We determined whether the Army maintained and accounted for Army Prepositioned Stock-5 (APS-5) equipment in Kuwait and Qatar. We focused on APS-5 program equipment because the majority of Army support equipment stored and maintained in Kuwait and Qatar is APS equipment.
The APS program is part of the Army’s strategy to maintain combat-ready equipment in strategic locations around the world. The Army’s Care of Supplies in Storage (COSIS) program ensures the readiness of the Army’s stored supplies by identifying and mitigating exposure to temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors so that items in storage remain serviceable and ready to deploy when needed. Army Technical Manual (TM) 38-470 establishes COSIS-prescribed cyclic maintenance schedules for tactical and combat equipment that the Army and supporting contractors are required to implement.
Army Contracting Command–Rock Island (ACC‑RI) awarded URS Federal Services (URS) a contract, valued at $393 million, to track and maintain the prescribed cyclic maintenance schedules for equipment in Kuwait and Qatar on August 31, 2016. According to the performance work statement (PWS) for the contract, URS must perform maintenance in accordance with Army TM 38-470, which requires vehicles and weapons to be cared for in a controlled humidity environment and maintained on maintenance cycles specific to the storage environment.
The Army did not ensure that URS personnel properly maintained the prescribed cyclic maintenance schedules for APS-5 vehicles and weapon systems stored in Kuwait and Qatar. This occurred because 401st Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) personnel relied on the contractor to adhere to prescribed maintenance schedules and did not verify that the contractor’s maintenance schedules complied with Army TM 38-470 and contract requirements.
As a result, the Army does not have assurance that contract personnel are performing the requirements of the contract to maintain vehicles and weapon systems according to the maintenance schedule required for their respective storage conditions. Vehicles and equipment that are not properly maintained are less likely to be operable and combat-ready for deploying units.
Furthermore, accountability officers at the 401st AFSB did not consistently account for APS-5 equipment. Specifically, the Army Field Support Batallion–Qatar (AFSBn-Qatar) property accountability officer assumed all responsibilities inherent to the role, including accounting for losses, shortages, and inaccurate accountability, and conducting a 100-percent inventory at transition between accountability officers. However, the Army Field Support Batallion–Kuwait (AFSBn‑Kuwait) property accountability officer did not conduct a 100-percent inventory at transition or assume responsibility for losses, shortages, and inaccurate accountability of APS-5 equipment.
This occurred because the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4 (Logistics), did not clearly establish which inventory accountability requirements apply to APS locations. Instead, the Deputy Chief of Staff relied on Army Material Command and Army Sustainment Command to interpret and implement existing policies that were not clear or did not specifically apply to APS. Without clearly established requirements, Army Sustainment Command provided conflicting guidance to accountability officers for inventory requirements at APS sites.
As a result, the Army does not have assurance that it properly accounted for the $5.1 billion worth of APS-5 equipment stored in Kuwait. APS is critical to ensuring that U.S. forces deployed in support of operations in Southwest Asia have what they need when they need it. Mismanagement of the maintenance and monitoring of APS equipment could lead to wasteful replacement costs or equipment that cannot be issued when needed. In addition, the Army is basing future acquisitions and equipment distribution on an inventory that may not be correct, which could lead to unnecessary expenditures and negatively impact equipment readiness.
We recommend that the Chief, Land Based Army Prepositioned Stock Division, Army Sustainment Command, review current oversight procedures and establish appropriate mechanisms for contracting officer representatives to follow for changes in maintenance schedules when a vehicle moves from a controlled humidity environment to a non-controlled humidity environment.
Additionally, we recommend that the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4 (Logistics), in conjunction with the Commander, Army Materiel Command, review Army Technical Manual 38-470 for equipment in the Care of Supplies in Storage program and determine appropriate timeframes for changes in maintenance schedules when equipment is moved from a humidity controlled environment to a non-humidity controlled environment or vice versa.
Finally, we recommend that the Chief of Staff of the Army direct the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4, in conjunction with the Commander, Army Materiel Command, to review and update Army Regulations 710-1, 725-50, 740-26, and 735-5 with procedures to ensure 100-percent accountability of Army Prepositioned Stock equipment.
Management Comments and Our Response:
The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4, (Logistics), agreed with our recommendations and stated that the current language in TM 38-470 regarding APS maintenance cycles is not detailed enough. The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4 stated that additional information will be added to address specific guidance regarding changes to maintenance cycles when APS equipment is moved from a controlled humidity environment to a non-controlled humidity environment or vice versa. The comments addressed the specifics of our recommendation. Therefore, the recommendation is resolved. We will close the recommendation once we verify that the language has been added to TM 38-470.
Management Comments Required:
The Chief of Staff of the Army and the Chief, Land Based APS Division, Army Sustainment Command, did not respond to the recommendations in the report. Therefore, the recommendations are unresolved. We request that they provide comments on the final report.