Joint Emergency Drill Keeps Fire, Fuel Teams Response Ready
YOKOSUKA, Japan – NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Fuels personnel hosted a Mutual Aid Fire Drill that brought together Commander Navy Region Japan (CNRJ) and Yokohama City fire fighters for a joint exercise at Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Tsurumi Nov. 12 in Yokohama.
On the coastal outskirts of Japan’s second largest city lies a major U.S. Naval fuel facility that keeps the 7th Fleet and other Department of Defense (DoD) customers moving at the tip of the spear but to maintain that consistent level of readiness, safety and emergency drills have become second nature.
This particular emergency training scenario had an “explosion” occur at DFSP Tsurumi’s tank #301 with NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka fuel professionals discovering the fire and reporting it to the regional dispatch center, which then triggers CNRJ and local Japanese fire and emergency services to spring into action to control the blaze and protect life and property.
DFSP Tsurumi is one of nine DFSP’s operated by NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, which has a very significant fuel mission that spans from points in the north Pacific to the Indian Ocean, managing roughly 45 percent of the total Navy fuel in the region.
Understanding the importance of the facility and its mission was not lost on the participants as approximately eight trucks and over 50 firefighters where on the scene within minutes.
“It is very important for us to be able to come to this terminal physically to check the facilities as well as conducting a joint fire drill face to face,” said Japanese Fire Chief Masuki Takamatsu, Tsurumi Ward Fire Department chief. “In this neighborhood, there are a lot of offices and we have responded to various incidents such as fire, lightning strikes as well as a chlorine explosion accident but thanks to a drill like today's event, we can respond accordingly to those emergencies.”
The first responders pulled hoses into place; raised mechanical truck-based nozzles into the air and aimed engine-mounted water cannons towards the simulated blaze, administering a deluge of water power to combat the heat and flames that would be expected when battling a tank fire in a real-life.
“I am continually impressed by our host nation counterparts and our ability to work together to not only protect this installation but also the surrounding people and neighborhoods,” said Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Commanding Officer.
The multi-national incident response was seamless as all participants executed their duties according to the plans that are in place, which have been practiced regularly.
“The purpose of the joint drill is to maintain friendly relations, improve firefighting techniques and our fire prevention consciousness,” said Yasuyuki Yuzu, District Fire Chief, CNRJ Fire and Emergency Services. “The joint drill is also in accordance with our mutual aid agreement with the Yokohama City Fire Bureau (YCFB).”
As the firefighters shut off the water, signaling a successful end to the exercise, they marched across the fuel farm to receive debriefs from their commanders as well as the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. All leaders explained that events like the one just completed have built a mutual trust between the on and off base first responders, which gives both the base and its surrounding neighbors the peace of mind that fuel and fire professionals stand ready to deliver.
With DFSP Tsurumi’s large capability, it is easy to say that if you find yourself on a U.S. military aircraft or ship traveling between ports and airstrips across this AOR (area of responsibility), chances are the fuel that delivered you to your destination was put there by the hard work of NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka fuel professionals.
As the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region’s forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel as well as other supply chain services to include parts, material, provisions and mail across the U.S. Navy’s largest geographical AOR.