SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing has joined the list of Air Force units making the switch from military-specification fuel to commercial fuel. Defense Logistics Agency Energy has been advocating for the military's move to commercial fuel for the last few years, touting the cost savings and fuel availability as significant benefits, officials said. According to a 2011 article by DLA Energy, the Air Force is the largest consumer of jet fuel among the military services and spent $7.2 billion on 2.7 billion gallons of fuel in 2010. A spokesperson for the Air Force Petroleum Agency was quoted as saying the move away from military specification fuel, known as JP8, to commercial fuel, known as Jet A in the continental U.S., is going to provide a huge dollar savings.
The Air Force, in partnership with DLA Energy, has been in the process of converting to commercial specification fuel in the CONUS during the past few years. The 386th Expeditionary Logistics Squadron Fuel Flight received its first shipment of commercial fuel, commonly known as Jet A-1 outside of the continental U.S., July 16, and immediately began the task of injecting the needed additives. JP8 fuel is already injected with these additives and because of this, the storage, production and transportation of JP8 is much more costly than commercial fuel.
"In the commercial world the additives that we use are not normally included in jet fuel," said Senior Master Sgt. Gregory Carrow, of the Air Force Petroleum Agency. "Receiving fully additized fuel from a commercial source requires segregated storage and transportation. By buying a commercial fuel and injecting the additives later in the supply chain, DLA Energy can procure the fuel at a cheaper price."