March 04, 2011 13:12
The military will cut down on mobile exercises of the Army, Navy and Air Force and reduce heating in a bid to save fuel costs amid soaring oil prices.
"The Defense has adjusted the fuel control level after the government upgraded its energy alert level," a Defense Ministry official said Thursday. "As of Wednesday, the ministry raised the fuel control level for both training and operations."
The military is trying to save 5 percent or 280,000 barrels of oil for training and 8 percent or 440,000 barrels on operations out of the 5.53 million barrels it is authorized to use annually. It will keep room temperatures in barracks under 18 degrees Celsius, reduce baths for officers and servicemen from two to one per week, and permit servicemen no more than five hot showers per week.
Soaring oil prices have also dealt a direct blow to drills of the Army's mechanized units. It decided to mobilize only two-thirds of equipment for all field mobile drills.
Despite the drastic reduction of equipment, all personnel will participate, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, while increasing simulation training on computers.
The Air Force decided to cut the number of annual flight hours for each pilot from the current 153 to 145 hours, and the Navy will reduce the number of exercises by about 1 percent.
But a senior military source said the current level of naval patrol operations or mobile exercises in preparation for further provocations by North Korea along the de facto maritime border in the West Sea will remain.
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