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A U.S. Marine instructs Marines on the Expeditionary Mobile Fuel Additization on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, May 12.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Courtney Robertson

III MEF: Transforming How We Fuel the Fight

18 May 2021 | Lance Cpl. Courtney Robertson 3rd Marine Logistics Group

Bulk fuel Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force conducted training on revolutionary new equipment during the two-day procurement training of the Expeditionary Mobile Fuel Additization Capability from June 13 through June 14 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. The equipment, although still not fully transitioned into a Marine Corps program of record, is a major step forward for the future of Marine Corps warfighting concept development.

The EMFAC is a straightforward solution to logistical problems the Marine Corps has identified in modern training exercises and operations, explained Sgt. Calvin Gravette III, a local subject-matter expert on the EMFAC.

“In most Marines’ allied countries, additives are not required for fuel,” explained Gravette, a bulk fuel specialist with Bulk Fuel Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group. “The Marine Corps on the other hand, has military specification for fuel for equipment and vehicles. What the EMFAC does, is bridge that gap with our allies and partners by allowing us to test and produce military specific fuel anywhere.”

Gravette attended the EMFAC equipment training course in December 2020 and now shares his knowledge within III MEF as the lead instructor for the EMFAC new equipment training.

“I think the biggest advantage of the EMFAC is that we can use it anywhere!” Gravette noted while addressing how the capability fits perfectly into the Corps’ expeditionary warfighting model. “It is small. It is portable. You can transport it in the back of a truck – drive it out anywhere. You can throw it out of a plane, and you could even carry it.”

The EMFAC comes without the operational hurdles of a fixed, cumbersome system, which Gravette believes is essential to the bulk fuel mission. The prompt and accessible maneuvering of the light weight system makes it easier to set up anywhere, and to establish fuel points faster.

"What the EMFAC does, is bridge that gap with our allies and partners by allowing us to test and produce military specific fuel anywhere.” Sgt. Calvin Gravette III, EMFAC subject-matter expert

The turn-around time of a fuel product is quintessential to Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations – the new baseline concept for naval-integrated Marine Corps operations.

“One of the things we were really trying to get after in the EABO aspect, is the time and delivery of the product to a user as quickly as possible,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob Almaguer, the executive officer of Bulk Fuel Co. “For example, we will set up our systems anywhere knowing there is the possible threat of an enemy. We train to get in, and get out, to achieve the mission with the least amount of casualties.”

This style of maneuver warfare is nothing new to the Marine Corps legacy, however, developing EABO doctrine will drive the force toward the desired 2030 modernization end state. The EMFAC is a great stride for the Bulk Fuel community to meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ planning guidance as III MEF leads training and integration for the system in the Indo-Pacific.

“Anyone who has used or trained on the system can easily apply it properly and effectively use this machinery,” explained Almaguer while describing the future potential of the EMFAC’s practical application. “This is not going to be something that myself or a staff noncommissioned officer will be pulling the trigger on. This is something that a young NCO or sergeant will be leading with a very small team of Marines and this equipment. They will be in charge of the additization, and making sure that product is what it needs to be.”

Marines who attend the training like Gravette, will now implement EMFAC training in their own units and sections in order to prepare Marines for the tentative official adaptation of the system into operations.

3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward-deployed combat unit that serves as III MEF’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.


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