Between pilfering, mountain passes closed by snow, overturned trucks and attacks by hostile tribes, getting equipment and supplies to troops in Afghanistan is a challenge.
For a year, Army Lt. Col. Greg Younger, command transportation integration officer for the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, lived in Pakistan and helped orchestrate and simplify the movement of military goods from Port Karachi in southern Pakistan through that country into Afghanistan through a mountain pass in the northwestern part of the country.
The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is the newest command at Scott Air Force Base. It has a work force of more than 4,600 military and civilian employees worldwide and has contracts worth more than $1.8 billion annually with commercial surface moving companies that use trains, trucks, barges, pipelines and ships to move goods for the Department of Defense globally.
"Ten to 20 percent of the cost of a war is getting there," Younger said.
When Younger first arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan, it took an average of seven to nine days to get supplies and equipment through Pakistan's customs process. By the time he left a year later, the process was trimmed down to just more than a day.
In one month, more than 3,000 containers carrying U.S. Department of Defense supplies are loaded onto contracted local trucks to make the 1,000-mile trek from Port Karachi into Afghanistan. Since he left Pakistan last year, the pace of containers into Afghanistan has increased to 4,500 a month.
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