Pentagon scrap millions worth of surplus equipment

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Pentagon scrap millions worth of surplus equipment

Maybe it costs more to store it than keep it? Or maybe the gravey train is so huge a few million here or there is nothing lost.

I don't understand why they have to scrap perfectly good F-14 tomcats. Afterall can't they be used in Iraq instead of running far more expensive aircraft?

Millions of dollars' worth of gear, including combat boots, helmets, vests and aircraft parts, is being junked by the Pentagon rather than stored or sold as surplus to suppliers who sometimes sell it back to the military.

Of roughly $1.8 billion worth of equipment the Defense Department downgraded to scrap from January through June, at least $330 million worth came from categories of gear the Pentagon most frequently buys back from surplus dealers, according to the National Association of Aircraft & Communication Suppliers. Those include parts for aircraft, weapons and communications systems, the group said.

The association, a lobbying group for surplus dealers, is worried the military's recent decision to shred retired F-14 "Tomcat" fighter jets is the start of a broader effort to destroy Pentagon leftovers that surplus dealers once bought routinely. Iran is aggressively seeking F-14 components for its own aging Tomcat fleet.

In a new lobbying campaign, association members and other surplus buyers are urging Congress to force the Pentagon to do a better job separating sensitive surplus from items considered safe to sell, rather than lumping both types of surplus together and destroying them.

The association's allegations of Pentagon waste during the war is hitting a nerve with some lawmakers.

Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., wrote to Lt. Gen. Robert Dail, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, asking whether surplus equipment is being scrapped, including new items such as Camelbak backpack-style hydration packs.

... Quote:
I have received reports that usable items such as sleeping bags and gloves, and auto parts such as mufflers, are being scrapped because DRMS has stated that it is unable to identify them,
Shadegg wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. The DRMS is the Pentagon's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.

Shadegg said he also is concerned about the loss of government revenue from surplus sales and about harm to small businesses in the surplus industry.

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By netchicken: posted on 24-7-2007

The F-14 isn't cheaper to fly because it is old, rather, it would be more expensive to fly because it is an old airframe and has taken a lot of pounding by carrier take-offs and landings. Such airframes are allowed only so many flight hours as the nature of their mission creates great stress and metal fatigue. By now I wouldn't be surprised to find that many parts of the Tomcat are no longer available and there is only so much floor space available in a factory, and keeping floor space aoocupied for the occasional Tomcat part is costly.

As far as things like the Camelbak getting tossed into the can, I can explain that as I go through that same problem a couple times a week, but from the reverse angle.

Everything in the army inventory has an NSN, or National Stock Number. As far as the system is concerned, there is no such thing as a Camelbak, only the NSN, which, for the Camelbak, is 8465-01-505-4762. Without the NSN you cannot order the thing, stck or restock the stupid thing. It is maddening when you know the part you need or are trying to restock but do not have the NSN and it is not printed on the item. Some jerk face has walked off with the parts manual that has that item or maybe the manual is so convoluted that after a good four hours of searching you cannot find the NSN and in your growing rage and frustration it never dawns on you to simply pop the name of the item into Google followed by NSN (that's how I found the Camelbak NSN in 15 seconds). Once the Idon'tgiveadamntheycanfiremeiftheywantto! factor far outweighs the desire to do the right thing the item gets pitched into the "red tag" bin, where the items are shipped off to be destroyed.

I have seen cool, level-headed people start out looking for the information needed to return an aircraft part into service only to end up letting go with a primordial scream while pitching the item straight up into the air, letting it strike the ground so that it would then be a "red tag" item! It sounds wasteful, but that is the way it is.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 25-7-2007

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