By Keith Desbois, Combined Arms Support Command Public AffairsJune 22, 2012
FORT LEE, Va. - Nothing in the military moves without fuel, and for more than 2,100 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics exercise provides the opportunity to hone their petroleum distribution skills.
QLLEX, hosted by the 165th Quartermaster Group, Fort Belvoir, Va., is a two-week exercise that serves two purposes; the first, allows reserve Soldiers to work in their job as fuel transporters and secondly, the U.S. Army Quartermaster School's Petroleum and Water Department instructors get real-world experience supplying the multi-agency exercise.
The exercise allows the instructors to refresh themselves and become better instructors. "This is a good collective training experience for both the department and the reserves," Jose Hernandez, lab chief PWD, said.
The exercise provides real-world training for the Soldiers in that the fuel is transported to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., for use in its aircraft. After 300,000 gallons have been transferred to Langley-Eustis, Soldiers will then transport fuel from Yorktown, Va., to replenish the supply at Fort Lee.
"This training is no different from what the Soldiers would experience in Afghanistan," Calvin Cropper, Petroleum Training Facility manager, said. "You have to plan convoy operations, certify your trucks and move the fuel safely to its destination."
The exercise also provides an economical means to transfer the fuel as the Army already owns the equipment compared to the cost of contracting the job to commercial carriers, Hernandez added. If fuel sits dormant for more than six months, the additives start separating, so it has to be agitated to keep the fuel within specifications.
The PWD personnel have been averaging filling 18 trucks, moving 84,000 gallons of fuel per day. The facility has the ability to handle up to 30 trucks per day. By the end of the exercise, more than 500,000 gallons of fuel will be transported.
Besides training Soldiers and Marines in petroleum distribution and testing, PWD also serves as a Defense Logistics Agency - Energy fuel supply point.
The exercise continues through June 29.