Saturday, March 24, 2007

Report: Fuel supply hampering Iraqi forces

Above: U.S. fuel trucks in Iraq. Left: Iraqis still line up for hours for fuel to run the generators needed because electricity from the power grid remains scarce. But much of Iraq's oil infrastructure suffers from years of disrepair. Compounding the problem, an estimated 100,000 barrels of oil is smuggled from Iraq each day and much of that money goes to fund insurgents.

In an example of the logistical challenges that still beset Iraq’s nascent military forces, Iraqi commanders struggle to get fuel to their units in a timely manner even though they have the lead in providing security in the region, a U.S. brigade commander said Friday...

Training Iraqi forces in such basic military operations as logistics supply has been a continual challenge for U.S. forces, and it continues to be for those stationed in Nineveh province, where they are providing training and support for the 20,000 Iraqi army troops there, Twitty said.

“They are sustaining themselves with their fuel and with their parts,” Twitty said. “The problem is, there’s no true system. It is on the books, they have their doctrinal way that they’re supposed to do it. But the logistics forces, the officers, they have not been trained properly and educated in the system they use.”

In addition, the fuel for Iraqi forces is rationed and must be obtained using coupons from the Ministry of Defense, Twitty said.

“And in many cases, they run out of fuel. They do not have a mature refueling process ... and if you run out of fuel in that month, you’re out of luck,” he said.

Read the rest at the Navy Times

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