BY BILL THOMSON, DEPUTY SITE DIRECTOR
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER JACKSONVILLE
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville Detachment Panama City provided support for Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons (HM) 14 and 15 from Sept. 19 to Oct. 15 at Naval Support Activity Panama City, Florida.
HM-14 and HM-15 supported HAWKEX and VULCANEX, exercises which provide an opportunity for HMs to receive advanced readiness training in airborne mine countermeasures, surface mine countermeasures, and underwater mine countermeasures.
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PO1 Cora Collins provides fuel to HM-15 aircraft.–photo by Ryan Olive, NAVSUP FLC JAX Det Panama City Fuels Accountant/Operator 37
Panama City personnel provided initial fuels training for all helicopter squadrons upon arrival, ensuring squadron personnel were aware of hot refueling procedures and clearance requirements to taxi helicopters within the refueling area.
At commencement of the exercises, U.S. Navy Reserve personnel CPO Willie Chatman and PO1 Troy Williams augmented the NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Det. Panama City workforce by providing fueling support for HM-14 and HM-15. The Reserve team was relieved by NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville Det. Mayport Sailors PO1 Cora Collins and PO2 Donovan Harris, who assisted through the remainder of the exercises.
The exercises provided a unique training opportunity for Sailors to use mobile pantographs for the first time in their careers.
“The exercise was an outstanding experience,” said Collins. “We were able to use fueling systems that we don’t have on the flight line in Mayport. The ability to operate mobile pantographs helped my team and I broaden our operational horizons, and allowed us to gain knowledge to train Sailors on a system that is unfamiliar to them.”
Fuel issued included 160,000 gallons of JP-5 to 98 aircraft and 25,000 gallons of gasoline, diesel, and F-76 to ground vehicles, smallboats, and small vessels over the four-week period. Fuels personnel tested hundreds of samples of JP-5 to ensure fuel issued was clean, clear, and bright.
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HM-14 personnel and NAVSUP FLC JAX Det Panama City Fuels Operator Jim Sheppard use a mobile pantograph to fuel a HM-14 MH-53 helicopter.–photo by Ryan Olive, NAVSUP FLC JAX Det Panama City Fuels Accountant/Operator
“Our civilian and contractor workforce had a tremendous partnership with Sailors,” noted Ryan Olive, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville fuels accountant in Panama City. “We issued far more fuel than normal during the exercises, and our workforce banded together as a team in order to support the mission.”
Fueling hours were expanded to accommodate the exercises. Routine operations remained unaffected as 150 preventive maintenance actions were completed, ensuring equipment and facilities remained fully mission capable.