UK weekly edition, Wednesday, June 6, 2007

RAF MILDENHALL — Servicemembers in the London area will have to drive to distant bases or use a new mail-based system to receive gas coupons starting in August after the Navy Exchange moves its fuel voucher office to RAF St. Mawgan.

On Aug. 4, the Navy Exchange will move the operation to the remote naval post in southwest England due to the closure of RAF Daws Hill. The closure eliminates the last location near London where personnel can buy the vouchers in person, said Maria Waite, NEX general manager for the United Kingdom.

To get coupons in the future, servicemembers will have to send requests and proof of identity by post or e-mail, then receive the vouchers in the mail, Waite said.

Or, servicemembers can buy the vouchers at Army and Air Force Exchange locations such as Lakenheath, Alconbury or Croughton, where they will be able to purchase the Navy-allowed maximum of 200 liters per week instead of AAFES typical 50-liter maximum, Waite said.

Navy personnel get the higher maximum because of the scarcity of on-base gas pumps near many Navy duty stations in the London and St. Mawgan areas.

To receive the coupons by mail, servicemembers will have to send three documents: a letter requesting the number and types of vouchers needed, a copy of the applicant’s blue fuel card and a copy of the front of their ID card, Waite said.

The documents can be either photocopied and mailed to the new office or scanned and sent as electronic files to a new e-mail address:

Once orders are received, NEX staff will call the buyer and take down their credit card details by phone, then mail out the requested vouchers, Waite said.

NEX staff will use the date the servicemember sent the request as the day to set the price of the fuel in the vouchers, she said.

The new mail service will be available from July 1, and early dry-runs of the program have so far worked well, she said.

“We’ve been testing it for several months. I have 200 users right now, and it’s working well,” Waite said.

AAFES customers at other fuel coupon selling points should see no change in service, she said.

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