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Special Report

Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets

Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets Recycling of Military Equipment is Big Business What Happens if you Don’t Recycle? The Impact of Recycling Systems on Modernisation Programmes Things to Consider When Buying Recycled Military Materiel The Future is Now… Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

SPECIAL REPORT

Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets

Contents Foreword

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Mary Dub, Editor Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets Recycling of Military Equipment is Big Business What Happens if you Don’t Recycle? The Impact of Recycling Systems on Modernisation Programmes Things to Consider When Buying Recycled Military Materiel The Future is Now… Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets

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Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Limited

Introduction History of Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Ltd (‘UES&S’) Secure Storage Movement of Goods Recycling Process Support against Obsolete Components Equipment Recycling by Repair or Refurbishment PAT Electrical Safety Testing

Recycling of Military Equipment is Big Business

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Mary Dub, Editor

Publisher Kevin Bell

The Momentum Towards the 2014 Drawdown from Afghanistan What Are We Dealing With in Practice? Bringing it all Back Home Recovering British Kit The Key Issue is the Cost of Recovery Offset by the Likely Strategic Gains of Leaving the Equipment to Sustain Security in Afghanistan

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

What Happens if you Don’t Recycle?

Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

The Department of Defense Faces “Implementation Challenges” And the Cost of Warehousing… the Storage Footprint The British Ministry of Defence Inventory Mountain… Not a Molehill The Overbuying Problem

The Impact of Recycling Systems on Modernisation Programmes

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Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Regulations on Landfill Waste by the EU The Polluting Effect of Materiel in War To Prevail in a Sustainable and Stable Peace After Conflict, Materiel has to be Removed after Operations The Debate About the Cost of Recycling Electronic Materiel to Recover Rare Earths Recycling Sustainably a Complex and Sophisticated Art

Things to Consider When Buying Recycled Military Materiel

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Certification and Documentation

The Future is Now…

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Mary Dub, Editor

Complex Relief Operations and the Responsibility to Protect The Reality of Recycling is the Removal of Potential Hazards from Fragile Environments and Communities Building Sustainability Into Defence Priorities

References 17 www.defenceindustryreports.com | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Foreword T

he commercial and ethical drivers for recycling

conflict using your equipment against your own

unwanted non-hazardous and non-explosive

national interest, make the arguments for thoughtful

military materiel are powerful. The arguments

recycling powerful.

for accumulation of inventories of equipment

The size of the military materiel mountain in the

that have not been used for several years and

United States and the United Kingdom is no doubt

might or might not be used in future years are

matched in other European and Asian countries.

thin. This edition looks at the vigorous market for

Despite the best efforts of committed personnel, the

recycled military products, from aircraft carriers to

need to keep items for future uncertainties always

electronics and beyond.

seem to outweigh the storage costs or the mounting

The first article in this Special Report opens by

bills. In an age of austerity, the commercial arguments

looking at the vast amount of waste that is consigned

for recouping some of the lost spend become more

to landfills rather than being recycled, and the

pressing. This is the story of the third item.

impact that this will have on the planet in years to

The logic of recycling and how this affects complex

come. It goes on to describe the services of Used

pieces of equipment like aircraft and electronics is the

Equipment Surplus & Storage Ltd which, in addition

theme of the fourth article. Generating provenance

to dealing with items that can be recycled, maintains

with an awareness of safety, documentation and

a secure storage facility with a highly efficient asset

certification issues are all of importance. Buying used

management service, whereby items held for

equipment always demands perspicuity and good

customers can be quickly located and retrieved.

documentation. But what is good documentation and

The processes of secure storage and recycling are

what does it mean? This article explains.

demonstrated by flow charts in the article.

And, finally, there is the tricky business of looking

The second piece looks at the strategic arguments

to the future. Drawdown from Afghanistan and

for recovery and recycling equipment that has been

withdrawal from Germany both make the likelihood

transported to Afghanistan and now needs to be

of operations for humanitarian assistance and

repatriated, despite the long and complex lines of

coalition ventures under the responsibility to protect

communication. The question of selling on military

umbrella look more likely. Both these types of

equipment frequently comes down to the difficult

operations require that materiel is brought back to

questions of to whom, for what purpose and at

base and disposed of if not wanted. As one wise

what cost. The costs of repatriation and recycling

thinker puts it, there is a need to build in thinking ‘to

make dumping look like a sound economic

avoid the unsustainable’.

proposition, but the ethical, environmental and strategic costs of polluted environments and destabilised countries and in the worst case, asymmetric

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub is the editor of this Special Report. She has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Secure Storage, Testing and Recycling of Military Equipment and Assets Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Limited

Introduction Electronic waste was, and still is, an ongoing global issue. An estimated 50 million tons of e-waste is produced annually and a couple of examples of this are that the USA discards 30 million computers each year and 100 million phones are disposed of in Europe each year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators. Our Company believes that not everything should be thrown into the landfill and wasted.

