By: Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo
August 7, 2019
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The 673d Logistics Readiness Squadron tested a tanker truck offload facility at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 25, 2019.
The purpose of this facility is to provide a secondary means to receive JP-8 (aircraft fuel) in the event JBER’s fuel pipeline is out of service due to maintenance, damage or natural disaster.
Prior to 2018, JBER had only one means to receive fuel and a pipeline from the Port of Alaska to JBER.
“In December 2018, our tank truck offload facility, which we refer to as an offload header, became fully operational,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Elizabeth Stevens, 673d LRS fuels flight commander. “The system is valued at approximately $4.4 million and will allow up to four tank trucks to offload concurrently.”
A test was executed to validate the capabilities of the offload header in the event it would be utilized as the primary means to receive fuel.
“If the pipeline were to go down for a substantial period of time, we would need a continuous delivery of fuel via commercial tank truck in order to maintain, at the very least, our minimum essential level of fuel to sustain mission requirements,” Stevens said.
Stevens highlighted that running a test like this provides the ability to identify limiting factors and build a solid foundation for JBER’s capabilities in the event that the offload header becomes the primary fuel receipt method.
“It takes a team effort to make something like this possible,” said Stevens. “Some of our key players who participated in the planning and execution of this test were Defense Logistics Agency-Energy, Americas North, 673d LRS, 673d Security Forces Squadron, 773d Civil Engineer Squadron, TK&K Services, LLC, the Port of Alaska, Crowley, Weaver Bros., and International Aviation Service, Inc.”
The current wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia Csànk, was previously stationed here as the 673d LRS commander and had been part of the initial development of the project several years ago.
“I worked very closely with DLA energy and our fuels flight to really scope the requirement, the capability, and our needs to support the day-to-day and any emergent missions,” said Csànk, 673d Air Base Wing and JBER commander. “It is gratifying to come back six years later and see something that felt like an impossibility because of limited resources back then now become a reality. It just goes to show leaders must be relentless, and we have to trust that the mission needs will be met as long as we do our part.”
Csànk added that when scoping and designing for the project began she knew she wouldn’t see the process completed on her watch as a squadron commander. To see it completed during her tenure as the wing commander far exceeded her expectations.
The impact and importance of this TTOF on the installation is immeasurable.
“Without the access to fuel, the aircraft that stand ready to support peacetime and wartime missions across the globe would not have the capacity to sustain operations,” Stevens said. “Alaska is a strategic location with the ability to access several vital areas of the world. Alaska is critical for national defense and national security and over the recent years JBER has increasingly become the Pacific’s keystone weapon system. This capability allows us to continue to build on that. Additionally, the secondary means to receive fuel is a direct link to the former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ number one line of effort to restore military readiness as the Department of Defense develops a more lethal force.”
Csànk also added how vital this facility is for JBER.
“This facility provides us mission resiliency and assures we will be ready for whatever our country needs us to do,” Csànk said.