U.S. Military Equipment Prepositioned in Europe:

Significant Improvements Made but Some Problems Remain

LCD-78-431A: Published: Dec 5, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 1978.

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The Army stores large quantities of equipment in Europe for use in an emergency by troops deployed from the United States by air. The equipment is stored under a concept known as prepositioned equipment configured to unit sets (POMCUS) which means that each U.S.-based unit's equipment is stored as a set at a particular site to which the unit would deploy. This equipment is kept combat ready through long-term storage in controlled-humidity warehouses and through periodic maintenance designed to keep deterioration to a minimum.

The Army has made considerable improvement in the management of the POMCUS concept since it began intensifying its effort in January 1977. Although prepositioned equipment shortages have been greatly reduced, some shortages remain. There are also difficulties with updating authorizations of repair parts to reflect the type of equipment stored and the densities of the needed items. Equipment maintenance has improved considerably because of the successful completion of the annual maintenance programs, and more and better controlled-humidity storage facilities have protected the equipment, reducing corrosion problems. Although large maintenance backlogs no longer exist, better maintenance data collection efforts are needed to accurately forecast work force requirements. Accountability of major end items has improved through more frequent physical inventories and a more accurate equipment locator system. Accountability of components and poor inventory record information remain problems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should: establish a more realistic test under simulated contingency conditions of annual deployment of troops assigned prepositioned equipment, identify and obtain repair parts to support wartime needs of the assigned units, closely monitor the cyclic maintenance program to ensure that it stays on schedule, provide protection for combat support equipment stored outside in Germany, develop and coordinate available management information to provide required visibility over prepositioned equipment assets, assure that inventories which identify shortages and requisitioning needs are properly made and recorded, and improve the new readiness reporting system by showing the ready condition of a total weapons system rather than the end item and components separately.

    Agency Affected:


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