Pentagon: $400 a gallon for gas for troops

Oct. 17, 2009 at 12:04 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department told a congressional committee paying $400 for a gallon of gas is one reason the cost of the war in Afghanistan is so high.

That is the cost once the gas is shipped to Karachi in Pakistan, sent to Afghanistan by truck, distributed to storage depots and then to forward operating bases, The Hill reported. Helicopters carrying bladders of fuel are used for some remote bases, the most expensive means of transport.

Mark Iden, deputy director of operations at the Defense Energy Support Center, which supplies fuel for all military operations, said the fuel starts out priced at $2.78 per gallon but "a lot of other factors come into play" before it reaches its destination.

The Pentagon gave the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee the statistic on fuel to explain why the United States spends $1 billion for every thousand soldiers in Afghanistan, staffers told The Hill.

"It is a number that we were not aware of and it is worrisome," Rep. John Murtha D-Pa., said. "When I heard that figure from the Defense Department, we started looking into it."

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