The Honorable Tom Hicks – Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (DASN) on Energy – visited Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka this past February as part of his energy assessment review, ahead of the Great Green Fleet
deployment in 2016.
This energy initiative is part of the Secretary of the Navy’s (SECNAV) plan to reduce the Navy’s reliance on fossil fuel and cut our energy use by 50 percent. DASN was made aware of the major role FLC Yokosuka’s Fuel Department (Code 700) will play in supporting this milestone in military history. FLC Yokosuka will serve as the premier logistics hub, bolstered by the second largest military fuel receipt, storage and distribution network in the world.
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Lt. Cmdr. Rasaq Balogun (center), NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Fuel Department Director, discusses fuel operations with NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Commanding Officer, Capt. Marty Fields, Feb. 21 at Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Tsurumi in Yokohama, Japan.
(Photo by NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Corporate Communications)
As the adage goes … our people are our most important asset. This is true as it relates to FLC Yokosuka’s Fuel Department, which is comprised of a diverse workforce totaling 375 military, U.S. civilians and Japanese nationals.
With many of our fuel locations stretched out across the Pacific, each individual fuel terminal is unique because the infrastructure is constructed with a focus on our customer, the joint warfighter.
The Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Guam is one of the full service deep water terminals operated fully by an all-civilian team of 20 people and headed by a seasoned veteran of the defense fuel business as its site director.
DFSP Diego Garcia sits on a 58.56 acres island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Fuel Department is the lifeline that produces energy for the island and provides support to aircraft and ships in combat and logistical support to the joint warfighter. A junior Supply Corps officer (usually as a post-fuel intern tour), a seasoned U.S. civilian and three military enlisted personnel lead the department. In addition, other members of the fuel department are civilians called “other government employees” (OGE’s) hired by the defense contractor in charge at that particular time.
A bulk of the Fuel Department staff is on the island nation of Japan. The seamless fluidity that the military, U.S. civilians and Japanese nationals that these petroleum professionals receive, store and distribute various POL products is second to none. The department is headquartered in Yokosuka on Azuma Island. The Hakozaki Fuel Terminal is located on this converted ordnance depot, and is home to a fully staffed by engineering and environmental specialists.
The first one-third of the components that make up this illustrious organization is the people. The second one-third is the resources and infrastructure to deliver those services to the joint warfighter. Across the enterprise the resources that will be used to support the Great Green Fleet
in the Pacific Area of Responsibility (AOR) can be valuated at more than $3 billion, and this is a conservative estimate.
FLC Yokosuka’s Fuel Department has an average inventory through-put of 937 million gallons with a current inventory storage capacity of 450 million gallons. However, the monetary valuation is not based solely on the dollar value of the POL products themselves, but inclusive in that valuation is the receipt mechanism, the storage capacity, delivery system and network to satisfy the customer requirements. FLC Yoko’s Fuel Department owns numerous boats, barges, trucks, trains and of course a huge tankage in order to fulfill its mission. One cannot lose sight of the hundreds of miles in pipelines that encompasses this distribution network.
The true pearl of FLC Yoko’s Fuel Department in this AOR are the results that come from the combination of the people and the resources in delivering first class service to our customers. In an era of sequestration and fiscal constraints that we are experiencing in the Department of Defense (DoD), allows us to review our strengths, identify our weakness and take advantage of the opportunities presented before us.
Chief among those opportunities is our ability to leverage the partnerships in our industry. Our Fuel Department partners -- in delivering the highest level of customer service -- begins with DLA-Energy Headquarters and their subsidiaries in Japan and WESTPAC (office on the island of Guam) and the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) Sub-Area Petroleum Officer (SAPO) office. The Fuel Department also works closely with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineers on numerous multi-million dollar military construction (MILCON) projects. As much as we work closely with external organizations, we act as an extended arm of the Navy and Marine Corps, by conducting area Material Assist Visit (MAV’s) to Navy & Marine Corps fuel sites in the area.
We are also the Subject Matter Experts (SME) in fuel quality assurance with the highest quality testing laboratory in the AOR. There are a number of military fuels testing laboratories in the area (mostly Class B & C laboratories) that provide the minimum testing requirements set by the American Petroleum Institute (API). FLC Yokosuka (Hakozaki Fuel terminal) boasts the only DoD Class A fuel testing laboratory in the region. Not only does this laboratory test fuel for customers in the immediate vicinity, but provides additional support to the joint warfighter by doing quality assurance test and quality control surveys for other fuel terminals in the AOR with Class B & C laboratories.
Of note, FLC Yokosuka Hakozaki Fuel Laboratory was charged with testing the fuel quality of Air Force One during the Commander in Chief’s last visit to the Pacific Region.
Part of leveraging partnerships is the tremendous work the environmental engineers do in ensuring environmental safety of our regional fuel terminals during IG inspections and MAV’s and during routine everyday challenges our environment experiences. Leveraging partnerships provides additional opportunities to work with the regional safety teams in fuel, fire and oil spill response teams. It helps us to cut cost and maintain valuable and strategic relationships with our Japanese counterparts, and the Japanese national community.
All of these valuable actors and resources in the Pacific region will be brought to bear to support SECNAV’s upcoming Great Green Fleet
initiative in the AOR. This initiative, bar none represents the biggest opportunity to date for the Navy, NAVSUP and FLC Yokosuka in showcasing the operational logistic talents in our organizations.
By Lt. Cmdr. Rasaq Balogun; NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Fuel Department Director