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LOG NOTES

Unauthorized Fuel Practice

The November–December 2005 issue of Army Logistician contained an informative and interesting article. “PMCS: Key to Readiness During Deployment” was well written and emphasized the need for preventive maintenance checks and services to ensure equipment readiness. However, in the paragraph about fuel systems, the author mentioned adding engine and transmission oil to diesel fuel to reduce friction in the engine’s moving components. The author did comment that this practice is not sanctioned by project managers or the Army Materiel Command. An extensive amount of information has been distributed to the field to inform Soldiers that adding oil products to fuel is not beneficial.

This “field remedy” first appeared during the first Gulf War in 1990 and 1991, when the Single Fuel Forward concept was introduced on a large scale. At that time, the Army’s contractor-operated Southwest Research Institute conducted laboratory testing to see if additions of oil products would offer benefits. The testing revealed that adding up to 5 volume percent of engine, transmission, and gear oils did not solve the friction problem. These higher viscosity oils did not significantly increase the hydrodynamic film strength (thickening of the aviation turbine fuel). The testing also proved that engine oil, when added to the fuel, did not improve the lubricity of the fuel but actually increased the level of wear.

It is unfortunate that some individuals continue to follow this unauthorized practice.

Maurice E. Le Pera
Harrisonburg, Virginia

 

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CORRECTION

The photo that appeared on pages 28 and 29 of the November–December issue of Army Logistician shows a CH–47D helicopter from the 159th Aviation Regiment, not an MH–47 from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. We apologize for the error.