Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2011 Contents 31
“We first did a visual test looking for any
of the three types of water contamination;
free, dissolved and entrained.
“Free water shows up as big beads in the
sample, while dissolved water gives the fuel
a cloudy colour, and finally, entrained water,
which is not visible to the naked eye and is
only visible after testing in our mobile lab.”
CPL Stephenson took the sample to the
mobile lab set up in a shipping container
and checked it for electrical conductivity,
flash point and the levels of fuel system
“If the fuel doesn’t pass any of these
tests, I can reject the tanker,” he said.
“When the samples did pass the tests the
tanker pumped into one of our tanks and
another sample was then taken and confirmatory
tested at RAAF Base East Sale.”
Only after the East Sale lab called
CPL Stephenson to confirm a positive test
result, was the fuel released for use
in the airshow aircraft.
The 10FSB BFI airshow deployment was an
impor tant role for CPL Stephenson, and one
his team hoped to perform again in the future.
“It was the first big RAAF exercise we’ve
dealt with and we built relations between us
and the Air Force,” he said.
“We showed we could perform in the role,
were deployable, reliable and got the fuel
out as quickly as possible, on time, with no
malfunctions and the fuel was good.
“If it wasn’t the consequences could be deadly.”
TFBs: The Towed Flexible Barge System
(TFBS) is the ADF’s medium, ship-to-shore,
bulk fuel transfer capability. Designed
to support a brigade-sized joint task
force as part of a logistic over-the-shore
(LOTS) operation, the TFBS is capable of
transferring up to 1.0 ML of bulk fuel per
day from ADF, coalition or civilian bulk fuel
vessels into an Army Beach Storage Area
or civilian installation.
TFCM: The Tank Fabric Collapsible
Marine (TFCM) is the ADF’s light, ship-
to-shore, bulk fuel transfer capability.
Designed to support a battalion-sized
joint force as part of a LOTS operation,
the TFCM is capable of transferring
33.5kL of bulk fuel per cycle from ADF,
coalition or civilian bulk fuel vessels into
a beach storage area or directly into
bulk fuel vehicles.
BsA: The Beach Storage Area (BSA) is
an intermediate bulk fuel storage facility
usually located adjacent to a beach
head, or within a few hundred metres.
Left: A United States Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon performs for the crowds at the Australian International Airshow 2011. Photo: Aircraftman Oliver Car ter
Below: Corporal James Stephenson checks F-34 fuel in the BFI’s mobile lab at this year’s Australian International Airshow at Avalon. Photo: Sergeant Andrew Hetherington
The BSA holds bulk
ground and aviation
fuel in tank fabric
multiples of 45 and
136kL as required
by the operation.
The BSA receives
bulk fuel from the
TFBS or TFCM and
through the IPDS or
directly to bulk fuel
IPDs: The Inland
System (IPDS) is
capable of providing expedient pipeline
transfer of large quantities of bulk
fuel, including the use of multi-product
pumping operations, which allows for
consecutive ground and aviation fuel
pumping missions. The IPDS receives
fuel from a BSA or BFI and is capable of
transferring up to 100 kL/hr of bulk fuel
across country through 25 km of flexible
pipeline into dispersed BFIs.
BFI: The Bulk Fuel Installation (BFI)
is an inland bulk fuel storage facility
usually located near general CSS
assets, but can be dispersed to suit the
tactical environment. The BFI holds bulk
ground and aviation fuel in tank fabric
collapsibles in multiples of 45 and 136kL
as required by the operation. The BFI
receives bulk fuel from the IPDS or bulk
fuel vehicles and also distributes bulk
fuel through those same capabilities.
MPL: The Mobile Petroleum Laboratory
(MPL) is the ADF’s deployable, operational
The ADF Bulk Fuel Distribution system
level, fuel quality control capability.
The MPL is located at a BSA to support
LOTS operations and a BFI receiving
fuel from the IPDS. An MPL is essential
if multi-product pumping operations are
being conducted. The MPL is capable of
conducting industry standard tests on both
contaminated fuel and fuel obtained in
RPA: The Refuelling Point Aviation (RPA)
is capable of providing close and general
aviation refuelling support to joint forces.
An RPA can refuel both rotary and
fixed-wing assets from the ADF, coalition
and commercial sources. An RPA can
receive fuel from a BFI or directly from
bulk fuel vehicles and issue fuel using
between one and four refuelling points.
Using drum fabric collapsibles, an RPA
is capable of deployment by underslung
load in order to extend aviation asset
range or duration.
KRP: The Kerbside Refuelling Point
(KRP) is capable of providing close
and general ground refuelling support
to joint forces. A KRP can refuel ADF,
coalition and commercial vehicles using
fuel from a BFI or bulk fuel vehicle.
Using drum fabric collapsibles, a KRP is
capable of deployment by underslung
load in order to extend ground force
range or duration.
FARP: The Forward Arming and
Refuelling Point (FARP) is capable
of providing close aviation refuelling
support to joint forces. A FARP can
refuel rotary wing assets from the ADF
and coalition nations using fuel from
bulk fuel vehicles issued through one or
two refuelling points.
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