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Saturday, July 14, 2007

The military pays at the pump, too

And, man, do they. Just not at the same pump we do.

Not that I thought they got it for free, but I never really considered that the military pays for all the fuel it uses. Until, that is, Dave Montgomery and Lee Hill Kavanaugh's very interesting article in the Kansas City Star (Expensive fuel forces the military to adjust):

Every day, at least one Army Reserve Chinook leaves New Century AirCenter, burning more than 1,000 gallons of jet fuel for a training flight.
And every day, facility supervisor Michael Walsh, of Company B, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, worries a little more about the rising cost of fuel.
“The price for fuel is included in my aircraft repair budget,” he said. “When it goes up, that means I buy less parts for our aircraft. And we need extra parts.”

Having less parts for aircraft is quite disturbing.

A few fuel facts:

  • U.S. Air Force uses 7 million gallons of fuel a day
  • The B-52 bomber holds nearly 48,000 gallons of jet fuel at a cost of $100,000.per fill-up
  • In 2006, the service [Air Force] spent more than $5.8 billion for jet fuel which was twice the $2.6 billion spent in 2003

What are some things the military is doing to conserve fuel?

Multi-engine planes often use only one engine to taxi along the runway. Air Force personnel are increasingly using lighter nylon straps instead of chains to tie down cargo. Lighter and more durable resin cargo pallets are replacing heavier wood pallets.

Unlike with training, the military doesn't let the cost of fuel interfere with combat missions. Good to know.

Posted by Marie at July 14, 2007 11:42 PM