‘Fast Lane’ Will Get Supplies To Troops

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Russell crosses the Tarnek River in Qalat City, Afghanistan, July 9. Russell, a platoon sergeant, is a member of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul's security force. Team members work with Afghan officials to to improve governance, stability and development throughout the province.

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says a new “fast-lane” system will get life-saving military gear to troops in Afghanistan more quickly.

“Precious time is eaten in unnecessary deliberation…,” said Ashton Carter, undersecretary of acquisition at the Defense Department, one of the officials participating in the fast-lane system.

Among the items to be fast-tracked are gunshot locaters to help soldiers find snipers, increased vehicle armor to help protect troops from roadside bombs and protective underwear designed to provide troops additional security from buried mine explosions, USA Today reported Monday.

Under the new system, Carter and a Senior Integration Group that includes Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Neller are charged with finding the money to pay for the expedited materials.

Some delays are to be expected in wartime and can’t be helped, said Dakota Wood, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a non-partisan think tank.

“During a time of war, demand will always outstrip available supplies,” Wood said. “You have good people trying to do the right things, but requests flow in continually and they’re all urgent.”

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