Andersen agencies come together for annual fuel spill response training
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Team Andersen conducted an annual multi-agency fuel spill response training event Sept. 26 at the 36th Logistics Squadron Fuels Management compound here.
More than 29 people from eight agencies participated in the exercise, including representatives from 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, 36th Medical Group, 36th LRS, 36th Security Forces Squadron and DZSP-21.
The training was conducted to comply with the provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which states parties responsible for a vessel or facility from which oil or fuel is discharged and poses a substantial threat of a spill must have a plan to prevent spills that may occur and a detailed containment and cleanup plan.
Airmen and civilians responded with fire trucks, patrol cars, an ambulance and equipment needed to assess, contain and clean up the simulated 10,000-gallon fuel spill.
Michael Donohoe, Defense Logistics Agency preparedness and planning head contractor, assisted the agencies in their preparation and execution.
"I have 40 years experience in preparing for and responding to oil or fuel spills, so what I do is go to bases and talk to them about their plan and things they can do to be more prepared," he said. "After the discussions, we conduct the field training portion of the exercise."
With the help of representatives from DLA, Team Andersen was able to practice its response plans and inter-agency interoperability.
"Base agencies have specific operating protocols which outlines their response times, who they need to contact or notify and what their roles are once they get to the site," Donohoe said. "What we do is we help identify opportunities to improve communication, improve cooperation and successfully prosecute and minimize the adverse impacts of an environmental spill."
Prior to the field training exercise, the participating agencies held a tabletop exercise to review the processes and be familiar with the representatives from each of the agencies involved.
"The tabletop set us up for success for the FTX by getting everyone to the right mindset and having the opportunity to review what we were supposed to do," Master Sgt. Bobby Richmond, 36th LRS Fuels Compliance Environmental Section chief. "We were able to streamline communication, put faces on organizations and know who to go to for particular concerns.
"Though it's an annual training, we had a combination of people who are new and people who have had years of experience," he continued. "The tabletop reconciled those gaps and got us ready."
Donohoe said that crisis response is always difficult, but the Airmen and civilians who were at the site pulled together as a team.
"I thought it was really good that the support infrastructure here on base was able to identify the opportunity to conduct simultaneous operations," he said. "They delineated and identified the extent of the spill and took initiative to protect and maintain security of the aquifer.
"The people here at Andersen did a great job," he continued. "They are very well prepared. They have good communication skills and were very impressive."