UES&S are trying to stop this

So what is WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)? If an item is powered by battery and/or mains (i.e. with a plug) then it is classed as WEEE. This means it can be separated for recycling. The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations came into force in 2007. They claim to be able to recycle up to 97% of all of the products which they receive including: TV’s, washing machines and photocopiers through to hairs dryers, microwave ovens and food mixers. WEEE covers just about all electric appliances that can be found in the home, everything from electronic games, DVD players, CD players, calculators, toasters, kettles, fridges, washing machines, audio systems, televisions, IT equipment through to commercial and industrial equipment. Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Limited (‘UES&S’) is a strong advocate of WEEE and wholly supports the WEEE regulation.

Historically the common practice used by recycling establishments was to simply crush an item and bury it in the ground – this has never been a practice employed by UES&S. Our philosophy has always been to ensure that each electronic part, whether small or large, has been systematically manually removed and then delivered to the relevant recyclers. This process also allows us to recover precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, and platinum, indium, lead and tin) and recycle accordingly. Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics, and using our process UES&S, on average, recycles 327 tons of WEEE and metals over a year. Our Customers’ recycling commitments have exceeded significantly the current requirements, and minimal effort was required to achieve this. We are encouraging and offering our excellent recycling service to other companies, although many of them have a negative attitude to this issue and think that once the product is gone it is not their problem. However, once they realise that they have a responsibility and understand the impact of being negligent, then their attitude changes. Here at UES&S we all believe that we have a responsibility to reduce waste and our carbon footprint as well as preserving the natural resources of our planet. Natural resources are essential to the survival and growth of the human race. Humans have used natural resources at an alarming rate causing a shortage which will soon result in the resources running out and there will be none left for future generations. There are two types of natural resources, renewable and non-renewable. Renewable means that the natural resources will eventually re-produce themselves back for future use. However this can take thousands of years and the production is just too slow for the rate humans are using up the resources. Non-renewable means that once that resource has been used up it can never be made again. www.defenceindustryreports.com | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Although throwing away electrical waste into landfills may seem like the easiest and cheapest option, the effects it will bring on the planet in the upcoming years will be disastrous.

Resale test equipment

The top four natural resources today are: •W  ater – Approximately 72% of the world is covered in water. Water is used to grow our food, to drink and to transport goods and materials across the globe. •O  il – At our stage in history, transport is crucial, so oil is needed for cars, buses, boats and lorries. •C  oal – this resource is still used greatly in heating facilities even in today’s age. • Forests – businesses greatly depend on forests to supply them with the necessary office equipment and consumables, including vast amounts of paper. The average person that works in an office uses 904,375 sheets in one year. At UES&S we recover several natural metal resources from disposed equipment on a daily basis. Examples of the recovered metals include: • Gypsum • Gold • Silver • Platinum • Palladium • Copper • Steel • Aluminum • Brass Almost three years ago, Britain was reported as disposing of more rubbish into UK landfills than any other EU state. The Local Government Association (LGA) estimated the UK put 27 million tonnes of waste into landfills every year, and that is 7 million tonnes more than any other country. It was also stated that the area given over to landfill space was about the size of Warwick and we would run out of landfill

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space by the year 2016. Although throwing away electrical waste into landfills may seem like the easiest and cheapest option, the effects it will bring on the planet in the upcoming years will be disastrous. The world isn’t just ours – we are borrowing it for the time we are here!

History of Used Equipment Surplus and Storage Ltd (‘UES&S’) UES&S was formed in 1992 to work and support companies such as GEC-Marconi, British Aerospace, BAE Systems and SELEX Galileo in the Aerospace sector in order to recycle, reclaim and refurbish equipment that would have been previously scrapped through normal waste process and, potentially, could have ended up in landfill. UES&S recognized the urgent need, especially in the Aerospace industry, for a review of disposal practices in: - redundant electronic test and measurement equipment - Special to Type Test Equipment (STTE) - secure destruction - secure storage With a large amount of electrical waste being disposed across the industry around the world in “immoral” ways, what services could UES&S provide in order to address and provide a positive contribution to both the Aerospace Industry and the environment? The UES&S response – A majority of this equipment is now refurbished in-house and a large quantity is held in a “pool” in readiness for any legacy product still being supported by Customers. This is an important service as,


