Air Conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq Costs $20 Billion

This NPR story caught my attention because I just reviewed my own power bill which has increased dramatically due to a hotter than normal May. And the troops spending summer in Afghanistan and Iraq certainly need cooling more than I.

KIRKUK AIR BASE, Iraq -- Master Sgt. Herman Kremkau, 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, hoses down an air conditioner unit in Tent City. Kremkau and the rest of the HVAC team clean more than 300 air conditioners every other week to ensure base residents have a cool environment to sleep in. Kremkau is deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.

That’s more than NASA’s budget. It’s more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It’s what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.

“When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we’re talking over $20 billion,” Steven Anderson tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin. Anderson is a retired brigadier general who served as Gen. David Patreaus’ chief logistician in Iraq.

Why does it cost so much?

To read the entire story or listen to in online, click HERE.

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