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Off-base gas coupons void after New Year

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has mandated that as of Jan. 1, all gas coupons will no longer be valid. The gas coupons will be replaced by an electronic chip that will be installed in your vehicle. Each registered MA plated car is eligible to have a chip installed. This chip will then authorize customers to purchase fuel at select off-base locations, keep track of monthly ration limits, and automatically bill the customer for the purchase. Customers at Incirlik will not notice any changes when purchasing gas on-base at the Shoppette.

This upcoming changeover is a team effort. The Defense Energy Support Center is responsible for all contractual requirements regarding the gas chip program. They will be the primary liaison with the awarded gas company. The Office of Defense Cooperation is the lead group for addressing the MFA and ensuring compliance with its directives. AAFES will be responsible for the financial aspect of the program to ensure guidelines are followed. The cooperation amongst the members of the team has been outstanding.

The DESC is currently reviewing the qualifications of gas companies that would like to facilitate the program. Once a company is selected, more information will be released about the specifics of how the program will work. While most aspects of the new chip program are still under discussion, a couple of elements have been finalized. First, the winner of the contract will provide maps indicating where the approved stations are located across Turkey. Secondly, all users wishing to use the approved gas stations will need to have an AAFES Military Star Card account in good standing. A Military Star Card is necessary since the chip automatically charges the Military Star Card each time gas is purchased at an authorized location and AAFES is the only entity eligible to sell tax-free gas. People can apply for a Military Star Card at the Base Exchange or online at http://www.aafes.com/.

Be sure to bring any excess currently valid coupons to the BX for a refund. You will have until Jan. 20, to refund the coupons.

Questions regarding owned, leased or rented cars without MA plates and the inclusion of home heating fuel are still under discussion. The intent of this initial announcement is to inform the community that existing valid coupons will become null and void as of Jan. 1.