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

typically, the test procedures would have been written at initial production with dedicated test equipment specified. This could be the key to ensuring continuity of customer support, due to new/latest test equipment being faster, therefore, potentially having a cost impact in the re-writing of software in Special To Type Test Equipment or to the procedures to suit the equipment. Any equipment identified and determined as “surplus” is sold to schools, colleges and universities, with the appropriate PAT testing and safety checks carried out in order to ensure that all legal regulations have been adhered to by UES&S. It was also recognized by UES&S, in discussion with our Customers that, at project closure, in a majority of businesses, surplus to requirement manufactured and spare parts were being sent to landfill for disposal. How could UES&S help support the disposal of these items? Working closely with our Customers, a process was agreed and implemented whereby items could be reused or stored for a set period in support of the customer. This process has been embedded successfully with our Customers and also has proven to be a cost effective solution in support of legacy product. In order to provide an optimum process, UES&S then identified the need not only to have a normal storage facility but also a secure storage facility with an asset management service. This asset management service provides the ability to locate, retrieve and return individual items within a few hours especially for UORs (Urgent Operational Requirements) and ensures adherence to an agreed SLA (Service Level Agreement) with our Customers. What other advantages does UES&S have for your Business? - All UES&S personnel are fully security cleared. -E  xtensive knowledge of the Aerospace industry. -C  an easily adapt to Industries changing requirements. -S  ince 2006, in accordance to legislation, maintains a specialized bespoke safety testing service (PAT). -Q  ualified for ESD (Electro Static Discharge) testing of safe handling areas. All UES&S engineers are qualified and we can provide a cost effective solution to meet any Business requirements. Accreditation: - ISO 9001 - 14001 -C  ertified in waste management carriers dealers - Specialist in high level WEEE recycling UES&S Ltd are Specialists in: 1. Recycling 2. Secure storage

3. Supply of obsolescent Military and NATO components to Customers. 4. Repair, refurbishment and calibration of all types of electronic /electrical equipment 5. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) 6. Writing of bespoke test procedures in support of above. 7. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) for safe handling areas. From first impressions, these areas may seem unrelated but the process implemented by UES&S is a lifecycle process for recycling, giving our Customers –

NATO stock

MINIMUM WASTE – MAXIMUM REVENUE. Secure Storage UES&S provides our Customers with a tailored service to satisfy requirements for secure storage. The facilities at UES&S are: •P  rotected by 24-hour CCTV and Infrared detection surveillance o both internal and external o with remote viewing •A  n out-of-hours Security Patrol service, provided on an “as required” basis. • Temperature/Humidity controlled.

Movement of Goods UES&S also supports the above by providing a goods handling service. Prior to the collection of goods, our staff can visit any Customer premises to agree any special collection, transport, storage, safety or security requirements. For the return of any goods, we have an onsite packing service to a commercial or any other specific standard requested by the Customer. In general, all parts and small items are stored in crates/cages (1.2x1.0x1.0m) with a fixed charge for short term storage periods of up to 12 months. For long term storage i.e: greater than 12 months, prices are negotiable. While items are in storage at UES&S, our Asset Management system gives us the capability of a 24-hour turnaround. This is measured from the www.defenceindustryreports.com | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Within the Aerospace industry there is a requirement to continually support product delivered to “the field” and with some products having an expected life of greater than 25 years, the need during their lifecycle to replace obsolete components will always be a major risk.

Secure Storage Process Flow

receipt of an authorized return of goods request at UES&S to the goods being dispatched back to the Customer. For the return of Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) items, a Courier service can be requested and charged at cost. This process is proven to the satisfaction of our Customers.

Recycling Process From the Introduction above, it can be seen that UES&S are very aware of the need for the responsible disposal of waste materials. When Customers deem items as no longer required, we have a process for their safe disposal. Proprietary items removed from storage may have a secondary life in the wider community. We can, with our Customers’ authority, repair and/or refurbish such items, and sell them on. (See Equipment Recycling by Repair or Refurbishment opposite).

Support against Obsolete Components

Storage

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UES&S provides a service that ensures that In Life Support (ILS) can be maintained after the last production delivery by our Customers. Within the Aerospace industry there is a requirement to continually support product delivered to “the field” and with some products having an expected life of greater than 25 years, the need during their lifecycle to replace obsolete components will always be a major risk. In order to mitigate this, UES&S store and maintain components and parts that have been bought from within the industry and, previously,


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

recycling process

would have been scrapped to landfill. This service was deployed due to a Customer initially requesting the disposal of all their excess stock (as manufacture of that Product had ceased) and then, at a later date, enquiring about the purchase of a part that had been previously deemed surplus. This was needed urgently for Customer Support purposes on a UOR so that the product could be returned into service. Not only did UES&S provide the parts at a nominal price back to the Customer, but they also supplied in the requested quantity therefore saving the Customer on MoQs (Minimum Order Quantities) that other component suppliers had demanded at the time. As a practical example of the success of this process, UES&S were able to save a Customer support function several thousand pounds in supplying an obsolescent part, (a plastic molding, which could only be remanufactured in lots of 1000 units per run.) The Customer only required a one-off of this molding and, on enquiry, discovered that UES&S had some that had been stored since 2004. Our price for supporting obsolescence is very competitive because parts/ components are supplied back to the Customer at a nominal cost as there are no remanufacturing costs to consider. This also guarantees genuine traceability and reduces counterfeit risks to any Business. All electronic parts are stored static safely with their original C of C’s (Certificates of Conformity) and on a dedicated database for ease of

location. As surplus parts have been bought, and therefore owned by UES&S, they are stored at UES&S costs. UES&S will consider procuring any surplus stocks from your Company – more information and advice is available if you would like to consider the implementation of this process for your Business by contacting the UES&S sales desk. What will this mean for you? – This will ensure a good recycling procedure has been implemented and will help mitigate a big reduction on natural resources which, in turn, will mean a low carbon footprint is ensured. This should be recorded as a positive impact as part of your Businesses’ Environmental Policy accreditation.

