Selfridge makes switch in jet fuel usage

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
The 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base are among the latest military bases to make a change in its jet fuel, moving away from a fuel blend specifically made for military use to a civilian grade fuel.

"The change for us is essentially unnoticeable," said Master Sgt. Eric Henderson, fuels superintendent for the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron, which supplies all aviation and ground fuels to military and homeland defense units at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

The change-over, which occurred last month, was a move from military-grade Jet Propellant 8, more commonly referred to as JP-8, to the civilian-grade fuel Jet A+. The move benefits the Air Force in two ways, according to the Defense Logistics Agency. The Jet A+ fuel costs about two cents less per gallon than JP-8, and it is more readily available, as it is the same fuel used by most of the world's major airlines. While a saving of two cents per gallon may not sound like much, considering the Air Force alone generally purchases more than 2.5 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, the savings reaches well into the millions of dollars across the Defense Department.

The change in fuel has been rolling out over the Dept. of Defense for about a year, with more than 230 installations making the change. Some military grade fuels may continue to be used in certain overseas locations. The decision to change fuel followed two years of testing in various types of aircraft and other systems.

Henderson said other than different stickers on local fuel trucks and storage systems, aircraft pilots and equipment operators are unlikely to notice any difference in the fuel's performance.

"All of the additives that are normally added to our fuel, such as the anti-static and the corrosive inhibitor, will continue to be blended in," Henderson said.

The 127th LRS fuels shop typically handles an average of about 230 fuels service calls per month, pumping around 340,000 gallons of jet fuel.

About the 127th Wing
Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operation Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.