Air Force officials to use commercial jet fuel to replace military spec fuel

WASHINGTON-- To reduce reliance on military specification products, simplify the…

WASHINGTON– 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.

The demonstrations of Jet A fuel versus JP-8 fuel will occur at Dover Air Force Base, Del.; Little Rock AFB, Ark.; McChord AFB, Wash.; 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.

According to Master Sgt. Danny Walker, AFPA Jet A initiative program manager, each base will begin issuing Jet A in the next several weeks.

“The actual first Jet A issue dates at each base depend on how quickly existing JP-8 stocks are used,” Sergeant Walker said.

During the demonstration, suppliers can put Jet A fuel into shared pipelines without having to worry about comingling like they had to with JP-8, according to Sergeant Walker. 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, Sergeant Walker added.

According to Jim Richardson, from the AFPA, officials estimate the annual savings at $40 million. Savings may increase as the conversion potentially expands across DOD within the CONUS, he added.

Mr. Richardson also 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, according to Mike Nelson, from the AFPA. By injecting fuel system icing inhibitor further forward in the supply chain, the quantities can be reduced by nearly 60 percent, he said.

FSII is the most expensive of the military fuel additives, according to Mr. Nelson. By reducing the quantity injected, DOD saves money. AFPA researchers are partnering with those in the fuel industry to test several additive injection systems at various points in the supply chain, according to Mr. Nelson.

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