In a bid to bring about a paradigm shift in the logistic management of fuel in its inventory, the Indian Air Force (IAF) along with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has introduced a “Fleet Card- Fuel on the Move” for its varied fleet of vehicles.
“Availability of Fleet Card will permit the convoy to refuel at any IOCL fuel stations thus increasing the pace of movement and reducing the lead time for readiness at operational locations across the nation,” the IAF said.
An IAF official said IAF personnel and other resources which are presently involved in fuel management within the IAF can now be re-allocated towards other operational tasks. “This in line with the Shekatkar Committee recommendations of improving the Teeth to Tail ratio with the Armed Forces,” the official stated.
Stating that presently, IAF procures fuel from various agencies and stores as well as distributes the same within the Air Force establishments, the official explained that due to this, any mobility by road is constrained by the convoys having to necessarily stop at Air Force Stations for re-fuelling.
With the advent of the Fleet Cards, IAF will be able to utilize the vast network of retail fuel distributors across the country to refuel its vehicles on the move, the official explained. “The measure will greatly enhance rapid mobility of IAF forces across the country who can now take the shortest route between two places without being constrained by the requirement of routing through Military Stations for refuelling.”
The ‘Fleet Card’ was launched on Monday by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari at Headquarters Western Air Command, Subroto Park. The headquarters was earmarked as lead agency in the implementation and execution of the “Fuel on Move” concept.
This move also has several indirect effects towards enhancing the combat potential and efficient logistic management within the IAF, officials said. Fuel Retailers, especially in far flung areas which have IAF presence are likely to greatly benefit from the move which will further help the local economies, another official said.
In addition, accounting of fuel will become much more efficient with paperwork being eliminated to a great extent and also reduce the IAF’s carbon footprint.