders.
“The amphibious assault fuel system is very versatile and useful in many different ways,” said Torres. “We can use it in different ways to not only help support in combat but also for (humanitarian efforts around the world).”