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Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Thomas Hicks (center) toured NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka fuel facilities at Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Hakozaki on the island of Azuma located within Tokyo Bay Feb. 11. John Floyd (center-left), NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Kanto Area Fuel Director and Lt. Cmdr. Rasaq Balogun (center-right), Fuel Department Head for NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, brief the secretary on the layout of DFSP Hakozaki while onboard the small craft HAKO-8 (25’Boston Whaler) enroute to the island.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Thomas Hicks toured Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka fuel facilities aboard Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Hakozaki on the island of Azuma, located within Tokyo Bay this past February.
One primary purpose of Hicks’ visit was to get a firsthand account -- at the deck plate level -- of how fuels move around this vital Asia Pacific Area of Responsibility (AOR).
“This was a great opportunity to showcase our facilities and our very talented staff,” said John Floyd, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Kanto Area Fuel Director.
From a big Navy perspective, the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Fuels Department has a bulk petroleum inventory of 588 million gallons, which is an astounding 10 percent of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) total global bulk petroleum inventory.
Understanding energy efficiencies and fuel alternatives has been an important mission across the Navy, but Hicks pointed out that it is “not about advancing any environmental agenda,” adding that any such benefit would come as a bonus. “This focus is on enhancing our combat operability as it relates to our fuel vulnerabilities,” he explained.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka manages roughly 45 percent of the Navy fuel in the Pacific, and partners with Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy to store and distribute fuel by vessel, rail, and truck throughout mainland Japan and the Pacific AOR, said Eric Parsha, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka’s deputy department head for Fuels.
“We are part of a complex and highly-flexible distribution network that prides itself on looking strategically forward, anticipating challenges and mitigating them, often before our customers are even aware,” Parsha explained.
He also shared the importance of senior leaders and operators having the chance to interact.
“Tactical level operations are the concrete results of policy and program decisions,” he said. “From the operating level perspective, it is a chance for the operators to give feedback on the impact of programs and policies … I think that is a healthy interaction to have.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka fuels ships and aircraft on a daily basis, Parsha explained, adding that the service goes a lot further. “For example, we support ship and aircraft maintenance with defuels; we recover product and reissue it to other units that would otherwise be lost; we provide laboratory support; we provide expertise to activities that fuel at the tactical level as part of their own mission,” he explained. “The fuels community prides itself on finding a way to get the mission accomplished safely, under almost any circumstance.”
As half of the U.S. Navy’s deployed fleet is permanently homeported in the Asia Pacific, it is vital that NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka has the fuel available to keep the ships moving.
“We have a great team of military personnel from a variety of ratings, Local Nationals, [United States Civil Service] and contract service providers,” Parsha added. “There is a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you actually enabled a ship or aircraft to complete their mission.”
Parsha said that there is a strong sense of teamwork and family within his organization and fuels in general. “People tend to come back to work in fuels,” he said. “I think in part because you get solid feedback that your efforts made a difference day to day.”
He added that highlighting the capabilities and professionalism of his team to Navy leadership was a pleasure.
“It was also great for our operators to see how crucial their work is, and where the Navy is going in terms of energy independence and energy security,” Parsha said. “We all play a part from the deck plates up to the National policy makers, and I think our team received further affirmation that they are part of something even bigger, of crucial value for both the United States and our Allied partners.”
Story and Photos by Sky Laron
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Corporate Communications