Equipment Recycling by Repair or Refurbishment UES&S has a dedicated workshop with the capability to repair and refurbish most types of electronic equipment using qualified engineers. All test and measurement equipment that has been deemed redundant and BER (Beyond Economic Repair) by Companies, is tested to fault/component level and, if necessary, we endeavor to utilize parts from a BER unit for refurbishment purposes. Surplus parts from the equipment are then stored for later use or sold to companies to maintain obsolescent parts in their legacy equipment. This prolongs the life of the equipment thus reducing the impact on natural resources. www.defenceindustryreports.com | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Historically, some equipment has been sold for use in companies, schools, colleges and universities for minimal profit as this helps both the small businesses to get started and education establishments with low budgets.

A selection of reclaimed parts taken from redundant and beyond economic repair equipment, bagged and offered to the AMATURE Hams and Electronic Enthusiast

Historically, some equipment has been sold for use in companies, schools, colleges and universities for minimal profit as this helps both the small businesses to get started and education establishments with low budgets. One of the services offered to our Customers is an Equipment Pool Service whereby we take in all redundant and BER Test and measuring equipment which we are able to store on their behalf. In many cases, and on request, we can repair faulty equipment from our holdings of spares. The Customer then has two options: - The equipment can be returned to the Customer or - Held in the Pool system for return when required. This process has proved very cost effective and can be tailored to suit any business needs in the latest and future manufacturing techniques. Utilizing this process has demonstrated to our Customers large savings and an effective method of recycling any redundant equipment. This ensures a low carbon footprint that can help reduce pressure on the earth’s finite resources. UES&S are registered and licensed recyclers of WEEE equipment.

All our engineers are fully trained and UES&S has the additional capability to write test procedures for ATE (Automated Test Equipment) ovens, kilns, test chambers and in-house built equipment. All test procedures are carried out in line with current EAWR (Electric At Work Regulation) and IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) recommended guidelines. For further information on any of the following UES&S services: - Recycling - Secure storage - Enquiries of obsolescent parts. -R  epair, refurbishment and calibration of all types of electronic /electrical equipment - Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) -E  lectrostatic Discharge (ESD) testing of safe handling areas. Please contact: Tel: +44 (0)1263 710054 Fax: +44 (0)1263 711417 Email: sales@surplus-electronics.co.uk Visit our website: www.surplus-electronics.co.uk

PAT Electrical Safety Testing With all recycled test and measurement equipment, we recognize the importance of electrical safety. Therefore all equipment is tested and delivered to the recommended test requirement and legislation. UES&S can also offer a competitively priced electrical safety testing (PAT testing) for any equipment at your Business and this can be carried out at your own premises.

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UES&S premises


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Recycling of Military Equipment is Big Business Mary Dub, Editor

Securely recycling every nut and bolt

I

n mid-summer 2012, eBay is one of Wall Street’s fastest moving technology stocks offering recycling opportunities to online customers globally. Recycling is big business. Similarly, in 2011 the British government sold HMS Ark Royal online via its www.edisposals.com website.1 In an age of western government austerity and increasing awareness of the merits of reverse logistics, recycling of military equipment has become a salient issue. How?

The Momentum Towards the 2014 Drawdown from Afghanistan The process and method of transition to withdrawal from Afghanistan is now seen as part of the endgame of the war in Afghanistan. Indeed, strategic thinkers like Anthony Cordesman at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) argue that the way in which the US, NATO/ISAF, and major aid donors interact with the Afghan and Pakistani governments as they “transition” by withdrawing their forces and cutting their spending and aid … will shape events for the foreseeable future.2 And this transition process involves a significant outlay for the ISAF nations who wish to protect

their spend in Afghanistan in men and treasure, but also wish to disentangle themselves from their commitment to Afghanistan. Cordesman outlines the scale of the spending being asked for and spent. Studies by the World Bank, and ongoing studies by the IMF, the US, and key European governments show that “transition” requires massive levels of continuing aid to avoid triggering major security and stability problems. President Karzai requested some $10 billion a year through 2025 at the Bonn Conference in December 2011, or roughly $120 billion over the entire period. This total seems minor compared to a total cost of the war to the US and ISAF which reached some $140 billion in FY2011. It also is almost certainly too low to both cover the cost of funding the Afghan National Security Forces during transition and beyond, and give Afghanistan the resources to cope with the loss of US and ISAF military spending during 2012-2014, and the probable cuts in donor civil aid.

