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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  April 3, 2010 12:30am-1:00am EDT

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and the total number of items is -- i don't have that number with me, but we haven't finished with some of those foreign military sales programs. so i don't know the total will be we did take a list from general odierno last year that -- where the iraqi side requested equipment, and we had a -- we had conducted a number of boards will get all of the equipment, determine what the costs and benefits are, that make recommendations back to the department so that the department of the army can decide what equipment to leave behind. >> , go ahead. >> dan de luce, afp. could you tell us how the -- how it's going with the northern route, how -- this deployment into afghanistan, as opposed to the route you were using for pakistan? what rate is that -- would piece
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is that being used that? >> ok, thanks. ausley -- the number a distribution network, as we call that, consists of five different routes that ustranscom has set up for us that involve both of the continent of europe as well as the continent of asia, to bring equipment and from outside as redundant means beyond the capability is we have in pakistan. the long list of those is about 5,000 miles long. and the good news is that because of the great team work by our partners we are now able to move about 50% of the supplies that we need in afghanistan are being moved over the five routes along the northern distribution network. that compares to the routes that come up from the coast of pakistan into afghanistan, and
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one of them is about 600 miles long and one of them is 1200 miles long from the coast. i was in afghanistan just last week to see how first hand that movement of equipment is going and i went on patrol with some of the troops who were securing one of the routes up to the gate that goes through pakistan and things seem to be moving extraordinarily well so those northern routes have given a great deal of relief and additional capacity if any of them are blocked by whether or any action. >> mikey manuel from fox news. i wondered if you could talk a little bit about the analysis that goes into looking at for example a humvee to say this is
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still good quality that should go on to afghanistan or this is battle one and should mabey be left behind in iraq or whether it should be used for scrap just to get a sense for the viewers and the leaders at home in terms of the careful analysis that goes into this. >> thanks for that question. we have a large team of experts from our material command and the defense logistics agency that looks of this equipment in iraq where it currently sits and if the equipment is not fully mission capable or it's got -- it doesn't have enough life left in it based on a set of detailed manuals that our teams use in its army standards we are talking about that will pass the equipment back to us on trucks. we will hold and equipment back here to kuwait where the kuwaiti
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partners or allowing us to conduct a very large maintenance operation. we've refurbished equipment here and set it up for issue again and some of that equipment is going back up into iraq and some of it goes back to the united states for the reissue to our troops there. and if it's in bad enough shape or we lack the capacity for some of the tougher rebuild actions to send back to the depots in the state's for issue from the depots. in addition we do a cost-benefit analysis of all of these items of equipment as well as the transportation coming out of iraq that we we can make better informed decisions about the costs. sometimes the operational costs or operational benefits would cause us to make a decision that might not look monetarily
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beneficial but it's all done for the right reasons and we some of the number of boards that have my own maintenance and supply experts will get it in the end so it's a big decision making process that goes from end to end. >> great benefit to the taxpayer what you're doing as opposed to buying all brand new equipment that you're able to refurbish and do some sprucing up to keep equipment in the fight. >> that's absolutely right. the equipment we've got as you know has been ridden hard. when i was in baghdad and 05i put about 20,000 miles on my own humvee and that is significantly greater than what was planned for the life of the vehicle. but when the equipment needs to be refurbished we will pull it back down here as innovation
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comes forward from the state's with engineering improvements on our and protection for soldiers we also do that work here and send it back up to them. we have a big process of taking accountability for all of the equipment that comes out of iraq whether it is a piece of rolling stock like a humvee or whether it is some non-standard item that we've issued like a hand-held mobile radio. and we look at that, clean it up and we have a team of experts here from across the department of defense who help us bring it to accountability and put it back into the system so that other units can use it was a that it can be sold at that decision made to other countries. >> let's go a little further back. >> from the london time, general, can you tell what is the total cost of this
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cooperation? do you have an operational code name for it? and can i ask some presumably just transfer from iraq directly to afghanistan, they need different rotor blades or whatever. how much of that is involved in your program? >> bryan, i'm sorry. i couldn't understand the two or three questions. can you help me out? >> let me see if i can paraphrase and get it right. the first aspect was cost. if you could put a cost figure to the operations of the retrograde and transfer of equipment in of the theater, as well as if this has a particular operational name to what you're doing; and then to some of the aspects of what might have to -- things that you might have to do to make equipment ready for going from one theater to another -- the sample was a helicopter that might need a different rotor blades if it
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goes from iraq over to afghanistan. >> okay, good. in terms of -- in terms of the cost, we are bringing down the costs in iraq by going through these cost-benefit analysis and trying to find the redundancies and eliminate those wherever it makes sense. the overall cost of operations in theater is a lot of my pay grade, and i can tell you that we've saved about 3.8 billion, billion, just last year by finding those redundancies and deficiencies in our policies and either cost avoidance cost savings. and we were able to apply that $3.8 billion towards last year's bill but in afghanistan. as you may recall, about 20,000 troops were added last year, and we were able to apply these moneys over to afghanistan to help defray the costs. in terms of a name, we've been planning this operation to draw donner iraq for a long time.
