Story by CPT Will Woldenberg on 06/26/2019JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, New Jersey A U.S. Army Reserve Private led the assembly and operation of a mobile fueling system had not activated for training exercises since 2015, here during the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX).
Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Lestorti, 78th Training Division commander, recognized Pvt. Patrick Guerrero's leadership by awarding him with the Army Achievement Medal and with a division coin.
"What you've done is absolutely beyond your rank," Lestorti said. "You're an example of what the Army needs because if we did have to deploy to fight the enemy and they destroyed this fuel system we're done; we just can't operate."
For more information on the 78th Training Division, visit https://www.usar.army.mil/84thTC/78thTD/ or www.facebook.com/78thtrainingdivision/
Guerrero and the soldiers of the 624th Quartermaster Company from South Bend, Indiana, were tasked with safely establishing a Fuel System Supply Point (FSSP). That meant implementing a pump system that would hold 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel, without electric power. "Even the electric sensors on the bags operate solely off battery," Guerrero mentioned. "since electricity is a fuelers worst nightmare. It can ignite fuel quicker than most open flames."
The 78th Training Division is conducting CSTX 19-78-02 between June 8-28. CSTX is a large-scale training exercises where units-of-action experienced tactical training scenarios specifically designed to replicate real-world missions. It combines active duty Army soldiers with drilling reservists to provide realistic training resulting in more lethal soldiers in America's Army Reserve.
The 624th were challenged throughout the exercise with bad weather and a damaged hose, which initially led to some fuel leaking during a test of the system. But according to 624th Company Commander Capt. Randall J. Budreau, switching out the hose quickly fixed the problem. "I expected this of them because we take on the entire fuel mission, both the retail gasoline and the bulk fuel," Budreau said. "So that's our job."
"But it was very rainy that day" he continued. "So, I'm amazed that they worked together as a team and stayed as motivated as they did to get the mission accomplished with Guerrero leading the design of the system."
"We were so nervous that something was going to go wrong but it went so smoothly." Guerrero said. "To be done with this and activate it is probably one of the prouder moments of my military career."
The 78th Training Division provides realistic sustainment and combined arms training, focused on developing leaders and unit combatant commands. The "Jersey Lightning" plans, coordinates and executes pre-mobilization collective training for reserve component units up through brigade level. Headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, the Division formed the "point of the wedge" in World War I and participated in the European campaigns in World War II, counting 3 Medal of Honor awardees among its roll call.