What Are We Dealing With in Practice? Bringing it all Back Home Repatriating $60bn-worth of equipment is one of the biggest and most complicated logistical tasks in modern military history3. In Iraq, the UK and www.defenceindustryreports.com | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

In a country where corruption in many areas is endemic and tribal affiliations override western ideas of the rule of law, the gifting or sale of military equipment in Afghanistan could work to undermine security in the region as well as reassure it.

the US were able to sell significant amounts of kit to the Iraqi army, and exit through the friendly hub of nearby Kuwait where equipment was washed, sorted, repaired and shipped back to the US. Afghanistan has required vastly more equipment. But it may not be economical to bring all of it home. Transport routes are complicated and far-flung, as are the facilities to wash out dust and spores, thus satisfying the demands of US agricultural officials back home.

carriers, Snatch Land Rovers and Vector armoured personnel carriers. However, contradicting this, Nick Harvey has confirmed the government intends to bring back “all serviceable Mastiff, Ridgeback and Foxhound vehicles from Afghanistan”.

Recovering British Kit

The Key Issue is the Cost of Recovery Offset by the Likely Strategic Gains of Leaving the Equipment to Sustain Security in Afghanistan

In a report for the House of Commons Library written in 20124, the limitations on gifting to the Afghan National Forces are clearly outlined. It says ‘Gifts over £250,000 require Treasury and Parliamentary approval.’ However, in a wider discussion of the issue it notes that ‘In certain circumstances, such as major overseas exercises or in operational theatres, gifting of non-warlike equipment may be undertaken where this offers a cost-effective alternative to local sale or return to UK, or where such gifting is coherent with the aims of a particular operation.’ The report also corrects a Daily Mail story suggesting that British Military vehicles might be left in Afghanistan. This is an emotive issue, after the difficulties in getting the vehicles out to Afghanistan for British soldiers’ use. The Daily Mail reported in May that an initial review by the military has identified 1,200 protected trucks for ‘recovery’ (return to the UK) and there are more than 1,900 protected vehicles in southern Afghanistan. The Daily Mail suggests the vehicles that could be left behind include Wolfhound personnel

Although the British government makes it clear that it intends to recover the vehicles to the UK, the costs of doing so may be high. If the kit is left behind the potential long-term gains to the enhanced security of Afghanistan are uncertain. The UK needs to confront the real cost of packing and returning the vehicles over a difficult and extremely expensive overland route home. ISAF is being forced to confront the issue that it is withdrawing from a counter insurgency conflict where its opponent insurgents are now being drawn into negotiations and who might well be the beneficiaries of equipment that is left behind and not removed. The Taliban in Afghanistan have proved themselves agile and strategic fighters using artisan made AK-47s and home-made improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In a country where corruption in many areas is endemic and tribal affiliations override western ideas of the rule of law, the gifting or sale of military equipment in Afghanistan could work to undermine security in the region as well as reassure it.

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SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

What Happens if you Don’t Recycle? Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“ It is DoD policy that: DoD materiel management shall operate as a highperforming and agile supply chain responsive to customer requirements during peacetime and war while balancing risk and total cost.” Department of Defense INSTRUCTION Number 4140.01 December 14, 2011

T

he billion dollar stockpiles of materiel sitting in warehouses throughout the United States are a testimony to the limited failure of this policy. High performance, agility and responsiveness by the Department of Defense in this area are notable by their absence. The failure to reduce the inventory of materiel is not for the want of good intentions to do so. It is a longstanding and recalcitrant problem that withstands valiant attempts to reduce its magnitude. The United States General Accounting Office in 1997 articulated the extent and cost of inventory stockpiles. “In 1992, we reported that DOD had wasted billions of dollars on excess supplies. We reported that the problem resulted because inherent in DOD’s culture was the belief that it was better to overbuy items than to manage with just the amount of stock needed. Had DOD used effective inventory management and control techniques and modern commercial inventory management practices, it would have had lower inventory levels and would have avoided the burden and expense of storing excess inventory.”5 The result was that various committees of Congress started to put pressure on the Department of Defense to reduce its billiondollar stockpile of inventory.

The Department of Defense Faces “Implementation Challenges” In January 2011 Congressional Committees addressed the issue again in their ongoing and annual attempts to reduce the waste and attack the scale of the inventory mountain. The size of the numbers is cautionary: “Given the need to support ongoing U.S. military operations, DOD reported that it currently manages more than 4 million secondary inventory items valued at more than $91 billion as of September 2009. However, DOD reported

that $10.3 billion (11 percent) of its secondary inventory has been designated as excess and categorized for potential reuse or disposal. According to DOD, another $15.2 billion (17 percent) of its secondary inventory exceeds the approved acquisition objective and is being retained because it was determined to be more economical to retain than to dispose of it or it might be needed in the future.” $10.3 billion worth of equipment had been designated as ‘excess’ and categorized for ‘reuse or disposal’, yet no action had been taken, so the warehousing costs escalated. Worse, the enduring dilemma of it being cheaper to hang on to something in the likelihood that it might be needed in the future raises its head offering the eternal problem of decision- making in the face of future uncertainties.

