The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

THE U.S. ARMY SUPPLY SYSTEM |

November 02, 2008

THE U.S. ARMY SUPPLY SYSTEM
Name: Rocinante
Posting date: 11/3/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Virginia
Milblog: Rocinante's Burdens
Email: roci_burden@yahoo.com

The US army supply system has many advantages over that of the IA. Still, we have many problems too.

1. First, let it be known across the land that the U.S. Army lacks for nothing that is essential to winning or protecting troops' lives. We never say, "We don't have enough money" when it comes to what we need. Still, there are some things we just can't get and other things we get deluged with that we really don't need.

2. Fully half of the equipment I was issued at Fort Riley has never been taken out of the bag. And everything I was issued there was brand-spanking new. The U.S. Army bent over backwards to ensure that everyone had everything on their deployment list, and in the right sizes. That included things like wet weather gear and ponchos (if you have one, what do you need the other for?) for soldiers going to countries that are famous for not raining.

3. Since I have arrived here, my supply system has delivered in about 60 days things like high quality knives (Benchmade brand), Leathermen, and expensive flashlights (Surefire brand). None of which I would call "essential". We have no trouble at all getting as many non-essential expensive "gifts" as we want. Every week, it is like Christmas when the supply truck arrives. What is Uncle Santa bring us today?

4. We have also received some things that the previous team ordered. Things we can't identify and we don't know why the other team needed them. For instance, we received two small metal clips that are labeled "contact, electrical". We don't have a clue what they are for.

5. We also have an endless supply of "sign here" Post-it notes. We have boxes and boxes of these and no earthly use for them.

6. Some of the things we get we just have to scratch our heads, because we don't know why anyone would ask for it -- i.e. 25 cases of Lemon Pledge. We can't give most of it back. No one else wants it either.

7. Some stuff that was ordered by a previous team two years ago is now just coming in. We can't cancel orders that are already coming in. I can only imagine how much brand new stuff goes into the dumpster every month just to get rid of it.

8. We also have trouble getting some of the obscure stuff we really need. And we always get excuses like, "That is easy to get, all you have to do is fill out the proper requisition forms." We did, and we are still waiting.

9. We also get stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time, but the guy ordering it didn't read the fine print. For example, how about some rechargeable batteries -- AA, AAA, and 9v. All very useful. And some chargers to go with them. Except the chargers only work on 110v power. Iraq and U.S. bases in Iraq use 220v. OOPS!

Comments

This brought a smile to my face, and memories of being at the end of the Congressional Budget process, and the push to spend our money before the next fiscal year. Hope you have all you really need, all the time, take care out there.

Hey on those 110 chargers, just get an inverter, then you won't have to throw them out. Of course, you would have to order the inverter with special requisition forms. Oh the irony.

Cost of inverter = $80 each.

Cost of throwing away 110v chargers and buying new 220v chargers = $30 each.

Do the math.

"Except the chargers only work on 110v power. Iraq and U.S. bases in Iraq use 220v. OOPS!"


Adaptor. PX undoubtedly has some by now.

HTH

The Lemon Pledge may have been intended for use as a sunscreen. It really works.

Do you have ready access to DC outlets like auto power adaptors? Everready makes a good recharger that charges 4 batteries in 15 minutes using a DC power outlet.

The reams and reams of paperwork, red tape and unnecessary hoops that one has to go through to get anything accomplished within our governmental system appalls me. I work on an Army Post as a civilian, in addition to being in the Army Reserve, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of money, time and effort that our government wastes. For instance, on this Post, we employ contractors to oversee contractors. Just one example of the overwhelming fraud, waste and abuse that exists within the system.

Hey... tell me something I can send that will be useful. I'm severely underemployed currently thanks to the Republican mindset of my former employers, but I still want to help. I've worked for years with a Veterans cemetery board of trustees planning Memorial Day and Veterans' Day remembrance services, some of the trustees being close to 90 years old, and have a strong respect for what you all do. So please tell me how I can help.

My experience was similar. When we deployed, all the equipment was brand new and high quality. When we got in-country, I waited 3 months for a cork posting board. Mission-critical? No, but it was extremely useful when I received it. We found the Spec-op guys and OGAs to be extremely useful in acquiring odds-and-ends, so you should try to make some friends.

Your information The Sandbox . And, yes to complete something is so wonderful. Thanks for the cheery words on this Gray afternoon.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read this article!

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