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Refuelers Pass Muster

Headquarters Service Company Readiness NCO Sgt. 1st Class Kandy Gorsuch of the 960th Brigade Support Battalion inspected the fueling line organized by Petroleum Supply Specialist Pvt. Annabelle Mowery during annual training at Camp Guernsey on Sunday, June 16. While the team of nervous soldiers waited, Gorsuch eventually gave a thumbs up.

“I felt they were efficient,” Gorsuch said about the Wyoming logistics unit from Powell, which supported the soldiers of the 1742nd Transportation Company of the South Dakota National Guard during their annual training. The 960th provided bulk fuel and set up the fueling line as part of Golden Coyote, a South Dakota-based training exercise.

Mowery organized her team for cross training, instructing four soldiers to prepare a 5,000-gallon tanker for a thirsty convoy of trucks. Two fuelers and two mechanics took up posts as a plethora of vehicles arrived. Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic Spc. Audie Marsh guided the trucks using hand signals, hooking ground cables to the lug nuts on wheels as they came in to prevent dangerous sparks. Petroleum Supply Specialist Spc. Johathan Richards and Sgt. Alaor Viera, another wheeled vehicle mechanic, carried over fuel nozzles, drip pans, and hoses to fill the empty fuel tank.

Mowery ordered the starting and stopping of the pump, and tracked the team’s progress as it recorded the amount of fuel being dispersed. In the last step, the tracking forms were signed by either the driver or truck commander.

“She hasn’t worked the 5,000 gallon tanker,” Gorsuch said. “The mechanics get to know the tanks. It helps their understanding of when they need to drain the tanker.”

Richards pointed to a vehicle larger than the tractor-trailers which were already in line. “Mowery normally drives the HEMTT (heavy expanded mobility tactical truck),” he said. “It has a 2,500-gallon tank and pumps from the rear.”

Comparing the HEMTT to the 5,000-gallon tanker which Mowery trained on, he said the “5K” tanker has two pumps and two side-mounted pumping stations. “I’ve been driving it for two years,” Mowery said. “Before that, the biggest
I’d driven was a pickup. The HEMTT was a new experience.”

As the 1742nd’s truckers drove out of paddock No. 3 on Camp Guernsey, Mowery and her team tended to the xleanup: getting hoses and equipment back to where they belonged. Wrapping up another long day at annual training-mission accomplished.