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and we've rehearsed it several times, all through that period, it's -- we've caulkett responsible drawdown. but this fall as we started to also build up in afghanistan because of the president's decision to do so, it became obvious to us that some of total what we were doing, and that is continuing to fight in iraq. at the same time, we were shifting the main effort to afghanistan and conduct in combat operations there at the same time; that the scope of our operation was larger than even the turn that general patton made in world war ii at the battle of the bulge. we're he turned down our own third army on its heels
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90 degrees and attacked in to the flank of the germans. so, when we looked at that operation historic the and the size of it, we realized we were many times greater than that and over a much longer duration. but the code word that he used to turn the third army was nickel. he simply picked up the phone and said "nickel." so we have nicknamed this operation that we are doing nickel ii. that is a combination of drawing down in iraq and building up in afghanistan. and the last question i'm not sure i recall that. >> the last question pertained to how you might modify e equipment that's going from iraq to afghanistan such as, if a helicopter that needs to be quote with new rotor blades, the process for which you were going through that. >> sure. you know the enemy has evolved over time. the enemies we fought in iraq changed sometime from
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neighborhood to neighborhood, and their tactics and techniques would change and sometimes come full circle back to the original way they were doing things. we see the same in afghanistan. and we are checking the situation daily to look at the enemies operations and how the terrain and the weather and the environmental conditions as well as the enemy actions are affecting our soldiers in afghanistan, and we are trying to anticipate that and pass back the necessary changes to our army so that they can improve our equipment. one good example is when we first started sending mraps into afghanistan -- and some of you may know there are probably over 30 different variants of the mrap, but when we first started sending mraps over the largest ones that were most
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effective in iraq because of the way the enemy was attacking, or very cumbersome on the rough terrain and the terrible roads and afghanistan. they were too top heavy and we were breaking axes. as we look for an alternative and as you recall from this year, m-atv, b mrap maudine-protected vehicle was lighter weight, or satchel, has independent suspension and a number of improvements from the standard mrap that we were using. and we are now flying those and at a rate of about 400 per month, and we plan to move that up to about a thousand per month to get them into afghanistan over the next couple of months. so we can swap out with of armored humvees and some of the larger mraps that general mcchrystal is currently using. so, that is an example of how we
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have changed and evolved and modified equipment to send it over. but he quit and that we get in here frequently will have upgrades in the armor that we add on to it. for instance, today's car-mart humvee is on version seven of its armour kits that we out onto the to the outside. and that helps protect the soldiers inside from the kind of strikes they are taking. some of the equipment we get our of iraq does not have the latest armor. we may have to change injuns, sustention, transmission as well as adding on the latest former before we push it forward but we are trying to get it to the troops in the best condition possible before they realized they needed. that's our goal. >> okay i promise to the next one, jeff. >> hey, general, this is jeff with stars and stripes. i'm glad that the relations between federal army and stripes had improved since general
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patton kuwait in july, russia agreed to allow the u.s. to transport troops and lethal supplies to afghanistan via air. the first flight was in october. do you know how many flights there have been since then? >> i don't have the number pla can get it for you, jeff. we will pass the fact when we get off of this conference here. but our friends and partners are allowing us to move a lot of equipment through and over their country's, and that's been a big help. you know, we move in most of all the soldiers who are going into afghanistan fly through manas, kyrgystan. i was just there last week trying to ensure that we could improve the process there, maintaining accountability for our troops, most importantly to push as many of those troops, as quickly as we could come to general manas, mcchrystal so tht he's got the maximum boots on
