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API awards outstanding civilian

By Lance Cpl. R.J. Driver | | July 20, 2012

Kevin Bickel, Air Station bulk fuel civilian crew leader, received the Marine Corps Civilian of the Year Award and the American Petroleum Insti­tute Award for Excellence in Fuels Management, July 10.

Col. Brian Murtha, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort commanding officer, and Navy Captain Willie Robohn, director, U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Energy Office aboard the Air Station, presented Bickel with his awards.

According to Staff Sgt. Gilberto Warren, fuels staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, the well deserving Bickel was selected above his peers from all Marine Corps Installations East bases to berecognized by the American Petroleum Institute.

“[Bickel’s] skill supports the Marine aircraft group and is involved in every facet of improvement we are conduct­ing and planning in the near future,” said Chief Warrant Of­ficer Kevin Pierre, the Air Sta­tion’s fuels officer. “If we ever lose him it would do the Air Station a vast disservice.”

The API, is an international­ly-recognized petroleum trade organization that highlights activities and personnel of all four branches of military ser­vice and civilian companies, who have made the significant contributions bulk fuel opera­tions, petroleum chain man­agement and fuel support.

“There is no greater pleasure than having the opportunity to recognize units and personnel for their outstanding perfor­mance and contributions to the Marine Corps mission,” he continued.

While the award may have come as a surprise to Bickel, his Marine counterparts aren’t so caught off guard.

 In Bickel’s 24 years of ser­vice, he has shown the ex­pertise needed to manage the most important aspect of the day-to-day operations of the Marine Corps, explained War­ren. Aboard the Air Station, approximately 30,000 gallons of fuel is tested and supplied a day to operate the Air Station’s aircraft and vehicles.

“I am proud that skilled civil­ians are here to work in con­junction with Marines,” said Murtha. “Passing on his pro­fessional skills is taking these Marines to the next level.”