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These two Soldiers know that fuel is more than what's at the pumps

By Sgt. 1st Class Tina Eichenour | 38th Sustainment Brigade | Dec. 10, 2012

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Most people may not know what all goes into managing bulk fuel while deployed overseas. Back in the United States, fuel is stored in underground and above-ground tanks, and then it is transported to various gas stations for consumers to pump into their cars.

Two Indiana National Guard Soldiers from the 38th Sustainment Brigade have been managing a fuel terminal containing millions of gallons of fuel in above-ground collapsible bladders for service members, contractors and DoD employees throughout Kuwait.

Staff Sgt. Garold Pennell and Master Sgt. Mark Frettinger are deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, and work at the Camp Buehring Tactical Petroleum Terminal. The fuel terminal is a storage facility for diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel.

Pennell, of Terre Haute, Ind., has more than 19 years of military experience as a petroleum specialist and has more than 13 years of civilian petroleum experience. He has a vast knowledge of what it takes to move, inspect and store fuel.

"I oversee the safety, personal protective equipment and walk the hose lines for leaks and damage," Pennell said. He said with his experience, he knows, "If the contractors are doing the procedures the right or wrong way."

Frettinger, of Rochester, Ind., is the responsible officer for the fuel terminal who works with more than 40 contractors at the terminal. He is an Army-trained automated logistic specialist and oversees the accountability of the fuel stored at Camp Buehring. He reports and measures the loss or gain of the fuel.

Frettinger said his work helps ensure that upkeep is done at the facility

Both soldiers said they are learning new things about the functions of the fuel terminal on a daily basis and are working to improve the processes for the future.