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Army 'Wasted' Millions on Ground Transport in Mideast: IG

The Army failed to provide "effective administration and oversight" of commercial providers of heavy lift of cargo, equipment and personnel in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, the Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General said in a report released Wednesday.

The report states, "The Army ordered an average of 39 percent more transportation assets than it needed" for heavy-lift ground transportation contracts, called "HL7" contracts because they were in the seventh stage of the program.

As a result, "The Army wasted $53.6 million throughout the life of the HL7 contracts on services that it did not require," the report said.

"In addition, Army requirement review boards did not require adequate information in order to properly validate the number of HL7 assets requested," the report said.

The HL7 contracts were originally awarded for transportation in Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In May 2016, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island (ACC-RI) awarded a $5.95 million task order on the HL7 contracts in support of Trans-Arabian Network (TAN) ground transportation.

The TAN task order expanded the capabilities of the original HL7 contracts to transport cargo between Kuwait and Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the report said.

The Heavy Lift program was developed to support the Theater Transportation Mission by providing line haul, heavy lift, and bus assets to fulfill U.S. Army Central transportation requirements. Seven types of ground transportation were included: baggage trucks, 25-passenger buses, 45-passenger buses, freezer vans, mail flatbeds, heavy equipment trailers (HET), and flatbeds.

A total of $207.2 million was awarded to four contractors in HL7 contracts, the report said. El Hoss Engineering & Transport received $57.3 million; IAP Worldwide Services, $30.3; KGL Transportation Company, $105.6 million; and PAE Government Services, $14 million.

The Army generally agreed with the IG's findings and recommendations on tightening up procedures and oversight on awarding and performance of HL7 contracts.

The report noted that U.S. Central Command's chief of the Logistics and Engineering Directorate, Distribution Division, on behalf of CentCom Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel, agreed with the recommendations and had directed support units to "establish metrics for TAN movements, and perform quarterly assessments of the TAN's performance and effectiveness."

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