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BAMBERG, Germany — For the 11th week in a row, the price of fuel sold through AAFES has increased.

The 7.4-cent hike tacked on midnight Friday means no matter where you live in Europe and no matter what grade fuel you buy, it’s going to cost more than $3 a gallon.

That’s hard news for Joshua Patterson and his family, who’ve only been on Warner Barracks for two months. They’ve watched prices rise every week since arriving in Germany.

“I buy gas all the time … (rising prices) make it harder for a lot of us soldiers; we don’t get paid that much,” the Army specialist from the 627th Movement Control Team said, adding, “I have my wife, daughter and another one on the way. I have to drive a big car.”

Even if the Pattersons buy the lowest grade of fuel sold by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service — regular unleaded, available only in Germany — it will still be more than $3. Starting Saturday it will be $3.04 a gallon. A similar gallon of regular unleaded started 2007 at $2.46.

In addition, mid-grade and premium unleaded rose 7.4 and 7.6 cents respectively, and diesel 3.7 cents, according to an AAFES news release.

With the exception of Italy, AAFES is responsible for selling fuel to Americans stationed throughout the European theater.

Rising prices are a bitter pill for another Bamberg soldier, Sgt. Frank Neal, of the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, to swallow, but he is willing to deal with them.

“Honestly, they’re going to go up to $4 at some point,” he said.

When asked why he thought prices would continue skyrocketing, Neal said, “The longer the war goes on, the longer the prices will go up.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded in the States (as of April 16) was $2.87.

Higher prices overseas are the result of the “dispensing costs” AAFES adds to the average.

Gas prices have been changing weekly since Feb. 1, when AAFES changed its policy in an attempt to better reflect pricing trends in the U.S.

Gas prices in EuropeFor the week of April 14-20, 2007

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