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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A spike in gas prices at Camp Humphreys has left some residents wondering why they’re paying almost 70 cents per gallon more than customers at nearby Osan Air Base.

The reason, post officials say, is that Camp Humphreys has no Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas station — at least for the time being.

Instead, motorists must fill their tanks at the post fuel point, which is supplied by the Defense Logistics Agency.

The post must charge the prices the DLA sets, with Humphreys adding a 14-cent per gallon surcharge, Robert McElroy, chief spokesman for the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, said late last week.

And while gas at the fuel point has been cheaper than AAFES gas for most of the year — the cost was $2.68 a gallon from April 1 to Sept. 30 — two recent increases have bumped the price with the surcharge to $3.75 a gallon, officials say.

By contrast, regular unleaded was selling for $3.05 a gallon last week at Osan’s AAFES gas station.

During an interview Thursday, Army Col. John E. Dumoulin Jr., Humphreys Garrison commanding officer, said that “for the majority of the year, we enjoyed prices that were below AAFES’, so people forget that.”

He added that the price increases were directed by the DLA.

“So unfortunately, fuel prices increased significantly here, and there was really nothing we can do about it,” Dumoulin said.

DLA supplies gas to U.S. Forces Korea installations through its Defense Energy Support Center-Korea, part of the Defense Energy Support Center, officials said Friday.

The DESC’s headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va., contracts for the gas, known in the military as “MOGAS,” with South Korean suppliers, said Lt. Col. Sidney Thomas, DESC-K commander in South Korea.

The price of the local MOGAS — which has the same octane rating as regular unleaded — is set at the Pentagon based on the contracted price per barrel plus overhead cost factors, said Steve Bacle, deputy commander in South Korea.

But with Camp Humphreys slated to triple in size and become the U.S. military’s premier installation in South Korea, AAFES will be building and operating gas stations on post.

AAFES engineers from the United States are scheduled to visit Camp Humphreys this month to confer with expansion planners, Dumoulin said.

They’ll decide how many gas stations to build and where, and make similar appraisals for other AAFES facilities, Dumoulin said.

“As Humphreys transforms,” he said, “we will have, certainly, AAFES gas stations included in that transformation.”


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