Pentagon Destroying $1 Billion in Ammo

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 3.30.14 PMWASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

The result: potential waste of unknown value.

“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,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “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 (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

The Army and Pentagon, in a statement, acknowledged “the need to automate the process” and will make it a priority in future budgets. In all, the Pentagon manages a stockpile of conventional ammunition worth $70 billion.

The effect of inaccurate accounting of ammunition for troops at war was outside the scope of the study. However, there were limited supplies at times of .50-caliber machine gun and 9mm handgun ammunition at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a senior military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the issue.

“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.”

Other key findings from the report:

• The services have inventory systems for ammunition that cannot share data directly despite working for decades to develop a single database. Only the Army uses the standard Pentagon format; “the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps operate with formats that are obsolete.”

• The services hold an annual conference to share information about surplus ammunition and swap bullets and other munitions as needed. Data about ammunition left over after the meeting disappears from the books, resulting in an unknown amount of good bullets headed to the scrap heap.

• The Army, although required by regulation, had not reported annually on its missile stockpile until last month, shortly before the GAO study was to be released.

The report illustrates the obsolete nature of the Pentagon’s inventory systems for ammunition. A request for ammunition from the Marine Corps, for example, is e-mailed to the Army. The e-mail is printed out and manually retyped into the Army system because the services cannot share data directly. Not only is this time consuming, but it can introduce errors — by an incorrect keystroke, for example.

Waste, buying new ammunition while usable stockpiles exist, can occur “because the Army does not report information on all available and usable items,” the report states. The annual conference among the services — although it saves about $70 million per year, according to the Pentagon — is inadequate. The services, in fiscal year 2012, exchanged 44 million items, including 32 million bullets for machine guns and pistols.

“Specifically, the Army’s report does not include information from prior years about usable ammunition that was unclaimed by another service and stored for potential foreign military sales or slated for potential disposal,” the report says.

Missiles are another source for concern, the report notes. The Army has an inventory of missiles, including Stingers, Javelins and Hellfires, that has totaled more than $14 billion in recent years. Hellfire missiles have been a weapon of choice for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the CIA-run Predator and Reaper drone missions to kill terrorists in places like Yemen.

The GAO found that the Army and its missile command “do not contribute to required annual report.” The reason, Army officials told investigators, is that it “rarely has items to offer for redistribution.”

Without its cooperation, the Army “risks others services spending additional funds to procure missiles that are already unused and usable in the Army’s stockpile.”

The Army, in a statement, said that it began offering that information to the other services last month.

In its recommendations, the GAO urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to require the Army to make known information on all available for use by all services.

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  • Individual Patriot

    Oh how the govt runs things so efficiently……

    Ya know what? This almost sounds like it has the same tone to it that the different branches of the military in Japan had during WWII. One branch always at odds with or in competition with the other…..essentially undermining the effectiveness of all of them.

    I sure hope I’m wrong on that one.

    • charlie

      you are not, the executive? branch keeps things so stirred up no one knows what is going on.

    • me too..

  • charlie

    that is some of the ammo that obumbler had them buy so we could not buy it and they have no use for it except t keep it from us. as usual stabbing us in the back with our own weapons

    • pikemaster1

      Wonder Obutthead doesn’t give it to Russia and/or some other terrorist friends of his for a gift to use against us ?

  • junkmailbin

    the army uses the standard pentagon format while the other services do not. WTF?? why are the others services not using the standard format. Hagel is in charge, it is his ass that needs to be chewed by the gay arab OinC

    • Dannye Smith

      If only one service uses it, ITS NOT A STANDARD….

  • Terry Adams

    They should pay us back or give it to homeland they seem to be buying all

  • TexRancher

    Since Obama has stated that he’s stopping production of HellFire and Tomahawk missles, doesn’t make since to see that these weapons are maintained for the services that need them? Or is this more of Obama’s promise to weaken the military “to a level acceptable to muslim nations”?

  • daddyhawg

    Hmmm, no wonder there is an ammo shortage. This has spread to reloading components as well; powder, primers, bullets, cases….. A backdoor method of gun control possibly? Why not sell the surplus on the market as has been done in the past? Can’t have the serfs armed and dangerous I guess.

  • higgy01

    The DOD destroys ammunition and a half dozen other departments are buying ammo. What’s wrong with this picture? Or is it that the WH wants to make the military totally ineffective while building it’s own army?

  • Capt. Parker

    EVERYTHING that they want to get rid of should be turned over to the “Civilian Marksmanship Program” …… that’s part of the reason it’s there.

    • namvet382

      Some how I don’t think civilians really need a “hellsfire” missile. Small arms ammo yes, but I don’t know anyone that has the equipment to use a missile.

      • SAR2012

        These might be very useful in fending off future assaults by the 21st Century Sturmtrüppen blackshirts so very visible in Nevada recently.

        • namvet382

          Very true, if we the ability to fire them.

          • SAR2012

            Easier to obtain the knowledge than the hardware … the former is accessible through the minds and expertise of veterans – large numbers of whom have no use for barry wee-wee and the Ødildo boyz. It’s all moot, of course, as there is no way these would ever come into civilian hands short of a devastating conflagration, yet learning *how* to use them would certainly be less of a challenge than obtaining them in the first place.

  • Shorty Stuff

    Do you really think they are going to destroy it? It will just disappear from the armories and somehow reappear on the battlefield somewhere, being used by our enemies most likely. There are traitors in our midst.

  • T-Bone

    Yet another example of how incompetent our government is at managing ANYTHING. As long as there is no accountability to the taxpayer, there is no incentive for efficiency. Our country is on the verge of collapse from fiscal irresponsibility.

