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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. DeNoris A. Mickle

‘Sentient data’ may one day augment Soldier capability

Air Force photograph by SSgt. DeNoris A. Mickle Air Force photograph by SSgt. DeNoris A. Mickle “Sentient data,” or information that can feel and perceive things, might one day protect Soldiers and their networks, s...
 
 
Air Force photograph

AEDC conducts space environment test for U.S. Navy

Air Force photograph Members of AEDC’s Space Threat Assessment Testbed (STAT) Test & Evaluation team install a microsatellite in the STAT chamber before conducting a test. The Space and Missiles Combined Test Force at the...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Technology project at Range G focuses on boundary layer transition testing

Air Force photograph A technology project is taking place in Range G at AEDC to prepare for advanced hypersonic testing. Pictured here is the inside of the Range G impact and ballistic launch facility. Boundary layer transition...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Brittany Bateman

Third armaments revolution set to unfold

Air Force photograph by SrA. Brittany Bateman The Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Missile, or C-RAM, gun fires flares during a weapons test at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Jan. 31, 2010. The C-RAM has the ability to fire up to 4,500 roun...
 
 

Eglin to temporarily host Navy backup F-35C fleet

The Air Force recently signed an Addendum to the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Base Realignment and Closure 2014 record of decision for two temporary actions–shifting the primary runway to Runway 01/19 (RW 01/19) and allowing a temporary increase in previously limited F-35 operations for the construction-related closure of Runway 12/30, and the Department of...
 
 
Navy photograph

NAWCWD counts down to fully operational T-Range

Navy photograph Engineering technicians Eugene Woods, left, and Chad Carrasco tighten bolts on a high-temperature burner at the T-Range in China Lake, Calif., Feb. 25. These burners are capable of replicating Mach 4 conditions ...
 




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>