'Serious problems revealed in IDF logistics'

Winograd places blame in state of supply warehouses on cuts to NCO staff.

2nd  lebanonWar 224.88   (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
2nd lebanonWar 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
As expected following tales of poor supply management and serious errors in troop call-ups, last week's Winograd Report spared few words - or even pages - in its analysis of the logistical aspects of the Second Lebanon War. "The characteristics of the war were such that the logistical problems did not determine the fate of the war," the report began on a relatively optimistic note. "But together with that, extremely serious problems were revealed." On the subject of reserve call-ups, and the management of emergency storehouses that are meant to house and preserve at readiness the supplies necessary for rapid reserve deployment, the report noted first that the level of response to the emergency call-ups was extremely high, averaging 90 percent reporting for duty. The report did, however note, that the reservists were frequently contacted at extremely inconvenient times, such as early morning or on Fridays right before Shabbat. In terms of the equipment issued to the reservists, the report noted that one platoon commander told the committee "the equipment was old and worn out. Most of it was torn, meaning that some of us spent days trying to switch equipment." Although the report dispelled claims that soldiers were sent into the field with inappropriate equipment, the committee did note in its findings that "they sometimes had to use private property or transfer equipment" to prepare themselves. While approximately 95% of the combat equipment (weapons, optic tools) that was meant to be available to troops was, in fact, available, only 85% of the clothing, flack jackets and other "personal" equipment was at hand. Similarly, a full 15% of the armored vehicles meant to be used were actually unfit for service - although three-quarters of them were made ready within 12 hours. One reason, the report suggested, for the poor level of reserve equipment were recent cuts in the number of career military noncommissioned officers who had been responsible for staffing and maintaining these storehouses. Instead, the report noted, the IDF had cut costs by filling those positions with enlistees, who had a lower sense of professional responsibility towards the warehouses housing reservists' equipment. The report noted that, to a certain extent, some logistical errors are inevitable during war, and that budgetary concerns also tend to preclude outfitting reservists with the same-quality equipment to which they had become accustomed during their regular service.