By Emily Baker
Killeen Daily Herald
Though fuel prices continue to climb, they havent been hovering at high levels long enough to create a hefty impact on Fort Hood, especially as one local division prepares to deploy, post officials said Friday.
The 4th Infantry Division will begin leaving for Iraq in October, and training will continue as scheduled, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Withington, the divisions public affairs officer.
We are not going to stop training; we cant afford to, he said.
One of the divisions brigades is currently in the midst of realistic combat training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. Another brigade will follow in the coming weeks, and another brigade will undergo similar training at Fort Hood next month.
The training makes use of tactical vehicles like M1 Abrams tanks, which each hold 500 gallons of fuel. The division uses 60 tanks and 87 M2 Bradley fighting vehicles, which each hold 175 gallons of fuel.
Aviation training continues as well with a fleet of 110 helicopters, 60 of which have been added since the last deployment that began two years ago. The three types of helicopters flown by the 4th Infantry each require about 1,000 gallons of fuel, with the capability of holding thousands more gallons in auxiliary fuel tanks.
Information was not available for how much fuel is used by the 4th Infantry or other Fort Hood units.
The high fuel prices havent affected the 1st Cavalry Division because all of the divisions equipment is currently being reset from a deployment to Iraq that ended this spring, said Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the divisions commander.
A $12.3 billion energy bill that was approved by Congress last month should prevent future fuel-price problems, said Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.
There is nothing we can do right now to bring down fuel prices, Carter said. If we had this new energy bill in place years ago, it would have made us not as dependant on foreign oil and those who can drive the market. Hopefully it will put a handle on prices in the future.
Gasoline prices on post are comparable to those around Killeen. And post officials have not heard of any specific hardships on soldiers.
Prices havent been that much higher for that long yet, said Lt. Col. James Hutton, a post spokesman. Only time will tell.
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