COMBAT OUTPOST EREDVI, Afghanistan - The bulk fuel team operating here spent the day downloading over 10,000 gallons of fuel. That's over 250 barrels or about enough to fill an above-ground pool. This may seem like a tall order but it was just business as usual to this well-oiled team from Combat Logistics Battalion-2, Combat Logistics Regiment-15.
"These guys are some of the best fuel Marines we have," said Col. Stephen D. Sklenka, commanding officer, CLR-15. "They really run this operation well."
Sgt. James Foote, from Ramona, Calif., who serves as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the bulk fuel detachment is an activated Marine Corps Reservist. In civilian life, he serves alongside his wife as a police officer with the California Highway Patrol. On his second deployment but his first to Afghanistan, Sgt. Foote believes the fuel team at Eredvi runs so smoothly because they are simply proud to be Marines.
"We hold ourselves to the highest standard," said Foote.
The two other members of the three-man team who are also Reservists, Cpl. Jacob Furqueron, from Jackson, Mich., and Lance Cpl. Charles Taylor, from Bakersfield, Calif., agreed with their NCOIC.
The bulk fuel team primarily supports forces from the Republic of Georgia. Their fuel helps to sustain the force and maintain operational momentum, powering everything from generators to Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles.
"We have a great relationship with the Georgians," said Cpl Furqueron. "The language barrier sometimes gets in the way so we do a lot of charades. We share everything with them though."
Furqueron is on his first deployment and is looking to transition to active duty and become a recruiter in his hometown. An electrician by military occupational specialty, Furqueron said he has learned a great deal on this deployment outside of his primary skill-set.
The Marines clearly take pride in their job and enjoy the challenges that fuel distribution brings.
"When I went to enlist, the recruiter gave me two choices: a bulk fuel specialist or the door-gunner on a space shuttle," Taylor joked. "I chose the right job."
Most importantly, these Marines embody the importance of NCO leadership. With minimal supervision, this small team operates alone and unafraid in an austere environment supporting coalition forces and they are always up to the task.
"That's the best part about this job," said Furqueron. "It's great to be out here operating independently."