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the ground time were bog time with the troops there. so i will give you the number, but our friends and allies in the region are helping us out a great deal. >> mike. islamic general, mike now with cnn. you had mentioned mraps earlier specifically the older ones. what are you doing with the older ones now if they aren't going to afghanistan or maybe some of them still are, but what is the after market value of those mraps if they are all that useful in afghanistan? >> thanks. i don't have a number of the after market value. i guess we could -- i'm joking here -- but i guess we get through a couple of them on ebay and see what the market will bear. what we are doing with those is adding improvements to them in
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terms of suspension and armor if we can and sending them back to the states. when we say the we've got 30 different variants of the mrap or more really there are five basic mraps and there are modifications to them so it's like -- well it is having a truck makers putting these out such as oshkosh, and then as the soldiers make recommendations and the missions change, they've added change to the truck hauling capacity of those and so it gives our 30 variants and some of them have early levels of armor and while we don't need that -- while we don't want to push the lighter armor into afghanistan, then that chaka will be very good for sending back to conus training to soldiers to deploy.
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we have a mix of those and sending them back if the are more or some other part of the equipment is not required in afghanistan. and we're beginning to start talking about providing some additional mraps to our nato allies in theater. so we're not sure how that's going to shake out yet. we are holding some of those after we've repaired than just to see which direction the secretary wants us to go. >> go ahead. >> hi, general, justin fishel from fox news. i've just want to follow-up on a question asked earlier about the total cost you said you know how much you're saving. that means you probably know how much you're spending. so i've seen a report that this whole effort would cost in the tens of billions; is that accurate? >> yes, that's accurate. you know, the -- if i recall right -- and i will double check the numbers here and send them back to you -- but if i recall right, two or three years ago at
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the height of the surge in iraq, we were spending about 20 billion there through the third army in terms of repairing and equipping and supplying our troops who were on the ground. and that came down last year to about $16 billion. and this year we think it will be down about $9 billion. for total army operations in iraq. and so, some of that money will be pushed over to afghanistan in the savings. so why don't know if those figures help, but that's the ones i have close at hand. >> that's very helpful. thank you. and can you give us an example of any thing that is simply not worth it to bring back to refurbished? is there any -- is there a great amount of equipment at or just going to leave just because it's not -- it doesn't make sense financially? >> yes, absolutely. a couple of fixing was come to mind. first of all, the old suv.
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you know, there are a number of suvs that we bought common on tactical vehicles we called them -- that we've sent up there for all the remondi fobs or for carrying out some of the folks from other governmental agencies when we escort them in and around the green zone and other places. and, you know, we might have paid $30,000 for those non-tactical vehicles -- a single one, when we bought it several years ago -- and it might only be worth a few thousand dollars now, 5,000 to $8,000. and so you would say well, we can use those back in the states; why don't we ship them back to the states or ship them to afghanistan? and then we look at the cost of doing business. first of all, taking it back to the states is a nonstarter,
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because they don't meet the standards -- epa standards back in the united states. and then the second point would be, it might cost as much as $10,000 to move a suv, maybe even greater depending on the route we had to use to move and suv into afghanistan so in some cases it is cheaper to turn that over to the government of iraq through the right programs and let them keep it. another example might be the t-walls, the ubiquitous barriers behalf of heights and iraq and afghanistan now. you would think that with the thousands of pieces of t-wall and around sadr city that we would truck goes down here and shipped them to afghanistan. but those might cost somewhere
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around $800 to $5,000 depending on the size of peas to poor initially, but it might cost $5,000 to ship at and that is one of the cost figures that we've looked at recently. and so it doesn't make any sense. it's cheaper and more beneficial to the government to buy them in afghanistan or adjacent countries and of course then contributes to the businesses in afghanistan so that's the kind of process we go through for any of these items that we are pulling out. >> two more quick ones and then we will close it up. >> hi, general, abc news. can you give a sense of the timeline and priorities of the operation? what you would like to be bringing out first in iraq and with the parties are bringing into afghanistan and if you have any sort of milestones or goals along that time when you could share with us?
