Camp Pendleton, California - Marines with Bulk Fuel Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, conducted a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation on Camp Pendleton, Calif., from Oct. 10 -14, 2016.The Marines used Lake O'Neill as a pseudo-ship during the MCCRE.
They pumped water from the lake to simulate fuel from a ship. Using the Offshore Patrol Dispense System, they sent the water to a 200,000 gallon storage site, then to the booster station, and finally to the 120,000 gallon storage and dispensing site, said Cpl. Jose Ramirez, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th ESB and a native of Houston.
The OPDS uses a 600-gallon-per-minute pump to extract water from Lake O'Neill and pump it through a 6-inch hose reel system. The water then travels through the hose to the storage site.
"Each station relies on each other," said Sgt. Anthony Cervantes, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th ESB and a native of Chicago. "A lot of the Marines coming from the school house have never seen a set up like this in its entirety. It gives them a more broad view of their [Military Occupational Specialty] and helps them understand how the systems work together to accomplish the missions and what kind of problems can come."
From the initial 200,000 gallon storage site, more pumps are used to send the water to the booster station. This station gives the water the extra push it needs to make it to the top of the hill and to its final destination, a storage and dispensing site that holds 120,000 gallons.
This final destination simulates what would be a refueling station for military vehicles to keep the mission going.
"You need fuel to fight," said Ramirez. "If these vehicles don't have fuel, they're not able to push on; they're not able to move forward into combat."
In total, the 1.34 million gallons of water traveled about 5 miles.
"It gives us amazing training," said Cpl. Nicholas Candelario, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th ESB a native of Meffen, N.Y. "Getting training like this is very important for the junior Marines."
"Marines are asked to retain a lot of knowledge in their field when they leave the schoolhouse, so doing training exercises like this is great for polishing up the things they learned and may have forgotten," added Candelario. "The training is with water but it's just as good as training with fuel if not better because it's easier to clean up and fix if a mistake is made. Marines learn from their mistakes in training exercises like this so they don't make them while deployed."
Marines are always moving forward, whether it's toward the fight or a humanitarian mission, the bulk fuel Marines of 7th ESB stay prepared to support any mission that comes their way.