SNAFU Strands US Army Howitzers At German Rest Stop
Many questions remain unanswered after German border police stopped a convoy of U.S. Army self-propelled howitzers coming from Poland on Wednesday.
German media first reported that the Polish contractors hauling the artillery in trucks broke numerous rules, including not using the right trailers for the howitzers and not having the correct paperwork for transporting overweight and oversized equipment.
The six Paladins belong to a field artillery unit with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, which is en route from Poland to Germany for a military exercise that begins on Jan. 15. No ammunition is being shipped with the artillery.
The trucks driven by the contractors are only allowed to drive on German roadways between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. “in order to minimize disruption,” said Angela Kershner, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Europe.
— Franz112 (@Sperber04) January 10, 2018
The artillery pieces have been short-stopped at a German rest stop while the contractors put them on the correct vehicles and secure the necessary paperwork, Kershner told Task & Purpose on Thursday in an email. Escort vehicles are expected to arrive on Friday, allowing the artillery to finally get underway for the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany.
It was not immediately clear why the contractors did not have the right trucks, paperwork, or escort vehicles needed to transport the artillery from Poland to Germany.
“Contracted transport is often utilized to move U.S. military equipment, especially heavy and oversized equipment, as we have a limited amount of heavy transport trucks,” Kershner said. “As is required with all contracted transport of weapons systems, escorts from the unit are accompanying the Paladins and will remain with the vehicles at all times.”
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