MILITEC-1, a "dry" metal lubricant that is standard issue for the DEA, FBI, and Secret Service is being denied to military personnel.
For those not familiar with MILITEC-1, it is a dry cleaner, lubricant,
and protectant (CLP) that bonds to metals, allowing maximum performance
of moving parts by not leaving an oily residue.
Its inventor, Brad Giordani, had a flash of genius while working as a lumberjack. The idea was to have a chainsaw that would still work after running out of bar/chain oil. Giordani had almost been killed on more than one occasion because of this.
Thus MILITEC-1 was born in a laboratory in Washington, DC with the assistance of army and navy civilians, as well as a chemical company in Ohio. It was found that synthetic oils, as opposed to petroleum-based ones, led to superior machine performance. But lab results cannot contend with those out in the field.
Testing MILITEC-1 for Real World Results
Giordani recalls that tests began in 1988 when Marines in Quantico, Virginia offered to use it on a firing range. The results were that automatic weapons, such as the MP-5, never jammed. This was in stark contrast to when the weapons were lubricated with military specified (MilSpec) CLPs, which encountered frequent jams.
DEA personnel witnessed the tests and performed their own, which led to MILITEC-1 being incorporated into the Department of Justice's manual for maintenance of the M-16 service rifle.
According to a US Army "Lessons Learned" report following the Iraq invasion in 2003, most CLPs lead to weapon jams as the "wet" oily surface attracted dust, dirt, and sand. As a result of the standard issue CLPs in the military, most men and women who venture into enemy territory know not to use them, especially in the Middle East where the sand is more like a fine powder that is easily kicked into the air from moving vehicles or a body dropping into the prone position.
Who Uses MILITEC-1?
According to "When Truth is Stranger Than Friction," a June 10, 1996 article in the Washington Post, MILITEC-1 is used by the DEA, FBI, and Secret Service.
Abroad, the Colombian government purchases thousands of dollars worth every year, a situation that led to threats upon the lives of South American suppliers when guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia demanded 15 cases every month for free.
The hot, humid weather in the jungles of South America leads copious amounts of dirt and moisture to weapons, making a dry lubricant more desirable.
That same year, Carl Meyer, a Secret Service spokesman stated that MILITEC-1 repelled water very well and kept weapons operating smoothly for the more than 3,000 employees that used it. The Secret Service still uses it exclusively, which was recently confirmed by one Washington-based special agent who requested to remain anonymous, saying that MILITEC-1 is the only CLP he has ever used.
Military Refusal to Issue MILITEC-1
As reported by Jay Friess on SoMDNews.com earlier this year, the US Army currently denies the purchasing of this lubricant on multiple occasions by any units for the use of maintaining gear through training or deployment in the Middle East. The last approval was in 2005.
A second source confirming this is a May 19, 2006 release from the Army News Service stating that the only CLPs authorized are Breakfree and Royal, the same that had been standard issue since 1995, as a result of extensive testing on non-gun metals, according the MilSpec conformance tests originated in the 1960's, for which MILITEC-1 did not do well with rust prevention.
Major General Roger Nadeau stated in a Pentagon Press Conference following the CLP studies that US soldiers should be wary of other lubricants as they may work well at first, but fail later. For maintaining a reliable weapon he said, "even if the manual says that you should clean your weapon twice a day.....clean it four times a day.....clean it eight times a day because the one time you didn't clean it may be the time it jams."
The sad truth of Major General Nadeau's statement is that overuse of wet CLPs can be as dangerous as not using them at all since slick surfaces in a dusty environment are more prone to malfunction. Additionally, current MilSpec CLPs are dangerous in excess due to their combustible nature when combined with weapons that exceed the flash point, such as the MK-19 grenade launching machine gun.
The US Army Public Affairs office in Washington, DC was contacted on June 19, 23, and 25 regarding Major General Nadeau's statement, but was not available for comment.
Consequently, MILITEC-1 ships thousands of bottles monthly at its own expense in response to requests from servicemen and their families (including one from the author in July, 2007).
The results have been financially damaging for the privately held company as it has eaten $2 million for this purpose alone.
What Will Happen With MILITEC-1?
The next step that MILITEC-1 will reluctantly have to take is asking service personnel who are not being issued its product to purchase it.
The fight for inclusion among military standard issue has been long and does not appear to have an end in site as the military believes it is operating at the highest standards to protect its personnel.
But if MILITEC-1 was not the best, then why would it be the exclusive CLP for the weapons that protect the President?
Christopher Pascale, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, has used wet CLPs and MILITEC-1 in training and abroad.