Edwards introduces new and improved fuel storage system

Clifford Cunningham, 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels technical advisor, cuts the red ribbon to the Bulk Fuels Storage Area. Maj. Justin Settles, Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas-West commander; Col. Timothy Michel Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the 412th Mission Support Group Commander; Army Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, Army Corps of Engineers; and James Judkins, 412th Civil Engineer Group director, hold the ribbon, while Ron Fedrick, president of Nova Group, Inc., and Michael Sears, 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron director, look on.

The 412th Civil Engineering Group introduced the installation’s new state-of-the-art Bulk Fuel Storage System on East Forbes Avenue at a ribbon-cutting ceremony here today.

“The new Bulk Fuel Storage System, which supplies jet fuel for the Air Force Test Center’s aircraft, replaces the outdated system which was built in the 1950s and has nearly doubled its original planned life expectancy of 30 years,” said Clifford Cunningham, 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron. Cunningham is a Fuels technical advisor who was instrumental in obtaining the new bulk fuel storage project approval.

The project to build the current BFSS was initiated in 2001 by the 412th Civil Engineer Group and the 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron laying out their vision to overhaul the entire fuels infrastructure, to include a new bulk storage complex.

More than fuel storage, as the name implies, the system is in place to fill tanker trucks that deliver the jet fuel to thirsty aircraft. After so many years, the original system was not running at its full capacity, which had the potential to impact the mission here by delaying fuel delivery to vital test aircraft.

Fuel trucks offload fuel at the new Bulk Fuels Storage Area recently. The new BFSA can offload two trucks at a time in 30 minutes, compared to the old facility which could only handle one truck per hour.

“The previous storage system had failed and was only operating with a waiver permitting operation at a max of 33 percent capacity,” said Joseph Hunt, 412th CE project manager for the new bulk fuel storage area. In this capacity, the new BFSS has dramatically improved the fuel delivery capability. One of many ways this was done by adding pumps to replace a previous gravity-fed system. “The old system took 30 minutes to fill two tank trucks. Now those trucks can be filled in just 11 minutes,” Cunningham said. Edwards new BFSS is now up and running, improving fuel transfer here by 300 percent.

Satwaji Kumar, a 412th CE mechanical engineer, said he is in awe of Nova Group Inc. for constructing a complex jet fuel system. “The safe working environment and zero leak system is a testimony for their quality work, which is commendable and truly world class. I was involved with this project from its infant stage and had the opportunity to review the design documents, be a member of the source selection board and construction.”

“Over the last six years there have been monumental changes to the aging fuel system,” Kumar said. By the end of 2017 all the fuel systems on Edwards will be restored and modernized to meet all functional and regulatory requirements, he added.

Hunt and Cunningham were joined by Maj. Justin Settles, Defense Logistics Agency Energy Americas-West commander, Col. Timothy Michel, Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the 412th Mission Support Group Commander, Army Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, Army Corps of Engineers, and James Judkins, 412th CE director, hold the ribbon, while Ron Fedrick, President of Nova Group, Inc., and Michael Sears, 412th LRS director, look on.
Nova Group, Inc., is the contracted company that built the BFSS. Nova is based in Napa, Calif., and has completed projects on military installations worldwide.

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