By Pfc. Michael VanpoolJanuary 13, 2011
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Jan. 2, 2010 -- The construction of a new fuel delivery system is in place on the flight line here to quickly refuel aircraft on Bagram Airfield.
The 101st Sustainment Brigade oversaw construction of the project and will be used by the Air Force to refuel aircraft on Bagram Airfield.
"The fuel hydrant system is designed to alleviate and decrease the amount of movement on the air field," said Warrant Officer Nusem Dorlouis, petroleum system technician of the petroleum section, Support Operations, 101st Sustainment Brigade. "It cuts the refueling time in half."
The hydrant system was designed for the Air Force and paid for by the Army, Dorlouis said. Currently, airmen of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing are using the system to fuel American, Coalition and contractor aircraft on Bagram Airfield.
This is the first completed project of a fuel hydrant system in the Afghanistan theater of operations, said Dorlouis. The hydrants are similar to the refueling systems stateside.
"The system upgrades the base refueling capability from tactical storage to a legacy system comparable to a system found in any major airlift base or commercial port," said Senior Master Sgt. Arnaldo Rodriguez-Matos, 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels flight superintendent. "It allows us to save wear and tear on the tactical equipment and get quality fuel on demand."
Dorlouis said the hydrant system is part of the Bagram Airfield Fuel Master Plan started in 2007. The plan will refuel aircraft and other vehicles more efficiently throughout Bagram Airfield.
The $130 million constant pressure system consists of two 1.1 million gallon storage tanks and more than two miles of pipes, Rodriguez-Matos said.
Multiple fuel trucks were dispatched to refuel aircraft on the flight line before the hydrant system became operational in December.
"The Air Force can refuel two or three planes at the same time like a pumping station," Sgt. 1st Class Montenez Smith, noncommissioned officer in charge of the petroleum section, SPO, 101st Sustainment Brigade. "Instead of 10 or 12 fuel trucks, they can just pump straight from the hydrant."
One R-12 fuel truck and one operator will now be dispatched to handle any size fuel request in about half the time, Rodriguez-Matos said.
The hydrant system is operated by the Air Force on Bagram Airfield, because it takes certain skill sets to operate and be trained on the system, Dorlouis said.
"We're very happy to use the new system. It makes everyone's job, including the air crews, much easier and more efficient," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Whitworth, 455th ELRS noncommissioned officer in charge of refueling maintenance.
The 101st Sustainment Brigade oversaw the construction of the fuel hydrant system, Dorlouis said. The hydrants were built in to the flight line by contractors with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Bagram supervising and ensuring quality and assurance on the project.
Dorlouis said the 101st Sustainment Brigade will continue to oversee manning of the hydrant system.
"The Army will need the Air Force to provide contracting for appropriate usage," he said.
Dorlouis was named as the Contracting Officer Representative for the month of December, by the Bagram Regional Contracting Center Flight for his work on the fuel pipeline project.
"This project has required an extensive amount of coordination on [Dorlouis's] part and impacts many people on base," said Capt. Rebecca Emerson, chief for the Construction Flight of U.S. Central Command's Contracting Command.