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U.S. Stockpiles Equipment in the Persian Gulf

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

MUSCAT, OMAN, Jan. 6, 1996 – If war again becomes necessary in the Middle East, U.S. troops deploying to the region will link up with equipment already stockpiled there and kept in first-class condition, according to Defense Secretary William J. Perry.

Before the October 1994 crisis, the United States had equipment for an armored battalion pre-positioned in Kuwait. That's now up to enough equipment for a brigade, he said. The first week in January 1996 DoD began putting a second armored brigade's equipment in Qatar. Equipment is also stored in Oman and on ships in the gulf.

Oman was the leader in recognizing the Iraqi threat in the gulf and the importance of cooperation among the gulf nations, Perry said. Pre-positioning U.S. equipment began there in the late 1980s, well before Desert Storm, he said.

"It played a critical role in Desert Storm and would certainly play a critical role in any operation today," he said. After visiting storage warehouses in Oman, Perry said: "The quantity and quality of pre-positioned equipment we have there is impressive. It's really something to behold."

Pallets of tents, hundreds of generators, trucks -- a massive amount of equipment is stored and maintained in a large number of warehouses, according to Perry. The "mundane" logistics equipment may not be as exciting as, say, an F-16 jet fighter, but it's absolutely critical to the U.S. ability to operate in the region, he said.

The equipment is used occasionally for such exercises as Bright Star, held in Egypt. When the equipment is returned, it is inspected and any that is damaged is repaired before it is repacked, Perry said. Crates and pallets of gear are routinely unpacked, checked and maintained.

"This is a first-class operation," Perry said. "Everything that's there is not only categorized in the computer, it's kept in current condition."

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