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U.S. military weighs reusing damaged equipment

  |   Dec. 13, 2010 at 5:25 PM
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. military establishment is considering the feasibility of refurbishing military equipment damaged on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere under a high-tech program.

Details of an innovative scheme to reuse equipment and save costs would be considered when military leaders, industry experts and analysts meet at a conference in the Washington area next year.

The military is constantly retrieving or shipping back impaired equipment, including weapons, from battle zones and the plan offers a way out where much of the damaged inventory could have little immediate chance of redeployment.

The program's focus on the future of military logistics opens up new business opportunities for the defense and security industries, analysts said.

The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement said a Retrograde, RESET and Redistribution Summit, scheduled for March 21-23, would actively examine the options.

It said eminent military logistics experts would likely attend the deliberations.

Members from across the military logistics community will discuss and evaluate the current state of reset and retrograde procedures throughout the U.S. military, said the institute. Innovative strategies for improving logistics operations and generating higher gains on performance-based contracts and emergency management are among areas the experts want to explore.

The retrograde process provides a way for equipment and materiel to return to the U.S. Department of Defense inventory and for units to "reset" in accordance with military processes and procedures.

On-going conflicts have led to damaged U.S. military equipment and as global security issues continue to command attention "the process of Retrograde, RESET and Redistribution has never been more important," said the institute.

IDGA Director Luis Hernandez said the discussions would be timely "with recent developments in military logistics and the constant movement of the U.S. army in, out and throughout Afghanistan." Response from the military community has been "tremendous," he said.

The Retrograde, RESET and Redistribution debate covers a wide range of military systems from communications and logistics to power generation, weapons and various automotive systems.

IDGA, a non-partisan information-based organization, says its work is dedicated to the promotion of innovative ideas in public service and defense.

IDGA brings together communities from the military and government, academic institutions, security industries and networking communities.

Earlier this month, Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corp., received an order to refurbish vehicles and trailers in theater for the U.S. Army.

Through a Theater-Provided Equipment Refurbishment program, Oshkosh works with the U.S. Army to return battle-damaged vehicles to full mission-capable operability at the company's facility in Kuwait.

Mike Ivy, vice president and general manager of Army Programs for Oshkosh Defense, said the company has refurbished nearly 1,500 heavy vehicles and trailers for the army at its Kuwaiti unit.

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