Defense

July 9, 2012

Reopened supply routes mean cost savings, spokesman says

by SFC Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

Pakistan’s decision to reopen ground supply routes on its border with Afghanistan will allow the Defense Department to save tens of millions of dollars transporting material in and out of Afghanistan, a senior Pentagon spokesman said July 5.

Navy Capt. John Kirby said officials estimate that use of the reopened routes will save $70 million to $100 million per month.

Kirby noted that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta had told Congress that since Pakistan had closed the routes in November, resupplying forces in Afghanistan had been costing the United States about $100 million more per month than before the closure.

“Secretary Panetta fully supports the approach that was taken, and the discussions that were had,” Kirby said. “He welcomes the decision by Pakistan to open the gates.”

Pakistan closed the supply routes after a Nov. 26, 2011, incident in which American troops came under fire from Pakistan. U.S. forces returned fire and killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan responded by closing the main overland supply routes for U.S. and NATO forces into Afghanistan.

U.S. logistics specialists quickly shifted to other means, such as the Northern Distribution Network, to supply the forces. However, DOD officials have noted the routes through Pakistan are considered the most direct and most cost-effective.

“The Defense Department, immediately after the incident in November, expressed our regrets and condolences over it [and] acknowledged the mistakes we’ve made, and we’re sorry for those mistakes,” Kirby told reporters today.

He added that although the Pakistani ground supply routes are cheaper, coalition forces will continue to use the Northern Distribution Network as well.

“The Northern Distribution Network is still a viable, vital method through which logistics flow in and out of Afghanistan,” Kirby said. “One of the things that we’re looking at, more [now] than we were in November when the [Pakistani ground supply routes] closed, was retrograde – the need to get material out of Afghanistan. So the Northern Distribution Network will still remain vital as we move forward.”

Kirby said traffic has started to flow through the Pakistan ground gates, and that the same agreement in place before the closure still applies.

“The same arrangement we had using the ground gates before they closed are in existence now,” he said. “There’s been no change to those agreements.” No lethal material is permitted to flow through the ground lines of communication, he added, unless it is designed and designated solely for the Afghan national security forces.

Kirby said the United States and Pakistan continue to work to “get this relationship on better footing.”

“My sense is this was just a series of a lot of discussions and negotiations, and [a] concerted effort by both sides to move past this and to get the relationship into a better place [as we] start to look at the common challenges in the region,” he said.

Kirby re-emphasized the practical benefits and cost-effectiveness of moving logistics through Pakistan’s ground supply routes.

“We’ve always said moving things through the ground gates is cheaper and more expedient,” he said. “Because we have that open to us now, it will save money.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Arc-heated facilities at AEDC offer unique test capabilities for hypersonic programs

Air Force photograph This photo shows the arc heater H3 being test fired prior to the installation of a model injection system. The AEDC High Temperature Materials Characterization and Evaluation is unique in capability and is ...
 

 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy commemorates C-2 Greyhound’s 50th anniversary of first flight

Navy photograph Nov. 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound. The “workhorse” of the fleet took to the skies Nov. 18, 1964, from Bethpage, N.Y.   For nearly 50 years, the C-2A ...
 
 

Air Force announces criteria for KC-46A Reserve basing

After extensive internal review, the Air Force on Nov. 9, released the basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. The KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal year 2019. The basing criteria under consideration include mission...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis

The footprint of the Jolly Green Giant

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis Airmen from the 56th Rescue Squadron tackle Capt. Robert Smith, 56th Rescue Squadron executive officer, after his fini-flight, or final flight, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, N...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>