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thank you. >> will each of the units that goes and their has a mission of essential equipment that general mcchrystal's stuff has helped us design with that equipment list is to be high on the list are always mraps, m-atv, retial, bling for strikers, counter ied equipment, all of that we manage and we have the priority to push them there as quickly as we can. and when we get it and we have in units inside afghanistan who now all of the demint into configurations that the unit needs. so that when it is issued it can drive from the issue quite right to decide if they needed to. >> is very timely for your operation do you have any sense of how this is all going to take to get stuff out?
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>> without seeing much in detail the president told us he wanted to move in as quickly as possible and initial estimates were that it was going to take as much as 18 months and through the efficiencies we found in the hard work of the entire dod team we now will be able to prove the 5,000 for the buildup by the end of the summer. >> joe, you have the last one and we are going to let the general get back to work. is back this is joe with al-hurra. i want to go back to the statement you talked about in the partners' capacity. i don't know if you can talk a little bit more about this issue, give us more detail, what kind of military engagement you are doing and what are those
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countries? >> okay, joe, thanks. you know, we have soldiers in iraq and afghanistan. i have a command element in each place. we have a large headquarters here in kuwait which our kuwaiti partners are letting us use and we have agreement on the use of this and i also have headquarters back in atlanta and the shawl and airforce base but here in fielder on any given day we are working in eight to ten countries. we have air defense troops and we are responsible for all of the patriot units in the theater. they conduct local engagements teaching medical skills and combat operations with their partners in those countries like uav and bahrain and here in kuwait. but probably a better example is just this week we had a five man
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detail up and one of the casa countries, probably not good to go into the details of which one, but in one of the countries that was conducting a medical engagement and they were talking about natural disasters and how to respond to those and what planning efforts we went through in preparing for those but they were also helping them to maintain a and learn how to maintain their medical a equipment, x-ray equipment, lab equipment etc.. just this week also here in kuwait we conducted a small engagement of about five of our troops with some of the special troops in kuwait and conducted training which was included some
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classroom work and field work and ultimately with a ride in helicopters at night under blackout conditions to deliver troops on the ground at an objective area and a raid which they were able to accomplish in training and come back out safely and we conducted a review after those events. we are about to start a big exercise in saudi arabia that will involve a couple of thousand of our soldiers in an exercise called earnest leader that we conduct every year with the kingdom of saudi arabia and that is going to involve a battalion task force and a number of soldiers who are going to be exchanging ideas and training together on how we would fight together if we had to share in a theater. >> we have come to the end of the allocated time and we want
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to thank you for this informative session but before i bring it to a close look me make sure you don't have anything else that we've forgotten or in the closing comments that you want to make. >> i would like to say thanks to all of our partners and teammates helping us do this and i would like to give them acknowledgment for the great work they are doing but also these great heroes we've got on the ground during this hard work driving the trucks and gardening equipment and delivering and repairing equipment. major general jim rogers from fort bragg commanders the theater system of command has 6,000 troops doing those types of things i just mentioned and he and his soldiers are making it happen every day and at that is the difference for us. thank you for your time. >> thank you for helping us understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge and that reminds us of the old military adage that anybody can
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talk tactics but professional stock logistics. thank you very much. >> just one more closing, and i will remind you that as some of you know i am an operator and not a logistician but i've been amazed what they are doing. thanks very much, bryan.
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