  • ICEE444

    Another reason to cut down this branch into a quarter of its size and give the money to the Marines, Air Force and Navy. This is not the Army of Band of Brothers anymore its a husk of its old self turned disfunctional by lowering the standards of recruiting and promoting non deserving tokens to appease homolibs and socialibs. All they are now is one big disorganized mess with small portion of good talent going to waste.

    • namvet382

      Did you miss the part about the Marines, Air Force and Navy using an outdated system, while the Army is using the proper one. Seems to me the other services need to get on the right page.

      • ICEE444

        Yeah right…what system is that? Whatever the Army is broken and even they know it. They can’t even get their folks lodging when they send them TDY. In your dreams.

        • namvet382

          I guess you must have missed that part or you didn’t read the whole article, or you have little reading comprehension.

          • ICEE444

            Look I use the systems and it does not matter when those idiots are wasting so much money. The fact is that if the Army is doing it or using it best policy is to not do it because it will come out wrong sooner or later. I deal with them in my duties and they do not do much right. You can defend all you like but the fact is that they left their recruiting asvab numbers at your eras level and never raised them again after Nam. This is why they are in this state of decay. They lead the way into decadence and disfunction. You do not seem to be up to date on much…you are the one that does not keep up with the chaos that goes on in their organization. Those are just the facts like them or not. Thank the low quality Army officers in the Pentagon for this and their licking of obami’s behind…that’s one thing they are good at.

      • Dannye Smith

        All the services are using outdate systems. There is no proper DOD system for munitions. Services COULD not agree on a standard.

  • Dennis

    A few years back it would have been sold as surplus ad then we could have bought some

  • disqus_ZBc5CQd4k5

    Open A Flea Market And Make A Ton Of Money !!!

  • KC135TopBoom

    Well, now the DOD can access billions of bullets bought recently by the IRS, EPA, Homeland Security, State Department (they don’t want to use the ones they have, at least not in Benghazi), Interior Department, BLM, Education Department, etc. They all fire the same guns, rifles, and sniper rifles as the DOD does.

  • gipbmac

    good freakin gravy give me some of it – give anyone some of it – regular rifle/pistol rounds if there are any give it to civilians and/or state law enforcement to use… what a sick joke

  • Charlie

    There are political reasons behind taking ammo from the military and purchasing ammo for TSA ,FDA , BLM , FFA , ect. all under the executive branch don’t you think ???

  • USPatriotOne

    No, this further disarming the Military and Arming the DHS, etc…!!! People wake-up and smell the Tyranny..!!! Also, right now the Bundy Ranch may be coming under attack from drones, and we all know what that means unless you are brain died…!!!

  • BigDogJunction

    When we were returning from Desert Storm, we spent 3 solid days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, firing anything and everything we could lay our hands on, dawn to dusk.

    After 3 days, we still ended up throwing thousands, upon thousands of LIVE rounds, from; .45 ACP, 7.62, 25mm Chain gun ammo, 20mm depleted uranium rounds…

    About the only thing we didn’t throw over the side, were torps, ASROCS, Harpoons and 5″ projectiles.

  • daveveselenak

    Why isn’t this Muslim-Marxist jihadist, NWO puppet being impeached? History is being repeated and I THOUGHT THAT we were to learn from it but apparently not as the new, smooth Hitler that has destroyed our military after having ressurrected his “civilian army” continues to amass power while nothing is being done to stop him! What planet am I on, it surely isn’t planet earth. REVOLUTION is the SOLUTION to TYRANNY!

  • James

    There is a government requirement that all ammo must be inspected every so often. If there is a little green corrosion on the brass that ammo cannot be used and must be replaced and destroyed. That is crazy you can wipe it right off and the brass will shine and it will still fire. I wanted to buy the ammunition but they would not sell it to me. They had to enter it in their list of ammunition to be demiled and they let out a contract to
    destroy it. Companies make millions off of destroying perfectly good ammunition. Most of the time it is due only to some dam regulation that really is not needed. They will not change the regs because it cost so much to have all the bases and units copies of the new regs, that they feel it is cheaper to destroy the ammo.

  • raygun

    I would have recommended that the ammo go to the DHS, IRS, FBi and/or to any other fed agency that has become militarized in the last decade or so, before they purchased several million rounds last year. Or maybe to us civilians (heaven forbid). If they decide to do it again, I have an old M1 .30-06 bolt action that my dad brought back from Burma (I added a scope in the 1970s) and his .45 semi auto, a .38 Special S&W revolver and a 6 mm Remington bolt action rifle with a scope. Any of those size ammo would be appreciated as the feds have seemed to cause the price of it to skyrocket with their bull crap.

  • SAR2012

    Jan, *please!* Using the term ‘bullets’ to describe *cartridges* is the sort of thing one would expect from leftist twits who characterize semi-auto hunting rifles as ‘assault weapons.’ Please avoid giving any credence to the slovenly ignorance of those like Rabid Madcow, Piers Moron, Chrissy Tingles, et. al.

  • What a waste of Time, $$$$$, and Resource’s….This is unprincipled, unsound, and totally unreasonable behavior…

  • Made_in_the_USA

    There used to be a thing called gov’t surplus. Besides, I’ve heard of WWII ammo still being used. Why wouldn’t this ammo be just as long-lasting, probably better than WWII ammo. And napolitano said the bulk purchases made recently were for long term contractual price savings.
    Why did she buy nearly 2B rounds of various caliber hollow points for all the alphabet agencies when all this good ammo was sitting in warehouses somewhere???

  • Dempsey Coleman

    Well Nothing is New in Disney Land!