Mobile fueling is a tool that exists to make logistics easier for groups that need to manage a large fleet of vehicles. The military certainly meets all of those requirements. It is a massive organization that needs to be able to move people and resources quickly in order to deal with threats as they emerge. That takes a lot of fuel, so mobile refueling can expedite the process by removing one of the biggest logistic bottlenecks that the military can face. It has had an impact in quite a few distinct areas, and is likely to help in even more as the military gets more and more mechanized.
Planes have a limited effective range which is determined by their fuel efficiency and the amount of aviation fuel that they can hold in their tanks. Most of them also require a fairly elaborate base from which to take off and upon which to land. That can be a problem, since their limited range forces military forces to maintain their airbases relatively close to the target off the aircraft. Those bases are vulnerable to attack and can be both difficult and expensive to maintain.
Aerial refueling is a highly complicated maneuver, but it does offer a solution to that problem. It is a type of mobile fueling which requires a second plane with extra fuel to launch so that it can refuel the primary aircraft while it is still in the air. The technique has been in use since the early days of military aviation, but it has become much more reliable and easier to implement in the modern era. The growing importance of aviation in the military has also made the technique much more useful and has lead to significant improvements in aerial refueling technology in the modern era.
In addition to increasing the effective range of combat aircraft, this type of fueling makes it easier to use planes to haul supplies over long distances. It also enables planes to launch with a lower total weight by reducing their initial fuel load, which gives them greater fuel efficiency. That saves money and eases the strain on fuel reserves, so that more planes can be used more frequently. When all of those factors are taken together, the end result is a massive increase in efficiency and significantly simplified logistics for the military.
The military does more than simply fight wars. It also plays a significantly role in disaster relief. Few other organizations have the sheer manpower that it takes to lead a massive relief effort. The military combines that labor force with a great deal of experience with the logistics of supplying large groups of people under adverse conditions. In most cases, the officers in charge of the operation simply employ standard military equipment and techniques to solve the problem. That means that mobile refueling has a role to play in the relief process, just as it does with every other type of deployment.
Delivering fuel is one of the more common tasks for the military when it is on a relief mission. Fuel shortages can quickly cause cars and trucks to become useless, which inhibits every other part of the mission. Fueling infrastructure, such as gas stations, are usually insufficient to meet the demand for fuel after a disaster, and it is common for them to break down entirely. Mobile fueling techniques allow the military to work around that problem to keep the trucks moving and enable the workers to do their jobs until things can get back to normal.
Mobile fueling makes the shipping process faster for truckers, especially when it is combined with a good administrative team that can make it as efficient as possible. That reduces the amount of time that the military needs to spend getting supplies from one base to the next. That allows the armed forces to do more with less during an emergency. It also saves money because it reduces the amount of labor that is needed to get goods to their destination. Even a small discount can make a big difference for a group that is the size of the armed forces, so the added efficiency ensures that the military will continue to retain an interest in mobile fueling.