US to take $17b equipment out of Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): As the United States prepares to withdraws its troops from Afghanistan by 2014, its army plans to retrograde 7 billion equipment in the country to meet its future requirements, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday.
“The army is bringing back soldiers and equipment, while finishing operations and training Afghan forces. Our goal is to retrograde all non-enduring equipment out of Afghanistan by October 2014,” said Lt Gen Raymond Mason, the deputy chief of staff for logistics.
During a Congressional hearing, he said: “To meet future requirements and improve readiness, the army plans to retrograde approximately 7 billion worth of equipment that is still in Afghanistan. However, the 2014 retrograde timeline assumes generally stable conditions.”
Mason said in response to a lawmaker's question that surface lines of communication such as Pakistan ground line of communication (PAKGLOC), and to a lesser extent, the northern distribution network, were critical to meeting US timelines and they are less expensive than multimodal and direct air transportation.
"Unfortunately, the PAKGLOC and the NDN are not always viable and open. Additionally, other variables, including increased enemy activity, potential delays in Afghan elections, would most certainly affect our retrograde and drawdown plans..."
Mason said the army to date had invested $55 billion in operations and maintenance funds and $35 billion in procurement funds to recover from Iraq and Afghanistan. That investment had enabled the army to maintain operational readiness rates of equipment at about 90 percent for ground and 75 percent in aviation.
Lt, Gen. Faulkner, deputy commandant for installations and logistics, told legislators since the first Marine Corps units redeployed at the end of 2011, 67 percent of the 72,000 equipment items had already been removed from the coalition operating area in Afghanistan.
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