Logistics: Billions for Dealing With Sand and Heat Damage


December28, 2006: Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing the U.S. Army some $14 billion a year in equipment repair costs alone. For example, in 2007, the army expects to repair 267,000 combat vehicles, or major components (like engines), as well as 360,000 electronic items (radios, night sights, computers and so on.) The average repair job will cost about $1,400. The army expects to keep up at this rate two years after its troops are out of Iraq and Afghanistan, because of the backlog. This is all unknown territory for the logistics and maintenance people. There has never been a war employing such a wide array of high tech equipment, and in a trying (hot and dusty) environment. A large proportion of the equipment is new, so it has no repair track record. Fortunately, most of the armored vehicles (M-1 tank and so on) were worked hard in the 1991 war, and their maintenance quirks in this environment were found out (often the hard way.) Out of all this are coming new ways to build electronics, and certain types of automotive gear, and new maintenance techniques as well.

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