Hohenfels fuel supply point named best in Army
May 3, 2010
HOHENFELS, Germany - The Defense Fuel Supply Point at U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels may be a small facility with just six employees, but it earned recognition on a large scale recently when it won the 2009 American Petroleum Institute trophy for Excellence in Army Installation Fixed Facility Petroleum Operations, an award that recognized the facility as the best in the Army for 2009.
"This is another one of those firsts," said Ed Jones, U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels director of logistics. "No one in Europe has won this award before so for Hohenfels to be the first to receive this award is indescribable."
Operating out of a small, nondescript building, the DFSP staff are in charge of supplying fuel for every unit that comes on post, including permanent and rotational units and even the airfield.
That task amounts to about one million gallons of fuel every year, according to Mike Dobler, fuel distribution system supervisor.
Dobler said 2009 was the first year he had submitted a packet for the award, convinced in the past that the facility was too small to garner such high praise. More than $1 million in upgrades last year (funded through the Defense Energy Support Center) and continually high remarks from inspectors and other visitors finally convinced Dobler to put his facility up for the trophy, he said.
According to Dobler, the Hohenfels DFSP focuses much of their effort on safety. Among other precautions, each vehicle must undergo an in-depth safety inspection before receiving fuel.
"We make sure they're safe and everyone else on the road is safe in case something happens," said Dobler.
Dobler said they also complete daily safety checks of their own facility and coordinate closely with garrison safety and environmental personnel.
"We have safety come down frequently-there's always something we might not catch and having those inspections makes sure we're keeping right up there with the standards," said Dobler, adding that recently upgraded systems and close coordination with safety and emergency personnel also mean that the supply point is ready for any accident that might occur.
While most of the time supply point personnel are okay with operating in relative obscurity, Dobler said it was nice to be recognized for their continual hard work.
"The thing about the fuel facility is that people don't even know we are here-and that's a good thing-but it's nice to get recognized for hard work," said Dobler. Supplying fuel for every vehicle on post means being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, he said, which sometimes means working late nights or weekends, or both, especially during training rotations.
To accomplish their mission safely and effectively takes a dedicated staff, Dobler said.
"I've got really good people. Some of the guys have been working here 15, 16, 17 years," Dobler said. "We work well as a team. Everyone knows their job and is cross-trained in everyone else's job so we can continue at any time if someone is not here."
According to Jones, that dedication is well deserving of recognition.
"This is a big award. It's great recognition for the people working hard over there to provide fuel for the installation, units and aircraft day-in and day-out," said Jones. "They do a great job to keep everyone safe and keep everyone supplied. It is hard to put into words how much this award means," said Jones.