Afghanistan: Packing Up War

For years journalists have focused on the fighting in Afghanistan, on the combat troops that are the so-called tip of the spear. But who packs up the spear when it’s no longer needed and sends it home? It turns out it’s a Wisconsin National Guard unit.

The 829th Engineer Co., along with other military units, is closing down bases and sending home expensive material used to fight in Afghanistan for 13 years. Humvees, artillery, beds, flagpoles, computers, ammunition, refrigerators, desks--all the things used by American troops in Afghanistan will be accounted for by giving it away to Afghan forces, destroying it so it doesn’t fall into the hands of terror groups, or sending it home.

The Defense Department anticipates spending $7 billion to ship nearly 750,000 pieces of equipment worth $36 billion as combat operations shut down in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.