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COOL GEAR; NOW WHAT?

Getting the gear may have been the easy part. The Army has quickly pushed more than 220 new technologies into the hands of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq -- stuff like bomb-detection bots and handheld translators.packbot.jpg"But much work remains to be done in the equally important second phase offering spare parts, manuals and other important follow-on services, according to senior officials," National Defense magazine says.

The Army was able to purchase and deploy these items in relatively short time by skirting the traditional procurement bureaucracy and, instead, relying on so-called rapid fielding organizations.Many of these new technologies, however, were sent to war in such a hurry that the Army was unable to arrange the support services usually associated with military systems, such as technical manuals and instructions on how to obtain spare parts...Products get fielded by the REF [Rapid Equipping Force], Brig. Gen. Roger A. Nadeau, commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said. After a while, soldiers start asking where are the parts? Where is the log [logistics] plan? Collectively, we dont have a good answer.
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