The Defense Department is projecting an almost one-third reduction in overall cost for its temporary humanitarian aid pier mission in Gaza, the Pentagon announced today.

Though DOD originally estimated U.S. Central Command’s Joint Logistics, Over-the-Shore capability to cost $320 million when the mission was first announced in early March, that figure is now reduced by approximately $90 million, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters.

Costs for contracted trucks, drivers and commercial vessels were lower than expected and the United Kingdom contributed a berthing vessel for soldiers and sailors. This lowered the latest cost assessment to approximately $230 million, Singh said. 

She added that the $230 million figure includes costs associated with repairing and rebuilding the pier after high sea states and a rare North African weather system converged on May 25, causing the pier to become dislodged from the Gazan shoreline. “a reminder, these are estimates and initial assessments,” Singh said, “and the cost could fluctuate depending on the length of the mission and future cost — an example of that being additional repairs.” 

Pier repairs are currently ongoing in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, and Centcom could transport the pier back to Gaza and reattach it to the shoreline as early as the end of the week, Singh said. 

She added that DOD doesn’t anticipate any further delays in distributing aid once the pier is operational. 

“As soon as the temporary pier is reanchored to the beach in Gaza, we expect aid to flow pretty immediately,” she said.

When asked as to whether Centcom is making any additional modifications to the pier to keep it from being damaged again in the future, Singh said that, though leadership might use discretion in the future and take the pier temporarily offline during inclement weather, there are no changes to how JLOTS will continue to operate.    

“I think it’s important to remember that, for a little over a week, JLOTS was operating quite efficiently, [and] we were able to get … over 1,000 metric tons [of aid] into Gaza,” Singh said. 

“And it was successful in that regard, [so] we’re going to work to continue to get humanitarian aid into the Palestinian people who need it most.”

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