Impact of Gaza aid pier to be investigated by Pentagon watchdog

Impact of Gaza aid pier to be investigated by Pentagon watchdog

A Pentagon watchdog announced on Thursday it would investigate the effectiveness of the Gaza pier mission in delivering humanitarian aid.

The Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General will coordinate with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s watchdog on two independent investigations, according to a statement from the Office of the Inspector General.

“The agreements between the [Pentagon] and USAID establish roles and responsibilities that help enable U.S. humanitarian assistance to reach Gaza through the maritime corridor,” Pentagon Inspector General Robert Storch said in the statement. “Given this, the [Pentagon Inspector General] and USAID [Inspector General] are working together to address the challenges associated with this mission.”

The Gaza pier mission uses a lesser-known military capability called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, that generally involves sailors and soldiers.

First anchored off the coast on May 16, the pier has delivered 15 million pounds of humanitarian aid to Gaza as of June 25, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Tuesday.

But the humanitarian mission has not been without problems.

On May 25, the pier broke apart after heavy winds and high seas pummeled it only a week after it became operational. It took until June 8 for the pier to be operational again.

Three U.S. service members have also sustained non-combat related injuries during the mission, with one in critical condition requiring a medical evacuation to an Israeli hospital.

The soldier was later sent to an Army hospital in Texas.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a reporter at Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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