TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Members of the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 325th Civil Engineer Squadron participated in a fuel spill exercise Oct. 14.
The exercise took place at the fuels depot where two fuel trucks simulated a collision, spilling more than 3,500 gallons of fuel.
“This was a simulated spill that involved two refueling trucks that collided into each other, breaking off one of the main valves, which allowed an entire fuel tank to release,” said Tracy Taylor, Defense Logistics Agency Energy instructor. “Simulated fuel ran down the roadway and into a nearby storm drain, ending up in a marsh area. The purpose was to have the Airmen figure out how to minimize the impact to the environment and at the same time contain it and prevent it from affecting any other type of response.”
DLA Energy provides military installations with the training necessary to prevent and react to disasters, such as this simulated fuel spill, while adhering to federal regulations.
“This exercise was conducted to be primarily focused on the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990,” Taylor said. “The goal every year is to exercise a simulated spill experience to evaluate equipment, personnel and, of course, their response plan. This ensures everyone is familiar with the response procedures, the equipment is operational and the plan meets all the requirements if there was an actual spill.”
Tyndall is among the 118 military facilities DLA Energy visits worldwide, 75 of which are Air Force bases. The company conducts these exercises to bring the knowledge and experience of other exercises they have conducted, adding increased realism to the simulations, Taylor added.
The exercise started early in the morning, and after the emergency response call was made, Tyndall’s emergency response plan was put to the test.
“We enacted precautionary measures to stop fuel leaks into the environment, as well as securing the vehicles,” said Staff Sgt. Brittney Brooke, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist. “We do this by making sure there is no fire or safety hazards and ensuring personnel have evacuated the area.”
The Airmen of the 325th CES and LRS contained the simulated spill and successfully met the objectives for the exercise.
Participants later spoke of the need for training to maintain readiness.
“You never know when these kinds of incidents are going to happen,” Brooke said. “We train daily, and it is very important to be ready. This is done by having the right equipment and trained personnel.”
Additionally, the facilitator of the exercise found it beneficial.
“The exercise was successful. As long as you don’t break anything or hurt anyone, all exercises are a success,” Taylor said. “It’s all a learning experience.”