BY SHANNON HANEY OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER SIGONELLA
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Sigonella opened a portable fuel testing laboratory at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in August to ensure quality assurance of fuel and support the command’s transition to an enduring base.
The new fuel testing laboratory will enable U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aircraft to continue to safely operate in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility (AORs) from the strategically located camp.
In October of 2014, Camp Lemonnier began the transition from an expeditionary site to an ‘enduring’ base. This reclassification of the camp to a more long-term facility changed the criteria for fuel testing at the camp. Additionally, the existing laboratory no longer met the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization Manual requirements and camp fire and safety personnel deemed it unsafe for use due to possible health risks to lab personnel.
Since the announcement of reclassification to an enduring base, the camp was able to use laboratory services from a nearby refinery to test fuel as a short term solution.
NAVSUP FLC Sigonella, with the help of their service control point, NAVSUP-Energy, identified a usable portable fuel testing laboratory in Okinawa, Japan, that would provide them with the organic asset they needed.
The laboratory was airlifted from Okinawa and arrived at Camp Lemonnier on Jul. 11. Upon arrival, Naval Facilities Engineering Command personnel in Djibouti worked tirelessly to hook up power and get the facility up and running.
The portable fuel testing laboratory was pronounced fully operational on Aug. 21. Camp personnel are now testing fuel on a daily basis, issuing quality fuel, and ensuring safety for flight for all its customers.
A long-term solution, pending construction completion of a new fuel facility through Military Construction is expected to be completed in 2019. This new facility is necessary in order to maintain the organic capability to test fuel on site. Until then, Camp Lemonnier personnel will use the portable fuel testing laboratory.
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti is a strategic hub to protect U.S.’ interests within the AFRICOM and CENTCOM AORs and is a primary stop to fuel transient U.S. and NATO aircraft. The camp issues more than thirteen million U.S. gallons of Jet A-1 fuel in support of more than 10,000 missions per year. Fuel operations at Camp Lemonnier are currently executed under the camp’s base operating support contract and managed by a Navy Supply Corps officer.