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Units preposition weapons for deployment

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SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has begun a program that prepositions weapons in the Central Command area of responsibility in a new cost-cutting move.

Air Force officials directed personnel redeploying out of the Iraq and Afghanistan combat theaters in January to leave their M-16 or M-9 weapons behind, prepositioning them for incoming troops that arrived in February, the Air Force reported.

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When troops travel with their weapons, it costs the Air Force an estimated $106 for every soldier on a round-trip flight as a result of airline baggage fees and other costs, according to Maj. John McGuire, the U.S. Air Forces Central logistics readiness chief.

The weapons prepositioning initiative is part of an Air Force Central logistics program that officials say could save as much as $1.2 million every four months.

Concerns over the possibility of lost weapons or other potential dangers are avoided through strict documenting of the serial numbers for every weapon in the program. McGuire said the program now has approximately 4,000 weapons prepositioned in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

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