Over the past six months, the Army has geared up its pre-positioned stocks of equipment so that they’re ready to be issued within 96 hours of a contingency, said the top general for Army Materiel Command.
Gen. Gustave “Gus” Perna spoke with more than a dozen reporters Wednesday during a Defense Writers Group breakfast.
A key part of this effort was to find ways to add “enablers” such as weapons and communications gear to equipment that is pre-positioned around the globe, Perna said.
In the past, units would take those items off their gear at home station, box it up and ship it — only to reinstall it on the vehicles and other platforms they linked up with in theater.
“It takes planes and trains and time to do,” Perna said.
Now, soldiers are able to get their gear and equipment much more quickly when they need it, he said.
Perna added that the very existence of these pre-positioned stocks acts as a deterrent against enemy threats.
Without disclosing where the equipment is located, the general said it’s likely that some adversaries know where some of the stocks are, and they know that soldiers can be flown in and loaded up quickly when needed.
“The equipment is ready to go,” Perna said. “And I would allow my son or daughter to be a part of that [equipment] draw.”
Perna also said the Army is making progress in building back maintenance, supply and administration skills that had atrophied because they were outsourced to contractors during the past 16 years of counterinsurgency-focused warfare.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.