Single Fuel Characteristics
Your July–August 2004 issue contains a well-written and
very informative article that warrants some clarification.
The article “Analyzing the Lessons of OIF Distribution” gave
considerable insight on how to apply lessons learned. However,
two statements in the Fuel Supply paragraph should be clarified.
The statement “. . . using a single fuel (JP8, with additives
as needed) and having that fuel available in Kuwait” is
questioned. JP8 already contains three mandatory additives
that transform commercial ASTM Jet A–1 into JP8. No other
additives have been officially approved for JP8 when it is
the single fuel used on the battlefield.
The second statement in question is “Not only did the
use of JP8 save lives because it is less combustible than most
other fuels (which kept tanker fires to a minimum . . .).” When
the single fuel concept was introduced in the late 1980s and
early 1990s, the potential vulnerability of JP8 surfaced, as
JP8 has a slightly lower “flash point” than conventional
diesel fuel (Grade DF2). Comparative flammability testing was
conducted in early 1991, using both laboratory flammability
testing and ballistic testing with 20-millimeter HEIT ammunition.
In comparing Jet A–1 to diesel fuel (Grade DF2) in three
operational scenarios (logistics and handling, peacetime vehicular
use, and combat hostilities), the tests revealed that using
JP8 or Jet A–1 would create no increase in hazards during
peacetime logistics and handling, a slight increase in hazards
during peacetime vehicular use, and some increase in hazards
during combat. This report did recommend additional full-scale
testing to confirm these findings.
Maurice E. Le Pera
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