Military Logistics Strained, But Healthy, Official Says

January 10, 2012

The state of military logistics is healthy and service members are doing amazing things to supply operations around the world, but the system is strained as a result of 10 years of war, the Joint Staff's director of logistics said here. 

Air Force Lt. Gen. Brooks L. Bash said military logisticians are, in many respects, the unsung heroes of America's 21st-century wars. In the past year alone, they orchestrated the withdrawal of tens of thousands of American service members and millions of pieces of equipment from Iraq. They supplied forces fighting in Afghanistan, even as political considerations closed a key route into the landlocked country.

They did all this while continuing their "everyday" missions – handling permanent changes of station for tens of thousands of service members, ensuring training requirements are met and ensuring that forward-deployed personnel around the world have what they need to do their missions. They also have supplied allies and other U.S. government agencies, and they have kicked into even higher gear to aid people around the world hit by natural disasters.

"No other country in the world can do what we're doing," Bash said. "We're flying and taking stuff halfway around the world. The fact that Afghanistan is a landlocked country adds to the challenge. Simultaneously completing the Iraq drawdown and then, oh, by the way, doing Haiti, tsunami, and whatever else pops up, and also supporting the combatant commanders in their regions with what they're doing every day." 

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