CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines and soldiers joined together in Camp Pendleton’s 62-area sierra training site this week for two-week bulk fuel training June 6.
The goal of the exercise is to help Marines and soldiers become technically and tactically proficient in their skills within their military occupation specialty while doing so in a realistic tactical training environment.
The U.S. Army Reserve conducts this exercise annually across the country, and this year Bulk Fuel Company A, 6th Engineers Support Battalion, Marine Corps Forces Reserve is serving as a bulk fuel company attachment to the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 316th Quartermasters Battalion from Okmulee, Okla.
Training soldiers and Marines with real fuel, filling bladders, putting fuel into tankers, performing line-haul missions, and joint service operations are the basis this Quartermasters Liquid Logistics Exercise.
The Marine Corps Reserve has not participated in the annual exercise until this year, making for a unique training experience for both the Marines and soldiers.
“This is the first time we have ever done a QLLEX with another service,” said Army Lt. Col. Scott Richards, the commanding officer of the 316th Quarter Masters Battalion. “It hasn’t been difficult at all, it’s been very fun and exciting. The soldiers really like working with the Marines.”
Richards said they have learned from each other almost every step of the exercise. The only hiccup is the different nomenclature and terminology between the Army and Marine equipment.
“Everything is joint now, it’s not just working with the Army. You work with the Navy, Air Force, and Marines anywhere you go,” said Richards. “This is a good opportunity for soldiers and Marines that haven’t been deployed yet to realize that these services can work together.”
The Marines are operating as a reserve fuel farm at the sierra training site and learning directly from the Army about their equipment and fuel handling.
“Our mission will be delivered by the Army, they will tell us to store fuel and when to pass fuel from our fuel farm to the Army’s fuel farm,” said Capt. Ryan T. Embree, the commanding officer of Bulk Fuel Company A. “We are also doing tactical convoy training and our unit on Gold Beach is doing simulated beach unloading of fuel.”
Embree went on to explain that they maximize the training potential for their annual training by doing and learning as much as possible.
The operation at Gold Beach is a different mission from that at sierra training site.
At the Gold Beach site the Marines are simulating pulling fuel from a ship by sucking ocean water into a 20,000 gallon bladder right on the beach. That is the simulated fuel farm. The bulk fuel specialists and pump operators then pump it through a one kilometer pipeline to the Army’s larger fuel farm.
The soldiers receive it like its fuel but then purify the water and separate it into several different 3,000 gallon bladders. This whole beach operation is known as the Amphibious Assault Fuel Farm System.
Cpt. Sheridan J. Conklin, Inspector-Instructor of Bulk Fuel Company A said that participating in the Quartermasters Liquid Logistics Exercise reinforces the 6th Engineers Support Battalion motto, “We are ready.”