Pentagon will seek bids to supply jet fuel at air base in Kyrgyzstan

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By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 26, 2010; 6:31 PM

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it will seek bidders next month to supply jet fuel over the next two years to a U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan that is key to the war effort in Afghanistan.

The Defense Energy Support Center, which buys fuel for the Defense Department, said it would need roughly 120 million gallons of Russian jet fuel a year to be delivered to Manas air base, according to a pre-solicitation notice. U.S. and coalition tankers on the base aerially refuel fighter bombers carrying out missions over Afghanistan.

The contract also includes a one-year option, indicating that the Pentagon expects the current pace of air activity over Afghanistan to continue into 2013.

The request for proposals will be available June 9. Meanwhile, Mina Corp., which has held the contract since 2003, will supply the fuel on a month-by-month basis. Mina has been drawn into investigations of alleged corruption involving the past two Kyrgyz presidents, whose families were accused of receiving payments associated with the fuel program.

Mina's director of operations, Charles Squires, has denied any knowledge of corrupt payments.

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