Air And Sea Fuel Logistics Enable U.S. Haiti Relief Effort

January 21, 2009 – The United States Government Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) provides fueling services to Department of Defense, federal civilian and government agencies. In the wake of the Haiti disaster, both the access to and convenience of obtaining necessary fuels for aviation and maritime support efforts became a matter of clear necessity.

Beginning on Tuesday evening, January 12 – the night of the initial earthquake – support representatives from Multi Service , the exclusive contractor for the DESC AIR Card® and SEA Card® Programs , mobilized in support of Defense Logistics and DESC Haiti disaster relief actions to ensure that U.S. support aircrafts and vessels would have access to the fuel required for completing their missions. As part of providing services for AIR Card® and SEA Card®, DLA and the Government Fuel Card Program Representatives at Multi Service have established relationships with fuel suppliers at over 7,000 aviation locations and 3,000 marine locations worldwide for the supply of fuel on an ad-hoc basis for use in situations such as relief efforts.

Tara Martinez, Manager of the AIR Card® and SEA Card® Support Teams, commented, “It has been inspiring to know that, in our own little way, we’ve been able to provide support to those suffering in Haiti.â€

While telecommunication failures resulting from the disaster delayed response to their calls, AIR Card® personnel were able to confirm that the Port-au-Prince airport was operational and capable of supplying aviation fuel to U.S. aircraft by Thursday, January 14. To ensure the ability for these aircraft crews to procure aviation fuel and services, twenty new AIR Card® purchasing cards were created specifically for the relief effort.

Recent reports indicate that ships are unable to dock at the damaged Port-au-Prince port. Additionally, this will most likely require them to fuel at nearby ports in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. As a result, eight Navy vessels were recently added to the SEA Card® Open Market program, allowing them to place orders at ports where there are no DESC fuel contracts in place. Subsequently, this allows them to deliver on President Obama’s promise, made Wednesday, of rescue and relief support to Haiti. Additionally, more than a dozen marine fuel orders were fulfilled for the Coast Guard in Florida to support their evacuation and supply delivery efforts throughout the first three days of the relief effort alone.

“In the face of such a challenging disaster, it is reassuring to know that we have been able to supply our government agencies with the logistical assistance they need to conduct their most important humanitarian efforts,†said Ann Sielaty, DESC Government Fuel Card Program Management Office director. “Our hearts are with those in Haiti, and we continue our efforts to expand our fueling network so that the U.S. Government can provide this type of aid wherever we are needed, for as long as we are needed.â€

About the Defense Energy Support Center
The mission of the Defense Energy Support Center has expanded throughout the department’s rich history, from the administration of critical petroleum requirements for the Department of Defense to providing the Department of Defense and other government agencies with comprehensive energy solutions.

To help accomplish this broad objective, DESC piloted the AIR Card® Program in 1997 and the SEA Card® Program in 2004. DESC continues to ensure warfighters and government personnel have an efficient means to procure the aviation and marine supplies needed to carryout critical missions. .

About Multi Service
Multi Service is the exclusive contractor of the DESC AIR Card® and SEA Card® Programs. As such, Multi Service provides card issuance, transaction processing, Program support, as well as a host of other services to the AIR Card® and SEA Card® Program merchants and customers.

Multi Service has more than 30 years of experience developing, administering, and managing specialized transaction processing programs worldwide. With headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas and offices in Mexico, Australia, and the Netherlands, Multi Service is a transaction processor with a proven international reach with experience processing transactions originated in more than 190 countries.

By Professional Mariner Staff