Officials will answer questions about the AAFES fuel ration card in a series of town hall-style meetings across Germany and the Netherlands in the coming weeks.

Despite a media blitz — including appearances on a radio call-in show, a special Web site and informational stories in command-sponsored newspapers — misconceptions and uncertainties about the system persist, according to officials with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and with Installation Management Command-Europe.

“In all honesty, the best ‘ahas’ happen in these meetings during the discussion time,” said Dave Mattingly, the fuel card’s development coordinator for IMCOM-Europe.

Mattingly already has held meetings in a handful of communities. Turnout was good in some communities, but not in others, he said, and there’s concern that some people might not know how to use the system when it kicks in.

Some motorists could be using the cards instead of coupons starting May 27, and officials want to ensure the public knows how to use the program before the changeover.

“The progress that we’ve made since we did the tests at five Esso stations and six AAFES stations is, now all of the Esso stations” and AAFES stations in Germany “are totally functional,” Mattingly said.

The only thing left to do before switching to the cards from coupons is to teach gas station workers and customers how to use the card system.

“We’re really just finishing up, literally, the training pieces on the AAFES and Esso side, and on the customer side to get people ready to use a system that is already fully functional,” Mattingly said.

All U.S. forces drivers with vehicles registered in Germany will be on the card system by the end of the year.

Drivers in Netherlands aren’t entitled to the same cards that those in Germany get, “but they are eligible for a short-term card based on whatever (temporary duty), leave or military pass status,” allows them to travel in Germany, Mattingly said.

Fuel ration card ‘town hall’ schedule:

May 5: Darmstadt, 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Building 4008 on CFK.May 8: Heidelberg, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at AAFES theater on Patrick Henry Village.May 9: Wiesbaden 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Army Airfield Fitness Center. A fifth briefing will be held at the AAFES theater, time to be determined.May 12: Garmisch, 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Pete Burke Community Center; 2 p.m. at the Marshall Center, Building 103.May 13: Hohenfels, 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at AAFES theater.May 14: Grafenwöhr, 10:30 a.m. at Tower Theater; 3 p.m. at Vilseck’s AAFES theater; 6 p.m. at Grafenwöhr Middle School gymnasium (tentative).May 15: Bamberg, 3 p.m. at AAFES Theater; 6 p.m. at Preston Hall.May 16: Schweinfurt, 11 a.m. at AAFES theater on Ledward Barracks.May 19 and 20: Mannheim, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Schuh Theater.May 27: Stuttgart, tentative. Contact local garrison for updates.May 28: Geilenkirchen, tentative. Contact local garrison for update.May 29: Schinnen, 5 p.m. at the JFC Conference Center in Brunssum.May 30: Ansbach, 1 p.m. at the AAFES theater in Illesheim.June 10: Schweinfurt, 6 p.m. at Elementary School gym.

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