Pentagon Plans to Improve Arms Inventory

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 08:05 PM

By John A. Oswald

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The Department of Defense will create a new cross-services arms and missile inventory system after a report last month revealed major shortfalls in keeping count of the U.S. arsenal, USA Today reports.

A staff member for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee told the newspaper that chastened Pentagon leaders will follow through on congressional demands that they fix the problem. The staffer spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an expected announcement.

A Government Accountability Office report last month detailed the failures:
  • The Defense Department's inventory systems are not able to share data effectively.
  • Officials can't tell how much of the $1.2 billion in ammunition to be destroyed is still viable.
  • If one service requests a munitions transfer, it has to be entered into the other service's current systems manually.
"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," Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, chairman of the committee, said at the time. "This Governmental Accountability Office report clearly shows that our military's antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases."

"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."

The Pentagon's conventional ammunition stockpile alone is worth $70 billion.

"The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps [operate] with formats that are obsolete," the GAO found. Only the Army's system is considered to meet modern standards.

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