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AFIMSC partners with DLA to fuel the Air Force fight

  • Published
  • By Mila Cisneros
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center is leading an $840 million effort to repair and replace fuel infrastructure at 83 Department of the Air Force installations.  

Managed by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, the program is executing more than 200 fuel design and construction contracts that aim to preserve and modernize fuel assets. 

The effort involves working in partnership with a range of stakeholders to include the Defense Logistics Agency–Energy, Air Force Petroleum Agency, and AFIMSC’s Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Detachment 2 and Detachment 4. 

AFCEC’s Customer Funded Design and Construction Branch executes the program to ensure timely fuel supply keeps the global DAF mission running in the air and on the ground, said Col. George Nichols, deputy director of AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. 

“From delivering cargo and humanitarian aid to transporting troops or conducting missions, DAF installations can’t get much done without fuel. It’s our most important asset next to the people executing the mission,” Nichols said. “How we plan for optimizing fuel storage capabilities is essential to the Air Force’s ability to maximize combat air power.”  

The directorate provides Air Force fuel systems strategic design and construction management, ensuring modern and resilient infrastructure is in place to support DAF’s operations, especially the functions that rely on fuel to execute their missions.  

The AFCEC team of 25 civil engineers carries out more than 1,000 individual fuel projects through active contracts at installations in the continental United States and overseas. 

Backed by AFIMSC’s Det. 2 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and Det. 4 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, AFCEC is executing nearly $300 million in construction in the Pacific and European theaters to modernize infrastructure in line with national defense priorities.  

In both regions, the detachments that provide direct, on-site support to theater commands play critical roles in helping the broader AFIMSC team synchronize and manage numerous stakeholders, processes and requirements needed to provide resilient and fully operational infrastructure. 

“Fuel engineers at the detachments are an integral part of the overall team, providing support and coordinating projects for the Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa,” said Craig Mayo, AFCEC Customer Funded Design and Construction Branch chief. 

In the Indo-Pacific region, 32 fuel infrastructure revitalization projects are increasing readiness and strengthening deterrence. In Europe, 27 projects are supporting NATO operations and sustaining Air Force mission capability in that theater, the Middle East and Africa.  

Work includes repairs and upgrades to fuel system infrastructure, like above and underground bulk fuel storage tanks, hydrant fuel distribution systems, pumps, valves, pump houses, filtration, distribution pipelines, and hydrant system controls.  

Throughout the construction phases, AFCEC is conducting annual cathodic protection inspections, managing pipeline integrity and ensuring compliant bulk fuel tank inspections at each installation. In 2022, the team successfully returned 46 tanks to service and completed 40 tank inspections, exceeding established goals for the year. 

To support the program, AFIMSC in partnership with DLA-Energy recently awarded a $500 million suite of architect and engineering services contracts to 14 firms. Over the next 10 years, those firms will provide construction, design and engineering expertise essential to continuous fuel supply, storage and distribution to the warfighters. 

“A program of this magnitude requires a sound partnership and critical expertise to navigate through multiple project technical requirements, compliance and challenges in an increasingly complex global environment to provide the fuel needed for our warfighters to accomplish their missions,” Nichols said.   

DLA–Energy is the main supplier of fuel to the Air Force, responsible for funding the sustainment and repair of the fuel facilities.  

AFIMSC leads the multibillion-dollar MILCON and facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization efforts for Air Force and Space Force installations worldwide. Nichols said these programs invest in mission-critical facilities and infrastructure to strengthen lethality and readiness to properly equip installations as power projection platforms in support of U.S. National Defense Strategy priorities.