DLA Energy Middle East
DESC Middle East (DESC-ME)
In 2010, as part of the We Are DLA initiative, the Defense Energy Support Center was renamed DLA Energy. It effectively retained its previous mission. The regional entities of the DESC were similarly renamed. DESC Middle East (DESC-ME) was renamed DLA Energy Middle East.
The DESC's presence to support operations in the Middle East was critical. To coordinate fuel-related activities, DESC-Middle East (previously the Defense Fuel Region Middle East or DFRME) was located with the US Navy Administrative Support Unit in Juffair, Bahrain.
In 1932, oil was discovered in Bahrain. Shortly thereafter, in the 1940s, an office called Navy Petroleum Products Middle East was established and eventually evolved into DLA Energy Middle East. Part of its heritage included being a Defense Fuel Quality Assurance Residency Office under Defense Fuel Region-Europe from 1972 to 1984. This office was redesignated a Defense Fuel Region in 1984 when US Central Command was established replacing the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force.
DESC-ME was responsible for petroleum logistics in the following countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, Etritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Seychelles and the Mauritius Islands.
Fuel storage was a primary need within the Middle East. To meet US requirements, DESC-ME used commercial contractors to store and issue fuel stocks to US and allied nations throughout the region. Storage capacity as of 2005 was near 5.5 million barrels and accommodated JP-5 jet fuel, F-76 Navy distillate fuel, and Jet A-1, a commercial jet fuel.
DESC-ME played an integral role in intensive military operations since the beginning of the 1990s. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991, DESC-ME arranged fuel issues totaling more than 45 million barrels. Almost immediately after the end of Desert Storm, Operation Southern Watch began. This operation was the ongoing enforcement of United Nations sanctions imposed on Iraq, including the no-fly zone in Southern Iraq and the Arabian Gulf. In November 1992, DESC-ME supported Operation Restore Hope, which provided humanitarian assistance in Somalia. The list continued to grow with Operations Vigilant Warrior, Vigilant Sentinel and numerous Airpower Expeditionary Force deployments and major joint exercises throughout the region.
DESC-ME's quality surveillance representatives enjoyed the title "petroleum logistics officer" because much of their work pertained to staffing and arranging petroleum support for deployed forces of US Central Command. On a typical day, petroleum logistics officers assigned to DESC-Middle East worked with one of the Military Services to determine ways to obtain fuel support for special missions or exercises. They gathered port or refinery data to assist US Central Command war planners and arrange travel to load or off-load vessels. The officers also conducted Defense Fuel Supply Point inventories and inspections, helped contractors get paid, explained the "system" to new personnel, explained to Third World country nationals what their contract required them to do, and assisted joint forces in the region to resolve problems with fuel support. The adverse and harsh environmental elements, coupled with the diverse population, created both rewarding and challenging experiences for DESC-ME employees.
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