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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni motorists might get a shock when they pull up to base gas pumps this week.

The cost for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was to jump from $3.47 to $4.53 Tuesday due to new pricing set by suppliers and the Department of Defense, according to base officials.

The hike also brings the cost of diesel fuel up to $4.34 per gallon, the base reported

Gasoline prices at the air station had not increased since December and remained some of the cheapest in the region as other bases broke the $4-per-gallon mark. Marine Corps Community Services manages sales at Iwakuni, while the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Navy Exchange run retail gas sales at other bases in Japan as well as Okinawa, South Korea and Guam.

Now, Iwakuni faces some of the most expensive gas among bases in the Pacific.

"That is the price now coming from our supplier," said Steve Howard, marketing officer for Marine Corps Community Services in Iwakuni.

The DOD’s Defense Energy Support Center handles the distribution of fuel to military operations around the world and works with local contractors and suppliers to determine costs.

Gasoline prices at the air station are contracted annually from a supplier and the DESC, according to the base public affairs office.

Iwakuni prices rarely fluctuate but other bases make regular adjustments to fuel costs based on the national average in the States.

All profits from MCCS’s operation are reinvested in community services, Howard said.

Despite the major price hike, MCCS is not making increased profits on the sale of gasoline, said Howard, adding that the price hike is passed on directly from the fuel supplier.

"MCCS on July 1 won’t make one penny more that we make now selling fuel," Howard said Monday.

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