Marines, Airmen complete field operation on Ie Shima
Marines and Airmen stationed on Okinawa traveled to the nearby island of Ie Shima to learn from each other and practice fast and effective mission execution, Jan. 25 - Feb. 5.
The purpose of the training evolution was to exercise as a bulk fuel company in a field environment, increase job proficiency, and to validate and refine standard operating procedures for embarkation, fuel testing, fuel accounting, and command and control.
The Marines' mission was to embark one Amphibious Assault Fuel System with an overall capacity of 1.12 million gallons and conduct simulated bulk petroleum operations in the vicinity of Ie Shima in order to validate AAFS embarkation requirements, deployment timelines and refining standard operating procedures, as well as establishing a fuel farm to support ground equipment and motor transport assets in support of the exercise.
After working with Marines in the field, Airman 1st Class Terry W. Gilman, a fuels distribution operator with the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron was inspired.
"I cannot change the whole Air Force work tempo in a month or even a year," Gilman said. "But, I can help change my peers' work tempo, simply by leading by example."
Simply having similar jobs doesn't restrict these military members from establishing very different approaches.
"Conducting pumping operations alongside our Air Force counterparts was an incredible experience for all that participated." said Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Babka, 9th Engineer Support Battalion fuels officer. "Many of the younger Airmen and Marines have never served in a joint tactical environment, but they all worked together to ensure the mission was accomplished efficiently and effectively,"
On their mission they encountered several difficulties including inclement weather, last minute changes to operations and mock improvised explosive devices. Despite the challenges put forth by man and nature, Marines and Airmen came together to accomplish their goals.
According to Airman 1st Class Jack R. Anderson, 18th LRS a fuels distribution operator, the terrain was the biggest impact on these types of operations because it affects the ability to set up bulk fuel systems and also affect fuel usage factors.
"This experience was a nice change and a fun adventure that I was able to endure with a sister branch," Anderson said. "The ability to learn new things and train with another branch gives a different perspective on the military and how each branch is trained."