AFCEC upgrades fuel capabilities at Andersen

  • Published
  • By Mila Cisneros
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is managing $96 million worth of repairs at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam as part of continued Defense Logistics Agency – Energy support to enhance fuel storage capabilities Air Force-wide.

The critical construction on the island of Guam supports Andersen’s flying mission and ensures combat readiness within the Pacific theater. 

“Mission-ready assets are essential to the Air Force’s global engagements,” said Col. Dave Norton, director of AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. “AFCEC works with installations Air Force-wide to construct timely infrastructure that meets critical mission needs and supports the enterprise.”

Andersen has strategic importance to the Air Force for two reasons – it serves as a transition point for numerous aircraft en-route to several Indo-Pacific locations, and is a vital trans-Pacific refueling station for U.S. forces. 

The upgrades to fuel facilities will boost resiliency and allow for the delivery of more efficient logistics support for the forces deploying throughout the southwest Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

“Without modern infrastructure the Air Force can’t fly, defend our nation or fight adversaries,” Norton said. “AFCEC supports the Air Force by providing resilient infrastructure solutions that enable the Air Force to preserve global reach, vigilance and power.” 

AFCEC’s collaborative effort with the 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, Andersen AFB and DLA–Energy facilitated the award of 15 contracts to execute 25 infrastructure repair projects at Andersen in 2020. 

“The projects are a significant accomplishment and the result of hard work and a lot of coordination between AFCEC, the 772nd ESS and Andersen to keep the base’s energy infrastructure operational,” said Jeffrey Ekdahl, AFCEC’s project manager. 

DLA–Energy is a main supplier of aviation fuel for the Air Force and many of the DLA–Energy funded projects are underway. 

“The fuel systems on Guam are primarily made of carbon steel which can degrade easily in the salty island environment. This factor necessitates renovations of the existing infrastructure in support of any mission the base is tasked with,” Ekdahl said. 

The construction will range from multiple repairs of the fuel and hydrant tanks and military vehicle fueling stations, to renovation projects for hydrant pumphouses. 

“Overall, there are 12 tank repair tasks with a total fuel storage capacity of 38 million gallons planned at Andersen,” Ekdahl said. “The tanks are a critical asset that if not repaired, will limit the base’s capability for flight operations.”

Work on the above-ground tanks will involve external and internal fixed roof repairs, installation of aluminum stairways and handrails, and replacement of interior and exterior coatings. 

Meanwhile, the repairs of each of the four hydrant tanks will restore 1,680,000 gallons of fuel storage capacity for aircraft refueling operations. 

Upon return to active service, the tanks will improve flying operations of the 36th Wing, a host unit at Andersen. The 36th Wing provides a lethal warfighting platform in the Indo-Pacific region. 

The 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron operates the fuel storage and provides the full spectrum of logistics support to Team Andersen. 

"The 36th Fuels Management Flight is responsible for ensuring that we have the correct on-hand fuel levels to meet the strategic fuel obligations,” said Master Sgt. Brian Halko, 36th LRS fuels information service center section chief. 

“As the customer, we are coordinating our infrastructure repair requests with these sustainment, restoration and modernization projects, communicating our innovative ideas to reduce time and save money, and when these projects are being executed, managing the operational impact of our fuel systems and tanks going in and out of service,” Halko said.  

“The restoration projects will increase our operational capabilities by 50 percent and the modernization projects will reduce some of our job hazards and save money by using products that are less corrosive when they are all complete," he added. 

Additional infrastructure upgrades include the 100% design for burial of the above-the-ground fuel piping system to protect and minimize maintenance. The project, started in January 2020, and will be done by the end of this month with repairs being completed in December 2022, Ekdahl said.

After completion in May 2021, the renovation of the military vehicle fueling station will reinstate a full service for vehicles and enhance self-serve dispensing capability for vehicle operators. 

“The $4.2 million project will fix piping running from the tanks to fillstands and make repairs to the dispensers and offload pumps, and electrical systems,” Ekdahl said.
Several more construction projects are planned to support the warfighter requirements in the Pacific.

“Additional efforts at Andersen AFB will install new lighting and electrical systems and make repairs to the remaining storage tanks. Another project will amend pipeline infrastructure to eliminate the risk of any damage to the base’s taxiway and airfield,” Ekdahl said.  

Most of the 2020-awarded construction is expected to be complete within a year. The $28.5 million in-progress work on the tanks started in 2019, will ultimately restore 10.4 million gallons of fuel storage upon completion in mid 2022.