Coalition Fuels Managers With Phones

7 Aug 2003 | Army Spc. Melissa Walther

Coalition forces are opening the lines of communication to ease long lines at the gas stations caused by fuel shortages.

In a meeting held at the Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center in Al Hillah, Iraq Aug. 7, satellite telephones were given to managers of fuel distribution centers throughout southern Iraq.

In an effort to promote better communications between the military and local vendors the United States Agency for International Development donated 22 phones to local managers.

"Communications is key to accountability," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Tom Bucci, a member of the Norristown, Pa.-based 358th Civil Affairs Brigade's fuel team.  Bucci, who arranged for the phone delivery, said the phone should help alleviate the fuel problem.

"It's just logical," he said.  "This way one center can call another and say 'I have four trucks leaving now, call me when you get them.'  We can keep better track of the tankers that way."

One of the problems Iraq is facing is the distribution of fuel. Fuel pipelines and trucks are being hijacked by profiteers daily. 

According to Bucci, the phones will allow centers to know when a truck is overdue and hopefully give them time to do something about it.