Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

November 30, 2009 at 1:43pm

McChord part of jet fuel demonstration

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The Air Force announced the start of this demonstration a couple of weeks ago and we ran a short news brief in the printed Airlifter, but now McChord officials have released more information about the 62nd Airlift Wing's role. 

From the 62nd AW PA:

To reduce reliance on military specification products, simplify the fuel supply chain and save money, Air Force Petroleum Agency researchers will conduct demonstrations to use commercially available jet fuel instead of military standard JP-8 fuel.

In addition to McChord, the demonstrations of Jet A fuel versus JP-8 fuel will occur at Dover Air Force Base, Del.; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; and Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station, Minn. Each base has C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III or C-130 Hercules primary-assigned aircraft. 

McChord's role in the demonstration is the injection of necessary fuel additives as fuel goes into flight line fuel tanks that are used to issue fuel directly to aircraft. During the demonstration, McChord officials will inject military additives at various points in the supply chain and have a business case analysis completed at the conclusion of the demonstration to see which option is best.

"We are uniquely dedicated to the switch and have begun receiving Jet A already," said 1st Lt. Brian Jorgensen, 62nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight commander. "The refinery is located in Tacoma, so it is conveniently located to McChord."

During the demonstration, suppliers can put Jet A fuel into shared pipelines, according to Jorgensen.

By eliminating the need for a specialty fuel like JP-8 and using a more readily available Jet A, refineries and fuel depots will be able to reduce infrastructure costs and save money which they will be able to pass along to the DOD.

Officials estimate the annual savings for the Air Force at $40 million.

Master Sgt. Mark Walker, Air Force Petroleum Agency project manager noted that another part of the initiative is sponsoring research that may lead to a reduction or elimination of certain military additives. By reducing the need for military additives, Air Force suppliers can reduce the logistics footprint during contingency operations, he added.

One of the key parts of the demonstration is the ability to inject military-specific fuel additives into Jet A prior to use like icing inhibitor, Jorgenson said. By injecting fuel system icing inhibitor further forward in the supply chain, the quantities can be reduced by nearly 60 percent, he said.

The demonstrations are set to run for 12 months. Afterwards, AFPA and Defense Energy Support Center officials will review the data to determine a future course of action.

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