And the Cost of Warehousing… the Storage Footprint The General Accounting Office reviews plans and sub plans to reduce the mountain and adds in a salutary afternote that the warehousing costs for the inventory mountain in 2009 had gone down: “DOD reported that it has reduced its storage footprint from about 100 million cubic feet in September 2004, to 80 million in September 2009. Additionally, DOD estimated that in fiscal year 2009, storage costs were $252 million.”6 And in 2012 the problem is little better; the use of language by the General Accounting Office reveals its frustration with the extent and cost of inventory stockpiles. In a paragraph entitled “Why the GAO did this study?” it notes that: “the GAO has identified supply chain management as a high-risk area due in part to ineffective and inefficient inventory management practices that have caused DOD to accumulate billions of dollars worth of unneeded inventory… DOD reported that as of September 2010 it had $8.4 billion worth of on-hand excess inventory, categorized for potential reuse or disposal.”7 www.defenceindustryreports.com | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

£1.4billion worth of inventory to be sold or destroyed is a significant problem of waste and mismanagement that rarely makes it into the newspapers, because it is so endemic in

Secure storage

the armed forces and appears so dull.

The British Ministry of Defence Inventory Mountain… Not a Molehill The British should be the last to point fingers and mock the inventory problem in the United States. The National Audit Office (NAO) has not been slow to note the growing scale of the UK inventory stockpile. The British Ministry of Defence divides inventory into explosive and non-explosive: “Our examination showed that the inventory held by the armed forces and the non-explosive inventory held in central depots increased in value by 13 per cent from £17.2 billion to £19.5 billion (gross) between the end of March 2009 and December 2011.” And much of this inventory is not being used. The NAO takes up the tale: “We found that as of March 2011 significant amounts of nonexplosive inventory held in central depots were not being issued and consumed regularly. For example, £4.2 billion (gross) of non-explosive inventory has not moved for at least two years. This represents 10 per cent of the total inventory value as at March 2011. A further £2.4 billion (gross) of non-explosive inventory already

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held is sufficient to last for five years or more, based on the rate of usage since April 2009. The Department has had to set up central projects to dispose of inventory as a result of inconsistent disposals by project teams. During 2010 and 2011, these central projects identified £1.4 billion (gross) of inventory that could be sold or destroyed.” £1.4billion worth of inventory to be sold or destroyed is a significant problem of waste and mismanagement that rarely makes it into the newspapers, because it is so endemic in the armed forces and appears so dull.

The Overbuying Problem The MOD practice of excess procurement is continuing: “the Department is buying more inventory than it uses. Between April 2009 and March 2011 the Department spent £4 billion on raw material and consumables, such as clothing or ammunition, but it has not used £1.5 billion (38 per cent).” And with the drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014 and the withdrawal from Germany by 2020 the situation will be further exacerbated.8


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

The Impact of Recycling Systems on Modernisation Programmes Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

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t is inherent in the nature of war and combat that vehicles and equipment used in combat can be damaged and require repair, maintenance and renewal. The British Ministry of Defence has a new organisation to perform just this task – the Defence Support Group based at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. The repair and maintenance of new and legacy equipment is possible without shipping vehicles back to the UK and then returning them to operations in Afghanistan. The engineers who work in this area are adept at finding parts or recycling parts from wrecked vehicles to maintain the fleet on operations at high tempo. This type of rapid recycling on the spot has a relatively low cost and high value to the fighting force.9 Much recycling has a far higher or uncertain cost, which makes recycling less obviously valuable.

Regulations on Landfill Waste by the EU Placing unwanted non-explosive equipment in landfill seems an obvious if wasteful solution. However, regulations in Europe and many parts of the world limit the types of materiel that can be disposed of in this way. The regulations limit the way that certain chemicals can be used in manufacturing batteries and accumulators for example, so that when they are recycled or disposed of hazardous substances like mercury, cadmium and lead can be prevented from entering the environment and must be recycled and re-used on disposal. While this is a viable and enforceable option in Europe, in the more fragile states where warfare has been endemic over generations, the heritage of war has been a landscape littered with rusting tanks and landmines.

