A war reserve stock (WRS)/pre-positioned stocks (PPS), is a collection of warfighting materiel 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

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

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 the 2014 Gaza War 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 the 2014 Gaza War, 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]

With the agreement of the Israeli government, the United States transferred large numbers of 155 mm artillery rounds from WRSA-I stocks to Ukraine following the Russian invasion of the country in 2022. The United States committed to replenish the stocks held in Israel, and to dispatch ammunition to Israel urgently if needed.[14]


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 ammunition, spare parts and replacement equipment needed for at least a month of intense combat.[15] 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.[16] In total, including the period since 1949 up to the present day the US has granted almost $84 billion in foreign aid to Israel.[17]

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.[18]


The United Kingdom maintains a war reserve stock that has been criticized by the National Audit Office as being unnecessary. The Ministry of Defence typically does not dispose of old stock, creating a backlog of outdated materiel 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.[19]

Use of war reserve stock

Some examples of war reserve stock being used include:

See also


  1. ^ a b c "AUSA Members Only - Association of the United States Army" (PDF). www.ausa.org. 3 December 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  2. ^ http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/afman/23-110/PUBS/AF/23/23011002/020226/020226.pdf [dead link]
  3. ^ "Thinking About Munitions Systems Job? Read This First". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  4. ^ Pike, John. "31st Munitions Squadron [31st MUNS]". www.globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 2020-02-23. Retrieved 2006-05-21.
  5. ^ "Israel Hasn't Asked for Access to US Arsenal Stored in Israel". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2020-03-22. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  6. ^ a b Palmer, Ewan (31 July 2014). "US Confirms it Resupplied Israel with Weapons During Gaza Conflict". Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  7. ^ Military aid to Israel journalistsresource.org April 2012 Archived 2020-04-16 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Israel Military Ordered To Continue Operation In Gaza; U.S. Approves Weapons Transfer". International Business Times. 30 July 2014. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2014-07-31.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Congress OKs watered-down bill on US-Israel ties Archived 2017-07-09 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 11 December 2014
  11. ^ "If War Comes, Will US Open Its Military Depots In Israel?". 21 August 2012. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Wayback Machine". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  13. ^ "US supplies Israel with bombs amid Gaza blitz". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 2020-03-24. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  14. ^ Schmitt, Eric; Entous, Adam; Bergman, Ronen; Ismay, John; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (17 January 2023). "Pentagon Sends U.S. Arms Stored in Israel to Ukraine". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "Logistics: Israeli War Reserve Stocks". www.strategypage.com. Archived from the original on 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  16. ^ Middle East fas.org Archived 2015-07-31 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Total U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (1949-Present)". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Archived from the original on 2017-01-21. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  18. ^ Sparshott, Jeffrey (4 August 2014). "WSJ". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 18 November 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2017 – via online.wsj.com.
  19. ^ "MoD 'wasting money storing unnecessary supplies'". BBC News. 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Lawrence Freedman (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: War and diplomacy, Volume 2. Psychology Press. p. 47. ISBN 0714652075.
  22. ^ "The US Is Stockpiling A Huge Cache Of Weapons In Israel". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2019-08-15. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  23. ^ "US condemns shelling of UN school in Gaza but restocks Israeli ammunition". The Guardian. 31 July 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2016.