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.


 
 

 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 
 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge

Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use

Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge Dr. Gregory Burnett, middle, and Andres Calvo, right, analyze a graphic representation of movement trackers, as 2nd Lt. Krystin Shanklin tests Google Glass at Wright-Patterson Air Force ...
 




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>