Prepositioned Materiel and Equipment: DOD Would Benefit from Developing Strategic Guidance and Improving Joint Oversight
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The Department of Defense DOD positions materiel and equipment1 at strategic locations around the world to enable it to field combat-ready forces in days rather than the weeks it would take if equipment had to be moved from the United States to the location of a military conflict. In addition, DOD uses prepositioned materiel and equipment to support a variety of needs including security cooperation activities, multilateral training exercises abroad, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. Fiscal challenges require DOD to carefully balance the investment in prepositioned materiel and equipment to achieve both national military objectives and other DOD priorities. Prepositioned materiel and equipment played an important role in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, sustained operations have taken a toll on the condition and readiness of military materiel and equipment. DOD has reported to Congress that the military services are committed to reconstituting prepositioned materiel and equipment but must balance these efforts with the department s other priorities, such as restructuring capabilities within its prepositioned materiel and equipment and changes in its overseas military presence. For example, DOD issued a new defense strategy in January 20122 that discusses the impending drawdown in Afghanistan and a future emphasis on the Asia Pacific region, which are likely to have implications for prepositioned materiel and equipment.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies