505th Mission Transfer Ceremony
Col. Sheila Bryant, commander 10th Regional Support Group hosted the Mission of Transfer Ceremony on March 15th. The ceremony symbolizes the transfer of mission responsibilities from the U. Army’s 505th Quartermaster Battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Kenneth Leeds to the Defense Logistics Agency Energy Pacific at Okinawa, commanded by Maj. John Finch.
Also in attendance were Navy Capt. Kevin Henderson, commander of DLA Energy Pacific , Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., commanding general of USARJ and I Corps Forward, Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew H. Molloy, commander of Kadena's 18th Wing.
The 505th Quartermaster Battalion traces its beginnings to the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945,
with the establishment of the first tank farm and pipeline on Okinawa.
In September 1980, this area was designated as Petroleum Distribution System Okinawa, a separate organization under the United States Army Japan.
Six years later, it was re designated as the 266th Quartermaster Battalion.
The 266th Quartermaster Battalion dropped its provisional status on October 16, 1987 and was re designated as the 505th Quartermaster Battalion.
Throughout out the years, the 505th Quartermaster Battalion has continued its tradition of service by providing bulk fuel support to the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
The Defense Logistics Agency has served the US military since World War II, originally as an
entity of the Department of Interior as the Army-Navy Petroleum Board.
In 1945, it was transferred to the War Department.
The organization remained essentially the same, until 1964 when the Defense Fuel Supply Center emerged and was designated as a single entity to purchase and manage the Department of Defense’s petroleum products and coal.
Twenty-five years later, in 1990, that mission was expanded to include natural gas. Within a few years, the organization was renamed the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC).
Just over six years ago, DESC began to supply both bulk Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen and liquid nitrogen.
By 2009, DESC incorporated emerging areas of renewable and alternative fuels. One year later, DLA Energy adopted its current name. Today, DLA Energy continues its commitment provide outstanding service to the US military and other agencies to address critical and complex logistical requirements.
Leeds explained about the impact of the mission transfer, thanking his Soldiers, civilians and Japanese employees for their commitment to the 505th and the communities on Okinawa.
“Fuel (Petroleum) operation began on Okinawa, Japan during the end of WWII. From that time the Army has supported Joint Services with quality fuel in order to fulfill PACOM's strategic requirements around Okinawa.
To accomplish this, each day the Army's petroleum battalion on Okinawa ensured all Services received their fuel timely and in top quality. Besides fuel support, the battalion has participated in such exercises as North Wind, Balikatan, and Cobra Gold. The battalion is also active in sustaining its Japanese Military relationship through partnership events such as New Years Rice Pounding Celebrations, Sports Days, Soldier exchanges, and many more events and activities.
As for the Japanese community, the battalion has enjoyed supporting orphanages, churches, schools, sports events such as Special Olympics. The battalion has been very active on and around Okinawa for the past 68 years and was recently recognized by receiving the Army's Distinguished Unit of the Quartermaster Regiment Award.”
The 505th represents the Army’s last remaining pipeline operation. An inactivation ceremony is slated for mid-June.