Aurora private is part of Botswana operation
by Sgt. James D. Sims Submitted August 17, 2012 6:18PM
Pfc. Ronnie Okello of Aurora a fuel handler with Company A, 405th Brigade Support Battalion, Illinois Army National Guard, fuels a vehicle for the Botswana Defense Force during Operation Southern Accord 2012. (Photo by Sgt. James D. Sims, 139th MPAD, U.S. Army)
Updated: November 30, 2012 11:05AM
Pfc. Ronnie Okello of Aurora, a fuel handler with Company A, 405th Brigade Support Battalion, Illinois Army National Guard, fuels a vehicle for the Botswana Defense Force during Operation Southern Accord 2012.
Okello, a native of Uganda, is in Botswana participating in SA12, which is an annual combined, joint exercise that brings together U.S. military and BDF personnel to conduct humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations, peacekeeping operations and aeromedical evacuation to enhance military capabilities and interoperability.
To quite literally keep the wheels turning during Southern Accord 2012, petroleum supply specialists from the brigade from Streator, Ill., and their counterparts from the Botswana Defense Force, have been running both static and mobile re-fueling operations at Thebephatswha Air Base, Botswana.
With over 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 2,000 gallons of aviation fuel on the ground, the combined team is responsible for providing fuel for both ground and air assets during the exercise.
“We have a total of about 40 vehicles that come through our fueling point on a daily basis,” said Sgt. Kaleb Sperry, a fuel handler from Decatur, with the 405th. “But the bulk of our fuel, about 600 gallons per day, goes to the engineers who are conducting road improvement and pond restoration projects near one of the ranges the BDF uses.”
Sgt. James D. Sims is with the 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment