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November 01, 2013

A-stan pullout logistics on track

CENTCOM is saying the material removal process is well underway and is on track for year end 2014 completion.

About 40,000 containers and 30,000 vehicles have been shipped back from Afghanistan over the past year, but a strategic transportation planner said the system "has not yet been taxed" to its fullest potential...
...It's feasible to bring back the 80,000 containers and 20,000 vehicles still in Afghanistan by December 2014, said Clifton, who is chief of the Joint Operational Planning and Execution System branch at ARCENT.
The process is also apparently being done with a fair amount of intelligence and efficiency.
...As recently as this spring, there were thousands of containers waiting to be processed at the sort yards in Kandahar and Bagram, Gamble said, but the advent of the joint sorting teams helped eliminate that backlog.

“We hit a tilting point in about July where we were retro sorting and demilitarizing and shipping back to the United States more from our forward locations than we were from [Bagram] and [Kandahar],” he said.

Altogether, the CMRE and joint sorting teams are recovering about 91 percent of the value of the retrograde equipment, the general said.

“So, the high-dollar value items are being retained and shipped back to [the U.S.], where the high-volume, low-dollar items that don't make sense to retain or are just plain excess to requirements are either being redistributed forward or being disposed of forward,” Gamble said...

Of course, as Dec 2014 approaches, that 91% recovery rate will get closer and closer to 0%, but at least we prioritized out the high dollar high impact items. If you bug out and abandon pallets of tampons, jockstraps, Humvee water pumps, Kaboom and rope its not such a big deal.

When people were seriously discussing this material extraction process before it began, it was clear there'd be three ways out. By land through Pakistan to Pakistan ports, to the north overland via the so called "Northern Distribution Network", and by air. All three possible routes are apparently being used.

Air is nominally "expensive", but that nominal cost can be mitigated by not dead heading planes out that were bringing in force protection resupply and such in. Don't forget, even as we pull out and extract material, other material is inbound in support of ongoing operations. So, the cost to extract by air is really only incremental fuel usage if a plane would otherwise be leaving with empty space.

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posted by Purp at 06:38 PM

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