The Polluting Effect of Materiel in War It is a truism to say that damage to the environment has been the inevitable concomitant to war in the 20th century, where the hazardous chemicals and gases used in explosives and rocketry have inevitably caused pollution. And it

is not just chemicals and gases that have been left behind to pollute - the Russian invasion and occupation of Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 left hundreds of rusting tanks and other vehicles as a testimony to the Russian attempt at invasion and final departure. Indeed, for many years, western and NATO scientists have been aware of the environmental impact of the chemicals and gases used in explosives and rocket fuels.10

To Prevail in a Sustainable and Stable Peace After Conflict, Materiel has to be Removed after Operations Recovery and return of vehicles and materiel to the country of origin after conflict is often the expensive and most sustainable solution. Once return to the UK or the US has been established, the issue for much kit that is not going to be maintained for future use is how to reycle it in such a way that the parts and valuable materials in the equipment can be re-used. The parting out process used in the aircraft industry, provides a classic example of how this can be achieved to maximise value. There comes a tipping point with all equipment such as aircraft, when the increased cost of maintenance, repair and upgrading to comply with legislation, render it uneconomic to keep the aircraft flying. The process of dismantling an aircraft at its end of life as an integrated airframe is referred to as parting-out. An aircraft may be parted-out while still fully certified and potentially revenue generating because the component parts of the aircraft become more valuable than the aircraft in flying condition. The parting-out process is undertaken in phases as useful and reusable parts are progressively removed. All parts are inspected and certified as usable, repairable or unfit for service, with the appropriate documentation. The point at which sub-systems and materials cease to be “valuable” to the parting-out agency is dependent on the cost of removing them, the overhead associated with securing appropriate paperwork, and particularly the infrastructure and technology available to extract value.11 www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

The moral arguments of the future environmental gain from recycling and the strategic arguments in leaving a country after war in a secure and stable condition, are the enduring gains Portable appliance testing

and provide the most powerful arguments for recycling.

The Debate About the Cost of Recycling Electronic Materiel to Recover Rare Earths Electronic goods which are rendered obsolete over a matter of years with the rapid action of Moore’s Law form an increasingly valuable, yet troubling part of the inventory mountain to be recycled or sold on. Much can be sold on if well documented and of value to civilian industries. Indeed, there is a thriving industry in the UK doing just that. However, dismantling the equipment to harvest the rare earths required in their manufacture presents a different problem. The 17 rare earths have a scarcity value, but the question when trying to retrieve them from electronic goods is whether their value is so high as to merit their retrieval from mobile phones, computer motherboards and processors. A blogger discusses the facts as he sees them: “The rare earths are the lanthanides, Cerium to Lutetium. These tend to be used in tiny quantities. For example, a computer might use 6 grams of neodymium in

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the magnets in the hard drive.” It is easy to see why extracting neodymium from computer hard drives might not be economic unless there were relatively inexpensive ways of removing it from the machine.12

Recycling Sustainably a Complex and Sophisticated Art The logic of recycling to save environmental impact seems compelling to many. The direct economic benefit of recycling parts from aircraft, say, that need safety certification, or electronic equipment that need details of provenance, can be more doubtful. So the drive to recycle in an age of western austerity can leave recycling as the more costly option in the short term. Leaving the item in storage can only be a temporary solution. But the moral arguments of the future environmental gain from recycling and the strategic arguments in leaving a country after war in a secure and stable condition, are the enduring gains and provide the most powerful arguments for recycling.


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

Things to Consider When Buying Recycled Military Materiel Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

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he Clausewitzian term “the fog of war” has become the United States Commanders’ VUCA, “war is inherently volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.”13 These qualities also represent how complex the market for recycled goods appears to the purchaser. Buying and selling online has made all buyers more aware of the vicissitudes of purchasing used equipment. The key is always a trusted history of the product and confidence in the seller and the product. Provenance, which notes the passage of owners of a work of art to indicate its veracity, is a useful parallel when buying safety certificated generators, accumulators or other pieces of military equipment with high value in the civilian market. Trusted vendors use provenance plus certification and testing to build confidence in the working of their goods. Portable appliance testing

Certification and Documentation Portable appliance testing (PAT) allows products to be tested to required Institution of Electrical Engineers standards. They publish the “Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment” (ISBN: 9780-86341-833-4). This guide forms the basis for portable appliance testing in the U.K. Meeting these standards allows compliance for goods to meet the regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing needs of The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974). The best vendors also offer the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 9000 set of standards. These have been criticized for being rather too widely available. ISO 14000 is different. It is one of a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations minimise how their operations negatively affect the environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations. This relates also to ISO 14001, which was

Refurbishing and recalibration

developed to assist companies in reducing their environmental impact. The overriding purpose of the certification and regulation process is to ensure safety of the recycled product for sale because the Ministry of Defence, like civilian employers, owes a duty of care to their employees and it must be reflected in the safety of the equipment bought and sold.14

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SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

The Future is Now… Mary Dub, Editor

Recycling should

on military time and materiel, in which case it is certain that the rapid and efficient movement of materiel will be integral in the process. These operations pose significant challenges for military logisticians. Most humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations are characterized by rapidly changing circumstances and a lack of clear and accurate information; they are also distinguished by substantial pressure to quickly provide relief supplies and materiel to an affected area. More importantly, once the critical stages of the disaster have passed, the removal of materiel and its disposal are important in continuing to support the affected communities.

be made a greater priority not least for the potential income stream it provides but also because it must be in the country’s national interest.

