Defense

October 9, 2013

Army’s top logistician remains ‘cautiously optimistic’ on Afghanistan withdrawal

Sgt. Sharmella Andrews verifies information on the outside of a container at the logistics retrograde area at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 13, 2013. Andrews, the logistics and supply non-commissioned officer in charge of Detachment 33, is assigned to the 335th Signal Command, Theater Provisional, Regional Command South.

The Army’s top logistician told members of the House Armed Services Committee Oct. 2 he remains “cautiously optimistic” that the Army will complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Right now we are on the glide slope we had planned, but that can change overnight. One incident at a border could cause us challenges,” said Lt. Gen. Raymond. V. Mason, deputy chief of staff, Army G4.

The Army continues to bring Soldiers and equipment home while finishing operations and training Afghan forces with the goal of all non-enduring equipment returning by October 2014.

“The closure of bases, then the retrograde that follows, is based on what commander on the ground is doing as he works through the BSA (bilateral security agreement),” Mason said.

The Army plans on bringing back $17 billion worth of equipment currently in Afghanistan, but assumes generally stable conditions, Mason said. Critical to the success of meeting the 2014 deadline is the Pakistan ground lines of communication, which is referred to as the PAKGLOC by military commanders, and to a lesser extent the northern distribution network, or NDN. Both of these land routes are less expensive then multi-modal and direct air transportation.

“Unfortunately the PAKGLOC and the NDN are not always viable and open,” Mason said. “Additionally other variables, including increased enemy activity or potential delays in Afghan elections, would most certainly effect our retrograde and drawdown plans.”

Currently, 50 percent of the Army’s equipment leaves Afghanistan through the PAKGLOC, and that is where Mason would like the majority of equipment to flow through.

The multi-modal route requires equipment to be flown from Afghanistan to a port and loaded onto a ship. Shipping equipment by sea cuts costs significantly compared to flying it home, Mason said.

In some cases, equipment is flown to the United States from Afghanistan, but is limited to critical items, such as communication equipment and weapons.

The fluctuating price of fuel is a concern for Mason and an exact cost for retrograde is hard to nail down. Mason said the Army has budgeted $2 to $3 billion to get equipment home, but fuel is a huge variable.

“If fuel costs continue to go up, we are going to push into the $3 billion range,” Mason said. “If the PAKGLOC was to close, we could in fact go above the $3 billion range, because we would have to fly more out.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




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>