October 1, 2014

The biggest reverse logistics operation ever, in pictures

Online photo collection provides a look at the logistics of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

By DC Velocity Staff

For our July issue, defense logistics expert and Editor at Large Steve Geary wrote "The big retrograde," an article on how the U.S. military is overcoming the unprecedented logistical challenges associated with the withdrawal of troops and equipment from Afghanistan. As Geary, who has been to Afghanistan as a supply chain consultant to the U.S. Department of Commerce, explains, this undertaking is the largest such operation in history. With help from private contractors, the Defense Logistics Agency is tasked with moving tens of thousands of pieces of equipment, vehicles, and shipping containers by land, air, and sea—an endeavor that often requires a "build your own infrastructure" approach.

Now you can see for yourself (from a safe distance) what Geary describes in the article. The Atlantic's "In Focus" photo gallery recently featured a collection of photos of the retrograde, as it's known in military parlance.

Another interesting source is the GlobalPost article "This is what it takes to pack up the U.S. war in Afghanistan". The story includes photos and this thought-provoking quote about the withdrawal: "For size and complexity, think of something between D-Day and the moon landing."

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Editor at Large Steve Geary has been to Afghanistan as a supply chain consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense. His work in Afghanistan is for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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