Bloomberg News

NATO Improves Tracking of Afghans’ Night-Vision Goggles

June 22, 2012

NATO forces have improved their record-keeping on night-vision goggles used to hunt the Taliban in Afghanistan to be sure the high-technology equipment doesn’t fall into enemy hands, a spokesman said.

The military is now using a single database to avoid confusion in tracking the precision eyewear, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Stauffer, a spokesman for NATO Training Mission Afghanistan in Kabul, said today in an e-mail.

The Pentagon’s inspector general found in a report this week that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces had lost track of hundreds of the goggles purchased for Afghan forces. U.S. Defense Department and NATO officials, Afghan security forces and defense contractors “did not maintain complete accountability” for 7,157 night-vision goggles and spare parts, the inspector general said.

The lack of adequate supervision means U.S. and Afghan soldiers “may be at greater security risk during night missions in Afghanistan,” according to the report dated June 18.

The report cited hundreds of missing serial numbers, 518 “discrepancies” and 75 goggles that were “unaccounted for during our physical inventory.”

Stauffer said the 75 goggles have since been tracked and aren’t missing. He said 28 of them were “purposely destroyed” because they were broken and the other 47 were accounted for after a re-inspection.

“To be sure, there were serial-number discrepancies resulting from the confusion associated with using multiple accounting systems,” Stauffer said. That has been solved by consolidating all records into a single database known as the Security Cooperation Information Portal, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at

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