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DLA fuel spill response exercise challenges Tyndall emergency preparedness

Tracy Taylor, Defense Logistics Agency Energy instructor, takes notes during a fuel spill exercise near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The Defense Logistics Agency is an organization that goes to various installations to oversee these types of exercises to ensure squadrons like the 325th LRS adhere to federal regulations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III/Released)

Tracy Taylor, Defense Logistics Agency Energy instructor, takes notes during a fuel spill exercise near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The Defense Logistics Agency is an organization that goes to various installations to oversee these types of exercises to ensure squadrons like the 325th LRS adhere to federal regulations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III/Released)

Exercise participants meet during a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. During the exercise, Tyndall agencies worked together to mitigate the impact of the simulated fuel spill on the environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III/Released)

Exercise participants meet during a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. During the exercise, Tyndall agencies worked together to mitigate the impact of the simulated fuel spill on the environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittney Brooke, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, walks up to a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The 325th LRS and CES responded to the exercise to stop a simulated 3,500 gallon fuel spill. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittney Brooke, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, walks up to a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The 325th LRS and CES responded to the exercise to stop a simulated 3,500 gallon fuel spill. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Gadsbyhull, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, places a fire hose in a drainage ditch during a fuel spill exercise near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The purpose of the exercise was to train Airmen to respond to a simulated fuel spill in a safe and controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Gadsbyhull, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, places a fire hose in a drainage ditch during a fuel spill exercise near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. The purpose of the exercise was to train Airmen to respond to a simulated fuel spill in a safe and controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Justin Moore, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, waits for instruction before responding to a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. During the exercise, fire protection specialists like Moore ensured there were no fire risks within the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Justin Moore, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialist, waits for instruction before responding to a simulated fuel spill near the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel depot at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. During the exercise, fire protection specialists like Moore ensured there were no fire risks within the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

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.”