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NEWS | July 31, 2017

809th QM Det keeps fuel flowing at QLLEX

By Maj. Brandon Mace 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

Members of the 809th Quartermaster Liaison Detachment, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, participated in the 2017 Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise Jul. 11 to 26, 2017.

QLLEX allows U.S. Army Reserve units to provide real-world fuel and water support while training at the tactical, operational, and strategic level. These types of events give units an opportunity to demonstrate their capability and combat-readiness.

The 809th QM Det is a small group of Soldiers, only nine personnel, with a very specific mission. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ronald Hinshaw, a Petroleum Systems Technician with the 809th QM Det, said the unit has specific tasks they focus on at exercises like QLLEX.

“We have three different tasks,” said Hinshaw. “Performing as liaisons; providing quality assurance and surveillance over petroleum products; and providing oversight on the logistical portion of providing fuel.”

During the exercise, the 809th was primarily responsible for overseeing fueling operations, but that didn’t stop them from conducting some much-needed cross-training. Hinshaw sought out a sister unit conducting water operations, another task his unit needs training on.

“Over here there is a tactical operations purification site, which is not part of our mission for QLLEX, but since it is on the ground, it’s running and providing water, I am going to take the unit over and host a class,” said Hinshaw.

Throughout the exercise the Soldiers of the 809th made multiple daily trips to several sites where fueling operations were being conducted to ensure smooth operation. U.S. Army Sgt. Roger Williams, a petroleum laboratory specialist with the 809th QM Det, said a lot of their checks and inspections have to do with safety.

“Do they have an eyewash station set up? The emergency shut off, do they know the quick response? Do they have the proper signs? We make sure everything is grounded,” said Williams. “We just make sure all checks are being done.”

Williams has been working with military fuel since he entered the Army in 2000. As a traditional Army Reserve Soldier, Williams has a civilian job outside of his military career where he also works with fuel.

“I’m a gasoline blender,” said Williams. “At my refinery we make diesel and low octane gas, and with that low octane gas we combine different components to make specific gasoline.”

Williams credits being hired in his current job to the training he received in the Army. He said his employers are is very supportive of his military service.

“My job is really good about letting me do my military training,” said Williams. “I was a 92F (petroleum supply specialist) before I became a 92L (petroleum laboratory specialist) and both of those coincided and helped me get the job that I’ve got. I’ve got 14 years of experience at the refinery and almost 17 with the military.”

The 809th Quartermaster Liaison Detachment is part of the 647th Regional Support Group and the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The command is made up of Soldiers, civilians and their families in units headquartered throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. As part of America’s Army Reserve, these units are trained, combat-ready and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.