Pentagon Destroying Ammo Worth $1B Cited as Example of Waste

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 08:30 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The Pentagon will soon destroy $1 billion worth of ammo in just one of example of the extreme waste demonstrated by the Department of Defense, a new accountability report shows.

A Government Accountability Office analysis obtained by USA Today reports that the Pentagon plans to destroy $1.2 billion worth of bullets and missiles even though a large chunk of the arsenal could still be used by troops.

"There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the [Pentagon] can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition," Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told USA Today. "Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy, and Air Force still don't have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office report clearly shows that our military's antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases."

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The problem stems from the Pentagon's obsolete method of recording inventory. According to the report, whenever the Pentagon receives an e-mail ammunition request from a branch of the military, say the Marines for example, it must be printed out and manually retyped into the inventory system because of data sharing limitations.

"We simply cannot afford this type of waste and ineffectiveness," Carper said. "The [Pentagon] has a responsibility to efficiently manage its ammunition stocks, not only because it is important to be fiscally responsible, but also because our antiquated ammunition inventory systems can shortchange our war fighters and compromise their ability to complete their mission."

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