FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Defense Logistics Agency Energy quality assurance representatives worked alongside Soldiers to recirculate over 60,000 gallons of off-specification fuel and save nearly $260,000 in potential fuel losses at two tactical vehicle refueling stations on Fort Carson, Colorado.
Jaron Tyner and Jaime Sanchez, DLA Energy quality assurance representatives, provided Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade and the Army Field Support Battalion-Carson hands-on training to salvage the fuel at Pinon Canyon Maneuvering Site and Wilderness Road truck facility.
In May, Tyner found three tanks with off-specification fuel at Pinon Canyon during routine quality control testing. The fuel system icing inhibitor, an additive mixed into aviation fuels to prevent the formation of ice in fuel lines, did not meet quality testing standards due to high water concentration in the fuel.
To fix the problem, Sanchez worked with the Soldiers, site contractor, DLA Energy contracting officers and the Phillips 66 fuel terminal to have commercial tank trucks “hand additize.” In this process, the team calculates the concentration of additive needed to meet requirements and manually adds the additive into the commercial tank trucks, Sanchez said. The trucks transport the special hand blend of fuel back to Pinon Canyon and pump it back into the tanks.
Sanchez worked with the Soldiers to demonstrate field analysis and how to perform the calculations. They regularly drew samples from the truck to test the concentrations on the spot until the produce met specification.
“The operation may sound simple and straight-forward, but it really is a long, laborious process,” Sanchez said. “In the end, it provided invaluable experience on how to monitor, and ultimately fix, the problem.”
At Wilderness Road, the fuel also failed to meet icing inhibitor specification. In June, Soldiers and DLA Energy quality assurance representatives used mobile pumps to transfer the fuel into a large 20,000-gallon mobile fuel bladder system while injecting new additive. To get the job done, the 59th Quartermaster Company supplied pumps, hoses, bladder, valves, filter separator and a portable additive injection machine. The injection machine, similar in size of a small generator, allows the additive to be blended into the fuel as it transits through the machine. Quality assurance representatives and Soldiers tested the blended fuel being transferring it back into the tanks for use.
“Wilderness Road is a large vehicle retail station positioned very close to the Butts Army Airfield and alongside a tactical vehicle trail,” Tyner said. “Its location allows vehicles on the southern area of Fort Carson to get the fuel they need without driving to the other side of the installation on narrow roads through traffic.”
Bringing the fuel back on specification was a huge success due to the teamwork, knowledge and hands-on training, Tyner said. While Soldiers may learn about field-level fuel additization in classrooms, doing the job themselves prepares them for real-world situations, he added.
“DLA’s support to the warfighter is job one. It’s our core strategic priority,” said DLA Energy Americas West Commander Navy Cmdr. Anas Maazouzi. “The joint effort by this team exercised critical logistics capabilities that are required to support austere locations in contested environments. We continue to capitalize on our scope, scale, skill and unique capabilities to be there for our military services and customers.”
The DLA Energy quality assurance representatives and the Soldiers were recognized in a joint awards ceremony Sept. 14 at Fort Carson for their commitment to reducing waste and providing quality fuel support for the Army.
“The collective creativity and hard work on this project directly enabled Fort Carson readiness,” said 407th Army Field Support Battalion Commander Army Lt. Col. Sarah Gilbert. “This cost savings is another example of how strong relationships and a willingness to work together can benefit the entire enterprise.”