The Military and Marine Corps may not be outfitted to reply shortly to crises in Europe or Africa as a result of the companies are improperly storing automobiles, weapons and different gear at abroad prepositioning websites, the Pentagon’s watchdog company has warned.
The Protection Division doesn’t have proof that troopers and Marines correctly saved and maintained not less than $203.7 million value of kit at websites in Italy, Norway, Germany and different areas in Europe, an inspector common report discovered.
Investigators reviewed 5 areas the place the companies pre-stage gear. The stockpiles of tanks, weapons and different automobiles are meant for use within the occasion of an emergency, deter adversaries and reassure allies.
However what the inspectors discovered raised questions in regards to the usefulness of the gear saved in these areas.
“We imagine our findings increase potential considerations concerning the upkeep of prepositioned inventory at different U.S. European Command areas that observe the Military Technical Handbook 38‑470 and Marine Corps Technical Handbook 4790-14/1G,” the report states.
These manuals set the situations for which humidity ranges, upkeep schedules and different steps to guard the gear are adopted. Inspectors discovered that some automobiles and weapons within the areas went untested or maintained and humidity ranges saved at charges that would injury a few of the gear.
The DoD’s inspector common’s workplace beneficial that:
- The Military replace its manuals to specify who ought to management the websites’ humidity ranges.
- The Military clearly state how usually weapons saved on the prepositioning websites be maintained.
- Troops take the gear out of storage to be used in some workout routines so it’s maintained and used.
- The Marine Corps assess corrosion on the gear it shops in Norwegian caves.
- The Marine Corps monitor and management humidity ranges.
- Marines give you a course of for monitoring upkeep cycles.
- The Marine Corps develop a system for sustaining weapons nonetheless within the protecting packaging utilized in transport.
“The Military Materiel Command is dedicated to Military readiness and making certain the best-equipped and sustained combating power on the planet,” stated Lisa Simunaci, a spokeswoman for that command, which oversees the prepositioning websites.
The Military Prepositioned Shares program requires inspection and upkeep relying on automobile storage situations, she added. For automobiles in Europe, that is each 24 months except they’re inside a humidity-controlled atmosphere.
“In that case, they’re on a four-year upkeep cycle,” Simunaci added. “Small arms and crew-served weapons maintained in both humidity-controlled areas or transportable weapon storage vaults, and never eliminated for coaching or different causes, are serviced yearly.”
The Marine Corps does preventative upkeep checks on its floor gear in Norway each three years. Operator-level checks are accomplished each two years.
Any gear used throughout a contingency or train is checked out inside 180 days of its return, stated Capt. Joseph Butterfield, a Marine spokesman on the Pentagon.
The service additionally dispatched a group to evaluate any corrosion on gear saved in Norway in response to the inspector common’s report, he stated. That work was accomplished this month, and the findings are forthcoming.
For now, officers at Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway have lowered dehumidifier settings to assist mitigate a few of the corrosion that inspectors discovered occurring within the caves, Butterfield stated. These insurance policies might be reviewed and integrated into future paperwork to enhance the administration and upkeep course of for prepositioned gear.
“Sustaining relative humidity under 50 % eliminates the antagonistic results of humidity,” he stated. “Dehumidifiers contained in the caves have been set to 46 % … and a surveillance program has been established that may monitor dehumidifier settings and humidity ranges within the caves.”
The Marine Corps can also be reviewing its insurance policies on gear saved in packaging supplies. Officers plan to replace manuals with steerage on correct strategies for that gear someday in 2019, Butterfield stated.
The Pentagon’s inspector common’s workplace requested that any suggestions made within the report that have not but been addressed by the companies be resolved by Oct. 17.
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