Oil analysis helps better US military

Story and photo by Sgt. Michael Reinsch
USAREUR Public Affairs

MANNHEIM, Germany — The Army Oil Analysis Program is part of a Department of Defense-wide effort to determine impending component failures and lubricant conditions through periodic laboratory evaluations of used oil samples. This program helps prevent catastrophic failures of military equipment before they even happen by detecting the issue before they become a serious problem.

“We test oil samples for helicopters or ground equipment and we check to see if the oil is contaminated,” said Heidi Bodeit, director of AOAP Lab in Europe.
Bodeit compares checking oil samples to having human blood checked for cholesterol.

“We can see if there is metal, fuel or other contaminates in the oil,” she said.
The program helps military units save funds on maintenance costs of equipment by detecting a problem before it happens, therefore, decreasing the downtime of vehicles that would otherwise be out of commission. Finding the problem before it becomes catastrophic increases the overall safety of the equipment and minimizes the potential harm that could injure service members using the equipment

“AOAP is a money saver for the service member and their command but also it is an environmental saver,” Bodeit said. “We need to think about our future and our children. (When using this program) less oil will be going into the landfills and
waste disposal and eventually into the Earth, our world.”

AOAP unit representatives can submit a sample to their local lab and have the results back to the unit in as little as 24 hours for air equipment and 72 hours for ground equipment. The AOAP handles 400 to 500 oil samples a month.

Soldiers can become AOAP representatives by taking an online course or a course provided by AOAP.

The training for AOAP can be found online at https://liw.logsa.army.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=login.main or by picking up a copy of the training DVD at the AOAP-Mannheim Laboratory Center at Coleman Barracks, Bldg. 50, Room 112.
The AOAP is scheduled to move to Kaiserslautern this summer. The move comes as a necessity to be closer to the maintenance hub, the 405th Army Field Support Brigade-Europe and Africa and Ramstein to better assist service members and their equipment.

For additional information regarding the environmental aspects of AOAP, 373-5383 or e-mail Daniel.welch4@us.army.mil.

For any AOAP issues, contact Bodeit at 382-5288 or e-mail heidrun.bodeit@us.army.mil.

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