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Forces - Air | Fuel & Power | Industry & Trends | Issues - Political | Projections & Assessments | Training & Exercises | USA

Fuel Costs Biting USAF As It Seeks Alternatives

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B-52H: gas guzzler(click to view full) The rising cost of fuel has received extensive coverage and military attention of late. This includes US Air Combat Command (ACC) officials, who are reportedly bracing for a “budget crisis” while looking for future fuel alternatives and simulators to pick up some of the slack. The USAF reports that it paid about $4.2 billion for petroleum in FY 2005, with JP-8 jet fuel at $1.74/gallon and BP as the #1 fuel provider among many thanks to its lowest-cost bid. That was still almost $1.4 billion more than fiscal 2004, and more than the $3.57 billion spent on petroleum in FY 2005 by the US Army, Navy and Marines combined. Indeed, ACC reportedly faced an FY 2005 shortfall of $825 million in must-pay funds. Recent prices reflect a 31% jump to about $2.53 per gallon, and there are consequences… One key consequence is reduced funding available for flying hours used to train aircrews, which were based on minimum requirements. Indeed, The USAF Flying Hour Program budget will be reduced by 10% each year from FY 2008 – 2013, even as demand in India & China and global conflicts could continue to push petroleum prices ever-higher. […]

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