Report | Dec. 19, 2014

Assessment of U.S. Government and Coalition Efforts to Develop the Logistics Sustainment Capability of the Afghan National Army

DODIG-2015-047

Objective

The primary objective of this project was to evaluate the progress made by U.S. and Coalition Forces to train, advise, and assist in the development of an enduring logistics sustainment capability for the Afghan National Army (ANA). 

The specific objectives of this assessment were to:

  • assess the planning and execution of logistical processes developed and implemented by the U.S. and Coalition Force in Afghanistan for the ANA, and
  • review plans for the continued development of Afghan National Security Forces sustainment capability during the RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION post-2014.

We did not assess our second announced objective, a review of plans for the continued development of Afghan National Security Forces sustainment capability during the post-2014 RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION.  The Bilateral Security Agreement governing U.S. presence in Afghanistan after December 2014 remained incomplete, and the May 2014 announcement of post-2014 U.S. force levels did not leave sufficient time for detailed plan development. 

Observations

While Afghan National Security Forces demonstrated the capability to conduct combat operations, the development of ANA combat support services lagged.  The development of the ANA logistics system, especially by organizations above the ANA Corps, remained a work in progress. 

The report contains 14 observations resulting in 28 recommendations. Our observations identified issues requiring attention in four general areas: 

ANA development of a sustainable logistics planning capability.  Specific issues were outdated and incomplete logistics policy and guidance; underdeveloped capability to forecast and generate logistic requirements; retention of trained mechanics; nascent contracting expertise; partial decentralization of logistics training; and inefficient use of information management systems.

ANA equipment disposal processes.  Specific issues were implementation of turn-in and disposal of irreparable equipment; turn-in of useable excess equipment, parts, and other supplies; and planning for vehicle fleet management.

Coalition Forces advisor support to ANA logistic system development.  Specific issues were unity of effort among Coalition subordinate staffs; obtaining the required number of logistics advisors with the right experience and expertise; and planning for post-2014 continued contractor support.

Coalition Forces initial issue of sufficient spare parts to generate authorized stockage and prescribed load lists for major pieces of ANA equipment at the ANA Central Supply Depot and Regional Logistic Support Centers.

Recommendations

We recommended that the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense establish a formal developmental program for DoD civilians who volunteer as advisors for the post-2014 RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION.

We recommended that Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command:

  • Ensure functional Security Force Assistance teams have the capability and resources required to continue effective development of ANA logistics; and develop clear position descriptors and a reporting chain for civilian Ministry of Defense and General Staff advisors.  
  • Advise and assist senior ANA leaders to identify and prepare to issue support contracts for required, Coalition-provided capabilities that ANA organic support cannot replace; determine proper roles, responsibilities, resources, and a unified training program of instruction for the Regional Military Training Centers; and analyze the value of automation in logistic processes for units below the ANA Corps and develop training for that automation as appropriate.

We recommended that Commander, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan:

  • Determine fleet reset, management, and funding options for long-term sustainment of ANA equipment; and ensure Contracting Advise and Assist Teams encourage the inclusion of properly designed quality assurance surveillance plans in new contracts; and highlight the costs of maintaining non-repairable equipment and support streamlining efforts to properly dispose of such items to senior ANA officials. 
  • Advise and assist senior ANA leaders to develop and implement an Afghan-led forecasting and requirements generation model; pay and incentive plans to recruit and retain skilled ANA mechanics; an Afghan-supported policy and process to return excess serviceable and unserviceable equipment and parts; and procedures to identify, procure, and distribute required authorized items to the Central Supply Depot and distribute those items, as required, to lower echelon organizations. 

Finally, we recommended that the Commander, International Security Assistance Force, complete command restructuring and establish roles and responsibilities for the continued development of ANA sustainment.