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.

6 Responses

  1. I think our soldiers are pretty cool! Though their loved ones think they are hot! A matter of interpretation? When they have been out in a hot spot I am sure they like to come back and chill. Okay, I’ll stop now! 🙂
    One more, one more…I can’t resist…In the heat of battle do they tell the bad guys to freeze? 🙂 Done now! 🙂 Thank you very much….
    Hello hello…is this microphone on?!

  2. […] Air Conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq Costs $20 Billion ( […]

  3. So now we learn that the Dept of Defense is spending $20 billion air conditioning tents “in a hot sandy place,” as Amory Lovins says in our new documentary, Carbon Nation (@co2nation, And our soldiers are dying delivering all that fuel that’s being wasted in the diesel generators at our forward operating bases (FOB), because fuel convoys at prime targets. This is waste upon waste: as Dan Nolan adds, our soldiers are dying while “we are basically air conditioning the desert.” Carbon Nation is about solutions. And the FOB solution is to insulate the tents with foam, reducing the fuel load to less than a fifth of what was needed before. That’s one fuel convoy for every five previously. But these solutions keep on coming. Watching Navy Sec. Ray Mabus speak last month, I was blown away by his new goal: to have his Navy (which includes the Marines) to have all of its fuel, all of it, to be U.S-made biofuel by 2020. Biofuel that uses no food sources or arable land. Biofuel 2.0.

  4. Steve Anderson served as a logistician in Iraq, he speaks as a businessman with a product. His cost estimate seems to include most infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Command and control, medevac, and protection payments do not end with shutting off troops’ A/C units. $165.1 billion was spent in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010. Considering the colossal effort, manpower, support contracts, and expense of operating military equipment, suggesting over one in ten dollars spent is needed for A/C seems like a stretch.

  5. This is just insane ! It’s a lot of money…

  6. […] Air Conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq Costs $20 Billion | Off The Base "The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion." Priorities….. […]

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