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NAPLES, Italy — Military authorities are advising U.S. servicemembers in Italy to fill their gas tanks and to expect some disruptions this week during a nationwide strike by truck drivers protesting austerity measures, including higher fuel prices.

Truckers blocked some major roads near U.S. Navy bases in Naples on Monday. As of Monday afternoon, numerous routes used by the American community in the area were blocked off, including the toll booths for the A1 highway, according to Navy officials.

The blockages are expected to last until Friday, said Lt. Matthew Gill, a spokesman for Naval Support Activity Naples.

“That could have a significant impact on daily operations here,” Gill said.

NSA Naples is recommending that community members have food on hand and at least half a tank of gas. Local commands are exploring car pooling, telecommuting and minimal manning options, although no plans have been implemented, Gill said.

A similar strike blocking major roadways last week in Sicily caused disruptions for members of the Naval Air Station Sigonella community.

The weeklong strikes on Sicily, which ended Saturday, mainly involved routes going to and from the Italian highway, according to command spokesman Lt. Timothy Page. One of those roads links to the two Sigonella bases, he said.

“There weren’t any drastic changes that the base had to make, or the people at the base had to make,” Page said Monday. “The main disruption was the reduced availability of gas.”

The commissary and exchange were able to supply the community with basic needs, he said, and things were returning to normal as of Monday.

“Most gas stations have been replenished, and fuel is starting to become increasingly available,” he said.

At Aviano Air Base in northern Italy, 31st Fighter Wing spokeswoman Capt. Agneta Murnan said airmen are kept abreast of scheduled strikes on a weekly basis via an email bulletin, or sooner, if it’s a short-notice strike.

The wing also recommends community members maintain a half-tank of gas as a measure of good preparedness, she said in an email.

Representatives with U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza did not immediately return calls Monday.

While the Navy is also recommending that people have an emergency kit, Gill said the effects of the week’s strike aren’t expected to be too drastic.

“The worst that’s going to happen is you won’t be able to make it into work,” he said.

Geoffz@estripes.osd.mil

Twitter: @Stripes_GeoffZ

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