Corrosion Prevention and Control
Paragraph E1.1.17. of DoD Directive 5000.01 directs program managers to “develop and implement performance-based logistics strategies that optimize total system availability while minimizing cost and logistics footprint.” However the very next sentence unequivocally goes on to state that “trade-off decisions involving cost, useful service, and effectiveness shall consider corrosion prevention and mitigation.” Makes sense, right? But what exactly is corrosion prevention and what can I as a life cycle logistician and a product support manager (PSM) do to assist my program manager in addressing this issue?
DoD Instruction 5000.67 Prevention and Mitigation of Corrosion on DoD Military Equipment and Infrastructure defines corrosion simply as “the deterioration of a material or its properties due to a reaction of that material with its chemical environment.” The issue is anything but simple, however. According to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight office’s article entitled “Corrosion – A Persistent Battle”, “corrosion… has been with us forever. People have recognized, accepted, coped with and, occasionally, battled corrosion for millennia. In the 19th century, we began taking steps to understand, prevent, and treat corrosion, and we have gradually expanded these efforts ever since. But recently, corrosion has become a major concern, partly because our demands for more complex and sophisticated systems and products have been satisfied by materials that are more susceptible to corrosion. The insidious and pervasive effects of corrosion have now reached the point where it is a major cost for our economy and quality of life – in fact recent studies estimate the direct cost of corrosion in the United States to be nearly $300 billion dollars per year.”
So important is this subject, that as I shared with you in my January 20, 2011 “Life Cycle Sustainment Insights” blog post, the House Armed Services Committee specifically stated in its "112th Congress - HASC Proposed Oversight Plan" that “the committee will continue its oversight of the Department’s corrosion control efforts and will monitor resourcing of corrosion prediction and prevention efforts with a focus on increasing the service life of weapons systems while reducing long-term sustainment costs.”
To learn more about this important topic and to become better acquainted as to what the department is doing to combat this ongoing threat, encourage you to visit the DoD CorrDefense website. As you would expect, we also maintain a link to the CorrDefense website on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP).
I would also strongly encourage you to consider taking CLM 038 Corrosion Prevention and Control Overview continuous learning module on the subject. This web-based training module is a recommended Level III Core Plus training opportunity for life cycle logisticians working programs in both early phases of acquisition as well as for those working sustainment of fielded systems.
This is important -- and we each have a part to play in this important arena.