Portable appliance testing

R

eflecting on the ‘lessons learned’ in Iraq and Afghanistan at the National Defence University in the United States, the speed and agility of the modern logistics commander is now recognised. Several new features of current and future logistics are new. Rightly, the logistics commander’s mission is ‘to support the commander anywhere in the world by providing the right materiel at the right time and at the right place.’15 However success will be facilitated by the seamless integration of commercial and military capabilities focusing on the design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation and disposal of equipment. (Editors italics) The commercial disposal and clearing of the battlefield leaving stability and security is now an integrated part of the war aim.

Complex Relief Operations and the Responsibility to Protect As the drawdown from Afghanistan continues and the withdrawal of British and NATO troops from Germany proceeds, the efficient commercial disposal of military materiel will be an increasingly important part of the transition process. It may well be that operations under the ethical umbrella of responsibility to protect and complex relief operations will become a more frequent call

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The Reality of Recycling is the Removal of Potential Hazards from Fragile Environments and Communities The history of war is littered with examples of where the heritage of war has been the destruction of art, wildlife or communities. Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan is a case in point. This cultural landscape was inscribed on the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2003, simultaneously with its inscription on the World Heritage List. The property is still in a fragile state of conservation considering that it has suffered military action and dynamite explosions. Parts of the site are inaccessible due to the presence of antipersonnel mines.

Building Sustainability Into Defence Priorities In a thoughtful piece on the future, Clive Murgatroyd16 for RUSI lays out the limitations on sustainability in defence. He notes the redundancies of those with environmental and green concerns and the government’s priority for GDP growth above other goods. However, he argues a case for building sustainability into defence solutions in such a way that thinking inherently “avoids being unsustainable”. If this means more thought is given to dismantling the mountains of excess and unwanted materiel, it has to be of benefit. Recycling should be made a greater priority not least for the potential income stream it provides but also because it must be in the country’s national interest.


SPECIAL REPORT: SECURE STORAGE, TESTING AND RECYCLING OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND ASSETS

References: 1

 Last updated: March 28, 2011 11:27 pm Ark Royal goes up on MoD auction site By James Blitz

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/889255d6-5982-11e0-baa8-00144feab49a.html#axzz24XuhYOXp 2

3

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TRANSITION IN THE AFGHANISTAN- PAKISTAN WAR: HOW DOES THIS WAR END? Anthony H. Cordesman Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy July 11, 2012 acordesman@gmail.com http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/87d83edc-9f39-11e1-a455-00144feabdc0.html#axzz24NZbslP7 May 16, 2012 8:08 pm FT.com Afghanistan: Bringing it all back home By Carola Hoyos House of Commons Library: Afghanistan: The Timetable for Security Transition Section SN/IA/5851 9 July 2012 Louisa Brooke-Holland and Claire Taylor International Affairs and Defence Section

5

United States General Accounting Office February 1997 DEFENSE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

6

United States Government Accountability Office Washington, DC 20548 January 7, 2011 Congressional Committees

7

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-493 DEFENSE INVENTORY Actions Underway to Implement Improvement Plan, but Steps Needed to Enhance Efforts GAO-12-493, May 3, 2012

8

National Audit Office: Managing the defence inventory: Summary

9

Defence Support Group: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmdfence/120/12004.htm www.parliament.co.uk

10

AGARD CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS 559 Environmental Aspects of Rocket and Gun Propulsion(les Aspects environnementaux de la propulsion par fusee et des canons) Papers presented at the Propulsion and Energetics Panel (PEP) 84th Symposium held in Aalesund, Norway, 29 August - 2 September 1994. NATO

11

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council: The Aircraft at End of Life Sector: a Preliminary Study http://users.ox.ac.uk/~pgrant/Airplane%20 end%20of%20life.pdf

12

http://timworstall.com/2011/09/27/recycling-rare-earth-metals/

13

Speed and the Fog of War: Sense and Respond Logistics in Operation Iraqi Freedom-I Case Studies in National Security Transformation Number 15 Paul Needham and Christopher Snyder January 2009. National Defense University

14

http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/RDS_201103_Symons.pdf Peter Symons, Senior Safety Engineer – Defence at Atkins, reflects on some of the safety engineering challenges that face the defence community, based on his experience and research into System of Systems safety

15

Speed and the Fog of War: Sense and Respond Logistics in Operation Iraqi Freedom-I Case Studies in National Security Transformation Number 15 Paul Needham and Christopher Snyder January 2009. National Defense University

16

Sustainability in Defence Acquisition: Maintaining the Momentum: Clive Murgatroyd RUSI

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