Not Supporting Our Troops

Nobody has seemed to have discovered the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report for Fiscal Year 2007.  (.pdf) This report provides substantial proof that our troops are not being supported.

In over 200 pages, this annual report details the status of over 600 classes of equipment for the Reserve and National Guard.  Equipment such as trucks, generators, trailers, the kind of equipment that will be needed in your community should there be a flood, earthquake or other a domestic emergency.

The report shows that the Army National Guard is 28% short of it’s required equipment needs.  The report details that the Army Reserve is 36% short of it’s required equipment needs.

Overall, the Reserve Components are have been shorted almost $19 billion worth of equipment.

What’s more, this is about 1.4% higher than the shortages reported in FY 2005.  The problem is getting worse, not better.

The report tells us that there are five (5) primary reasons for this equipment shortage:

1. The Cold War-era strategy to equip the Reserves Forces with older and less modern equipment than the Active Forces.  Many Reserve Force units were never equipped at more than 70% of their requirements. 

2. This meant that thousands of items were “cross-leveled” when these Reserve Force units were deployed to Iraq and other overseas locations.  “Cross-leveling” is a fancy Department of Defense term used to describe how they are stripping equipment from one unit to supply another unit.  Many Reserve Force Units in the United States have been stripped of their equipment to supply equipment to units in Iraq.  Much of this equipment will never return to the Reserve Forces because it has been designated as “stay-behind equipment” by the Combat Commanders in the field.

This and previous reports show that thousands of radios, night vision goggles, and other equipment were stripped from one Reserve unit to supply a deploying unit.  This equipment was never replaced.

3. The battle loses in theater have decreased the amount of equipment available to the Reserve Forces.

4. The time it takes to repair or purchase new equipment.

5. The cut back in funding for the modernization programs in the 1990s.

Another overlooked aspect of all this is that the Reserve Forces are going to war after having been trained on older, less modern equipment.  One of the basic rules of the military is that you train like you fight. Since the Reserves have basically hand-me-down equipment, it is not possible for them to train as they will fight.

Further, homeland security is jeopardized because the National Guard, and Reserve Forces do not have vital equipment on hand to assist in case of an emergency.

There is more in this interesting report that all adds up to somebody in charge is not and has not been supporting the troops.


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