Audit seeks to find whether deployed troops have the gear they need
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Defense Department Inspector General’s Office has announced it is conducting an audit to see if U.S. troops deployed to Iraq have the equipment they need.
The audit seeks to determine whether units were provided with required equipment before they deployed, whether modifications made to equipment satisfy unit requirements and the impact decisions on equipment repair have when units are redeployed, according to the IG’s office.
“It is a planned audit that is part of a DOD IG’s 2006 initiative to monitor DOD-funded programs,” wrote IG spokesman Gary Comerford via e-mail on Thursday.
Issues over lack of military equipment have made headlines since the Iraq war began nearly three years ago.
In October, the Defense Department issued guidelines on how to reimburse troops who purchased protective gear before deploying to Iraq.
Troops are now eligible for up to $1,100 per item including ballistic vests, helmets and glasses not procured through military channels.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable said he knows of no chronic supply shortages currently facing U.S. troops.
“They have had enough chow, they’ve had enough bullets, they’ve had enough fuel, they’ve had enough gear,” Venable said.
In past cases where there was not enough body armor to go around, U.S. troops prioritized who would get the gear they needed, Venable said. “There’s nobody that doesn’t have [body armor] today,” he said.
Venable said that when equipment issues have come up, they have been resolved. As an example, he cited the military’s efforts to up-armor Humvees.
“A new requirement emerged that was then worked through,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, commander of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, told reporters Friday that his soldiers have all the equipment they need.
Speaking via video teleconference from Iraq, Collins said occasionally supplies take a few days to get to his troops, but he has never had to cancel missions due to a lack of supplies.