Air and sea fuel logistics enable U.S. Haiti relief effort

Posted: 21 January 2010 | Multi Service | No comments yet

Support representatives from Multi Service mobilised in support of Defense Logistics and DESC Haiti disaster relief actions.

The United States Government Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) provides fueling services to Department of Defense, federal civilian and government agencies. In the wake of the Haiti disaster, both the access to and convenience of obtaining necessary fuels for aviation and maritime support efforts became a matter of clear necessity.

Beginning on Tuesday evening, January 12 – the night of the initial earthquake – support representatives from Multi Service, the exclusive contractor for the DESC AIR Card® and SEA Card® Programs, mobilized in support of Defense Logistics and DESC Haiti disaster relief actions to ensure that U.S. support aircrafts and vessels would have access to the fuel required for completing their missions. As part of providing services for AIR Card® and SEA Card®, DLA and the Government Fuel Card Program Representatives at Multi Service have established relationships with fuel suppliers at over 7,000 aviation locations and 3,000 marine locations worldwide for the supply of fuel on an ad-hoc basis for use in situations such as relief efforts.

Tara Martinez, Manager of the AIR Card® and SEA Card® Support Teams, commented, “It has been inspiring to know that, in our own little way, we’ve been able to provide support to those suffering in Haiti.”

While telecommunication failures resulting from the disaster delayed response to their calls, AIR Card® personnel were able to confirm that the Port-au-Prince airport was operational and capable of supplying aviation fuel to U.S. aircraft by Thursday, January 14. To ensure the ability for these aircraft crews to procure aviation fuel and services, twenty new AIR Card® purchasing cards were created specifically for the relief effort.

Recent reports indicate that ships are unable to dock at the damaged Port-au-Prince port. Additionally, this will most likely require them to fuel at nearby ports in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. As a result, eight Navy vessels were recently added to the SEA Card® Open Market program, allowing them to place orders at ports where there are no DESC fuel contracts in place. Subsequently, this allows them to deliver on President Obama’s promise, made Wednesday, of rescue and relief support to Haiti. Additionally, more than a dozen marine fuel orders were fulfilled for the Coast Guard in Florida to support their evacuation and supply delivery efforts throughout the first three days of the relief effort alone.

“In the face of such a challenging disaster, it is reassuring to know that we have been able to supply our government agencies with the logistical assistance they need to conduct their most important humanitarian efforts,” said Ann Sielaty, DESC Government Fuel Card Program Management Office director. “Our hearts are with those in Haiti, and we continue our efforts to expand our fueling network so that the U.S. Government can provide this type of aid wherever we are needed, for as long as we are needed.”

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