Logistics: May 15, 2003


During the recent Iraq campaign, US Army pipeline engineers laid 270,000 19 foot sections of six inch pipe, set up 17 pumping stations, to create a series of pipelines extending 336 kilometers from Kuwait into Iraq. The six inch aluminum pipe sections, which snap together, can be laid at the rate of at least five kilometers a day. In the Iraq desert, the engineers laying the pipe easily exceeded that rate. Each pipeline can deliver 720,000 gallons of fuel a day. Usually, two or more pipelines are laid adjacent to each other. Pumping stations, each with two 800 gallon per minute pumps, keep the fuel moving. The storage facilities at the end of the pipeline can hold 3.7 million gallons. The pipeline takes a lot off the load off the fuel trucks that deliver fuel directly to the combat units. This portable pipeline system was developed in the late 1980s and was used in the 1991 war. But the fighting ended in Kuwait before much pipe could be laid. The pipeline equipment is shipped in standard 20 foot containers and each "kit" contains all the pipe and supports (for getting over obstacles) for eight kilometers of pipe. A new pipeline system is being developed that allows engineers to law pipe at the rate of over 20 kilometers a day.


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