Army equipment issued from pre-positioned stock sites immediately after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not meet maintenance standards, the Pentagon’s Inspector General stated in a report released this week.
The Inspector General evaluated how Army Sustainment Command and the 405th Army Field Support Brigade maintained and accounted for its pre-positioned equipment stock in Europe, according to the report. When war broke out last February, the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division was deployed to Eastern Europe and received thousands of pieces of equipment from a stock site in Germany.
“The 405 AFSB quickly issued [the Army pre-positioned stock site in Germany] equipment to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team,” the report said. “Some equipment issued from [the Army pre-positioned stock site in Germany] was non‑Fully Mission Capable, and we found that the 405 AFSB can improve its equipment maintenance and coordination processes.”
The day after Russia invaded, the Pentagon committed to deploying 7,000 troops to Eastern Europe. As part of that deployment, the Army for the first time in history issued equipment from the German pre-positioned stock site to troops deployed to Europe’s Eastern flank.
Investigators found that maintenance requirements while in storage at the pre-positioned stock site did not meet Army standards, nor were the procedures on equipment use made clear upon issue, according to the report.
The 405 AFSB and 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team prepared for deployment “without coordinated procedures and timelines to prepare and issue equipment” from the site in Germany, the report found.
Army Sustainment Command did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this publication.
Among recommendations included in the report, investigators suggested “maintenance processes to track the mission capability of [pre-positioned stock] equipment, ways to exercise equipment, a checklist to help deploying units coordinate during rapid deployments, and requirements to configure equipment for transport and for combat.”
Other recommendations dealt with clarifying inventory maintenance requirements and providing guidance to personnel to support troop surges in the future.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.