FORT PICKETT, Va. -- Soldiers from the 53rd Quartermaster Company, 61st Quartermaster Battalion, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command participated in the annual FORSCOM Petroleum Training Module here to train with other active duty and Reserve units on how to emplace and use the Inland Petroleum Distribution System to provide bulk fuel distribution in an immature
"Fort Pickett is the ideal location for this training," said Warrant Officer 1 David Paxton. "The variety of terrain, from hills, woods and critical gap crossings like rivers, ditches and culverts make this a difficult training environment."
The 53rd QM Co. Soldiers were part of a larger team led by the 363rd Engineer Battalion for this training exercise. The 363rd is an Army Reserve unit from Knightdale, North Carolina, that planned to emplace 18 miles of pipe during the week of April 24-28.
The team, consisting of about eight Soldiers from the 53rd, laid one to two miles of pipe each day. Each section of pipe is 19 feet long and weighs 100 pounds.
In addition to the pipe team, the 53rd also had a coupling team that secured the pieces of pipe to one another and a third team that put together two pumping stations to move the bulk fuel.
"This has been a Reserve mission in the past, but now the active duty is doing it more," Paxton said.
"It has been beneficial for us to work with the reserve units so we could learn from them."
The Headquarters Company, 363rd Eng. Bn. Commander Capt. Ray Zelenak said, "This has been a non-standard but rewarding mission for us. Initially, there were some challenges in planning because we do not have the same full-time staff the active units do. Once everyone was on the ground, however, my company's mission command and the other units' expertise and professionalism brought everyone together to get this done. At the end of the day, it is the Soldiers on the ground who make the difference."