Testing the High-Test

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Marines in Helmand province fill fuel tanks.

Petroleum products are slippery fluids – in more ways than one – and it’s tough always to know if you’re getting what you’re paying for. They’re prime targets for smuggling, diluting and/or doctoring.

We recently took note of a nifty Army operation to ensure U.S. troops in Iraq were getting the POL (the Pentagon acronym for petroleum, oil and lubricants) that U.S. taxpayers were buying for them.

Plainly, as the U.S. increasingly turns over operations to the Afghan army, there is concern about POL problems there, too. So the Pentagon is launching an official operation to scrutinize Afghan POL:

The Defense Logistics Agency Energy (DLA Energy) intends to issue a solicitation for Supply Chain Visibility Services (SCVS) in Afghanistan. DLA Energy requires a capable and reliable Service Provider to provide Supply Chain Visibility Services (SCVS) to include the inspection, witnessing and verification services of fuel products, its transportation and other services related to fuel and/or fuel products in several locations and border areas within Afghanistan. The proposed requirement is to verify that all Department of Defense petroleum product users receive and have access to products that meet or exceed quality specifications, such as ASTM standards.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

The contract could last through 2018.