BITBURG, Germany – The 16th Sustainment Brigade Support Operations Petroleum and Water Branch, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, provided command and control for 15 U.S. Army sustainment Soldiers during the Central European Pipeline System (CEPS) Proof of Principle on Spangdahlem Air Force Base Sept. 27-29.
The overall purpose of the mission was focused on the conversion of fuel and showcased the capability to deliver fuel to partners and allies throughout Europe. The core objectives were to safely and efficiently draw fuel, blend it with additives, and supply top-tier fuel products to bolster critical European theater operations if traditional supply methods become unfeasible.
“The focus on the conversion of Jet-A1 fuel to JP-8, along with the capability to deliver fuel to partners and allies during pipeline disruptions, is critically important for several reasons,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Milton Rivera Ferrer, a petroleum systems technician and the petroleum and water branch OIC (officer in charge), 16th SB. “Being able to supply fuel to partners and Allies during times of crisis or disruption strengthens international alliances and partnerships. It demonstrates a commitment to collective defense and support amongst nations.”
The CEPS is the largest NATO pipeline system designed to meet the Central European operational requirements in times of peace, crisis, and conflict. It can quickly provide the military with fuel for aircraft, vehicles, and equipment when it is required within Central Europe.
This comprehensive and meticulous approach underlines the 21st TSCs commitment to mission success and ensuring the reliability of the fuel supply chain that is critical to all military operations.
“The successful execution of the Proof of Principle exercise within the CEPS framework is a significant achievement that underscores the importance of fuel resilience for military operations in Central Europe,” said Rivera Ferrer. “The CEPS framework remains a cornerstone of military logistics and readiness in Central Europe, and the successful demonstration of alternative fuel delivery capabilities strengthens the region's defense and security posture.”
This mission brought a unique experience that provided all participants with valuable knowledge that will familiarize and prepare them for future exercises and operations.
“Participating as a petroleum systems technician, my involvement in this proof of principle endeavor represented a unique and uncharted territory within both my personal experience and our professional community,” said Rivera Ferrer. “Participating in this initiative was a valuable learning experience for me, as well as for those who were involved, and the knowledge gained from this endeavor has the potential to greatly facilitate future petroleum operations under similar conditions, ultimately enhancing our capabilities and effectiveness in limited environments concerning the procurement of JP-8.”
This mission was a joint operation spearheaded by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, 16th Sustainment Brigade, Joint Petroleum Office, United States European Command, and Defense Logistics Agency Energy. This joint operation ensured a secure and reliable source of fuel for military operations and readiness.