War reserve stock

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A war reserve stock (WRS), also known as pre-paid supplies, is a collection of warfighting material held in reserve in pre-positioned storage to be used if needed in wartime. They may be located strategically depending on where it is believed they will be needed.[1] In addition to military equipment, a war reserve stock may include raw materials that might become scarce during wartime.[citation needed] According to this definition, storage such as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve may be considered a war stock.[2]

United States[edit]

United States Marine Corps vehicles stored in a Norwegian cave in 2012 as part of the Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway

The United States' Department of Defense[3] maintains war reserve stocks around the world, mainly in NATO countries and in some major non-NATO allies.[1] The US 31st Munitions Squadron is tasked with maintaining and distributing the largest war reserve stockpiles of munitions for the United States Air Forces in Europe.[4]

Conflicts of high intensity and lengthy duration may have to rely mostly on supplies that are produced while they are ongoing.[1] The first and second World Wars provide examples of this.[citation needed] But smaller wars of shorter duration where belligerents have already stockpiled sufficiently for the outbreak of conflict are able to rely on pre-existing stock. The U.S. Invasion of Grenada (1983) or Panama in 1989, in particular, were small enough to be almost wholly reliant on existing stock.[citation needed]

War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel[edit]

War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel also known as War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel or simply WRSA-I was established in the 1990s and is maintained by the United States European Command.[5] It is one of the United States' biggest War Reserves, located within Israel.[6] Initially the WRSA-I stock had $100 million worth of reserves;[7] however, prior to Operation Protective Edge the WRSA-I had nearly $1 billion worth of reserves,[8] with an authorization to increase this to $1.2 billion.[9] In 2014 with the passing of the 2014 United States—Israel Strategic Partnership Act, the US agreed to increase the stock to $1.8 billion.[10]

The stock includes ammunition, smart bombs, missiles, military vehicles and a military hospital with 500 beds. These supplies are situated in six different locations throughout the country.[11]

When needed, Israel can request to access the WRSA-I stock, but the request would need to be approved by the US congress.[12] During Operation Protective Edge, the US authorized Israel to access 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm grenade launcher ammunition.[6] These munitions were part of a set of older items in the stock, and were due to be replaced soon.[13]


Israel maintains their own war reserves stock, in addition to the WRSA-I that the US stores in Israel.

Within their war reserves, Israel keeps ammunitions, spare parts and replacement equipment needed for at least a month of intense combat.[14] The majority of the Israeli reserves are purchased from the US, due to their $3 billion in military aid from the US that requires 75% of the money to be spent on equipment purchased from the US.[15] In total, including the period since 1949 up to the present day the US has granted almost $84 billion in foreign aid to Israel.[16]

Additionally in August 2014, during Operation Protective Edge the US passed The Iron Dome Bill to allow $225 million in addition funding to allow Israel to increase their war reserves for the Iron Dome.[17]


The United Kingdom maintains a war reserve stock that has been criticized by the National Audit Office as being unnecessary.[18] The Ministry of Defence typically does not dispose of old stock, creating a backlog of outdated material that has previously been retired. The NAO reported in June 2012 that the annual cost of maintaining the nation's entire war reserve stockpile was £277 million.

Use of war reserve stock[edit]

Some examples of war reserve stock being used include:


  1. ^ a b c http://www.ausa.org/publications/torchbearercampaign/torchbearerissuepapers/documents/tb-ip_120308.pdf
  2. ^ http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/afman/23-110/PUBS/AF/23/23011002/020226/020226.pdf
  3. ^ http://usmilitary.about.com/od/glossarytermsw/g/w6757.htm
  4. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/agency/31muns.htm
  5. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/07/israel-hasnt-asked-for-access-to-us-arsenal-stored-in-israel/
  6. ^ a b http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/us-confirms-it-resupplied-israel-weapons-during-gaza-conflict-1459128
  7. ^ http://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Military-Aid-to-Israel.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/israel-military-ordered-continue-operation-gaza-us-approves-weapons-transfer-1643882
  9. ^ http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/jan2012/crsisrael.pdf
  10. ^ Congress OKs watered-down bill on US-Israel ties - Retrieved 11 December 2014
  11. ^ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/01/08/open-only-in-case-of-an-emergenc.html#
  12. ^ http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA569334
  13. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/us-supplies-israel-with-bombs-amid-gaza-blitz-2014730233016747143.html
  14. ^ https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlog/20071005.aspx
  15. ^ https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf
  16. ^ https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/U.S._Assistance_to_Israel1.html
  17. ^ https://online.wsj.com/articles/obama-signs-law-providing-225-million-for-israels-iron-dome-1407193842
  18. ^ http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-18614372
  19. ^ a b c d e G. C. De Nooy (1997). The Role of European Ground and Air Forces After the Cold War. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 126. ISBN 904110397X. 
  20. ^ Lawrence Freedman (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: War and diplomacy, Volume 2. Psychology Press. p. 47. ISBN 0714652075. 
  21. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-is-stockpiling-a-huge-cache-of-weapons-in-israel-2012-4
  22. ^ "US condemns shelling of UN school in Gaza but restocks Israeli ammunition". The Guardian. 31 July 2014.