The U.S. Department of Defense is the single-largest consumer of fuel in the world. Despite rising fuel costs and a limited supply of oil, the military’s fuel consumption has been growing in recent years. In World War II, the armed forces used about one gallon of fuel per soldier every day. In Desert Storm, fuel usage was about four gallons. By 2007, with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, usage was up to 16 gallons, or $3 million worth of fuel a day.
So where does it all go? To the Air Force, mostly. Jet fuel accounts for 71% of the entire military’s petroleum consumption, in part because flyboys move around the majority of men and a lot of heavy equipment. When it’s time for an Army battalion to deploy, they hitch a ride on a cargo plane through the U.S. Transportation Command (TransCom).