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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas prices will continue their steady climb toward $3 a gallon with a nearly 10-cent increase scheduled to hit motorists on Saturday.

The increase, in response to rising prices in the United States, will bring the cost of a gallon of super unleaded to $2.97 per gallon in the United Kingdom, while Germany will see a gallon of super unleaded rise to $2.98.

Motorists in the Azores, the Netherlands and Turkey also will be affected by the increase.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded reached $2.70 as of April 2 in the States. Prices in some parts of the country, especially the West Coast, are already hovering comfortably above the $3-per-gallon mark.

The increase is also a result of changes in the way AAFES adjusts its fuel prices, with changes made more frequently to more accurately reflect the current price in the United States.

Since Feb. 1 when AAFES began to adjust the price weekly rather than monthly, fuel prices in Germany have risen from $2.44 per gallon for super unleaded to Saturday’s scheduled $2.98-per-gallon price.

Lt. Col. Dave Konop, AAFES spokesman, said he announced the increase in prices two days earlier than normal to help motorists save some cash.

“We certainly want people to be aware of the higher prices on the way so they can fill their tanks sooner than later,” Konop said.

The military’s fuel-buying public, however, appears to pay little notice to price fluctuations.

“To be honest, I don’t even pay attention,” said Airman 1st Class Teresa Pumphrey, 24, of San Jose, Calif. “Since it [the price] is not in gallons, I don’t want to sit there and try to figure it out.”

She said as long as she continues to travel 300 miles in her Toyota Echo on a full tank of gas — which runs roughly $20 to $25 — the ups and downs in AAFES’ prices will barely register.

Carl Lewis, Department of Defense civilian employee, said the newest price increase won’t alter his driving routine. He said the price of gas would have to rise to nearly $4 per gallon to change the way he drives.

“You pretty much have to pay, anyway, no matter what the cost,” he said. “Whether it goes up or down, what are you going to do?”

Gas prices in EuropeFor the week of April 7-13, 2007

Gas prices in Europe

For the week of April 7-13, 2007

Country

unleaded super unleaded super plus

diesel diesel coupon

Germany $2.873 $2.980 $3.078 $2.956 --

Netherlands -- $3.202 $3.466 $3.032 --

U.K. -- $2.929 $3.027 $2.905 --

Azores -- $3.034 -- -- --

Turkey -- $2.984 -- -- $2.865

Italy $2.736 -- -- $2.96 --

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