October 19, 2007
Use of Japanese Fuel Provided to Operation Enduring Freedom (Department of Defense; Washington, DC; October 18, 2007)
Since December 2001, as part of the international effort against terrorism, the Government of Japan (GOJ) has been providing fuel to U.S. Navy and other coalition ships engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). These ships were operating under instructions that included support to OEF. The U.S. Government has confirmed to the GOJ that every U.S. ship that received Japanese fuel in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations did so in support of OEF.
Tracking Japanese Fuel
Tracking Japanese fuel on a mission-by-mission basis from the time it enters a U.S. naval vessel until the time it is consumed is complicated for the following reasons:
- Fuel provided by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to U.S. and other coalition ships is not segregated and maintained in a separate tank. Rather, this fuel becomes part of the vessel's total fuel supply and is co-mingled with fuel from other sources.
- The accounting process is further complicated if the JMSDF fuel is transferred first to another oiler and then to a second ship, which is a common practice in naval operations.
- Additionally, ships may be engaged in multiple missions.
The U.S. Government believes that it has faithfully complied with its agreement with the GOJ to provide fuel only to ships involved in OEF. We believe the information provided confirms that analysis.
More fuel was consumed on OEF missions than the amount of fuel Japan contributed. The entire Japanese contribution can be accounted for by fuel used by ships engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom.
- All refueling by JMSDF oilers occurred within the area that Japan established for its operations in support of OEF, an area that is entirely within the U.S. OEF area of operations. Additionally, JMSDF personnel worked closely with U.S. personnel in assigning refueling missions and were able to ensure that only ships conducting appropriate missions received Japanese fuel.
- From December 2001 through February 2003, the period from the initial Japanese provision of fuel to U.S. Navy vessels through the last full month prior to the start of the war in Iraq, the JMSDF provided approximately 74,000,000 (74,115,281) gallons (280,526,340 liters) of fuel to U.S. and other coalition vessels, or approximately 5,000,000 (4,941,018) gallons (18,703,790 liters) of fuel per month. During the same period, the total fuel consumption by coalition ships in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations was approximately 400,000,000 (378,963,102) gallons (1,434,533,748 liters), or approximately 25,000,000 (25,264,207) gallons (95,635,583 liters) per month. Thus, fuel provided by the JMSDF accounted for 19.6% of the total amount of fuel consumed by coalition vessels during this 15-month period.
- Data for the subsequent 55-month period shows that the JMSDF provided approximately 53,000,000 (52,811,768) gallons (199,914,617 liters) of fuel to OEF coalition vessels during this time, or approximately 960,000 (960,214) gallons (3,634,811 liters) per month. Total fuel consumption during this same period by coalition ships in the CENTCOM area of operations was approximately 728,000,000 (728,334,096) gallons (2,757,048,997 liters), or approximately 13,200,000 (13,242,438) gallons (50,128,164 liters) per month. Thus, fuel from the JMSDF accounted for 7.3% of the total amount of fuel consumed by coalition vessels during this period.