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.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




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>