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Report | Sept. 6, 2023

Evaluation of Land-Based Security Controls for Equipment Being Transferred by Rail to Ukraine (DODIG-2023-115)


Publicly Released: September 11, 2023


The objective of this evaluation was to determine whether the DoD implemented security controls in accordance with the Defense Transportation Regulation and DoD policies for the ground movement and transfer of cargo headed to Ukraine by rail in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.



Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the United States and its allies and partners have rapidly transferred defense articles to the government of Ukraine to support the Ukraine war effort. Once defense articles are in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, they are transported to logistics sites and transfer points for onward movement to Ukraine by truck or by rail.  DoD regulations require specific security controls for the transport of arms, ammunition, and explosives (AA&E) that pose a security risk.



We found that DoD personnel effectively planned, coordinated, and executed the movement of AA&E for onward movement to Ukraine.  However, during the in-transit operations in March 2023 in Poland, we observed that DoD guard forces did not consistently implement security controls to support the ground movement and transfer of AA&E for onward movement to Ukraine by rail in accordance with Defense Transportation Regulation 4500-9, Part II; DoD Manual 5100.76; Army Regulation 190-11; and the Theater Sustainment Command "In-Transit Security Standard Operating Procedures.”

Inconsistent implementation of AA&E security controls occurred because U.S. Army Europe and Africa did not provide an operation order or written guidance specifying responsibilities for the planning and supervision of in-transit security of AA&E shipped to Poland the rail site. 

In addition, there was no specific U.S. Army Europe and Africa guidance to the Theater Sustainment Command to oversee and implement the in-transit security procedures for AA&E movement to and transfer to Ukraine rail.

Without guidance directing consistent implementation and supervision of mandatory security controls, the DoD is at an increased risk of loss or theft of AA&E before its transfer to Ukrainian rail.



We recommend that the Commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa:

  • prepare and issue written orders or guidance assigning responsibilities to the Division Tactical Command Post at the Logistics Enabling Node–Poland for planning and implementing security for ground transport and transfer of sensitive items for onward movement to Ukraine, and
  • provide a fragmentary order or directive to the Theater Sustainment Command to immediately enforce existing in-transit security standards.


Management Comments and Our Response

The Commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa did not provide comments on the recommendations. Therefore, the recommendations remain unresolved.  We request that the Commander provide comments on the final report within 30 days.

This report is a result of Project No. D2023-DEV0PC-0066.000.