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Pentagon to junk millions in combat gear

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  • Pentagon to junk millions in combat gear

    I expect this story is of interest to some of more military surplus tools.

    Our tax dollars at work....


    Pentagon to junk millions in combat gear By SHARON THEIMER, Associated
    Press Writer
    Mon Jul 23, 4:00 PM ET

    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

    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.

    "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

    The DRMS sells military surplus through an Arizona-based contractor,
    Government Liquidation. In fiscal 2005, the Defense Department earned
    $57 million from surplus sales.

    A spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency, Dawn Dearden, said the
    military is only destroying surplus it no longer needs. The Pentagon
    is aware of the surplus dealers' concerns, she said.

    The agency has reviewed its rules for handling surplus but hasn't
    decided whether to make changes, she said.

    The trade group said it supports tougher government screening of
    surplus buyers to help prevent military gear from getting into the
    wrong hands.

    "I believe they're using the F-14 as sort of an umbrella to get
    everything through under national security, to say it needs to be
    done," said Ed Wilk, owner of Dixie Air Parts in San Antonio and an
    association member. "They're destroying boots, binoculars, aircraft
    parts, engine parts, airframe parts."

    "They do not have enough room to keep everything and they don't want
    to pay the overhead of keeping all this inventory," Wilk said.

    The trade group isn't protesting the Pentagon's recent decision to
    destroy old F-14 jets because it understands the sensitivity over the
    U.S. relationship with Iran, said Peter Beaulieu, the group's
    president and vice president of Associated Aircraft Manufacturing and
    Sales in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    However, the group said some F-14 parts that also could be used on
    other U.S. military aircraft and commercial planes should be preserved
    and sold to surplus dealers.

    Beaulieu said surplus dealers sometimes resell scrap aircraft parts
    back to the military. It can be faster for military bases to
    repurchase parts on the surplus market than to get them from within
    the military or new from manufacturers, he said.

    >From November 2003 to May 2004, the Pentagon awarded nearly 400 urgent

    contracts to the trade association's members for replacement parts for
    aircraft flying in Iraq and Afghanistan, including fighter jets,
    combat helicopters and transport planes, the group said.

    "We're their ultimate warehousing source," Beaulieu said.

    Items the Pentagon downgrades to scrap are demolished by the military,
    or if sold as surplus, only to buyers who promise to destroy them. The
    surplus association doesn't know how many downgraded items are useful.
    But it said it commonly finds useful and even new gear among surplus
    designated as scrap.

    The $1.8 billion in equipment the Pentagon scrapped during the first
    six months of 2007 represents the amount the Pentagon originally paid
    for the items. The resale value can amount to pennies on the dollar
    but still would be worth millions of dollars.

    Errors in the Pentagon's surplus sorting and recordkeeping have drawn
    criticism for years from Congress.

    The Pentagon decided to destroy its retired F-14s after The Associated
    Press reported in January that weaknesses in surplus sale security had
    allowed middlemen for Iran, China and other countries to acquire
    sensitive U.S. military technology including parts for Tomcats and
    other aircraft and missile components. Iran is the only country trying
    to maintain Tomcats.

    U.S. efforts to track down illegal brokers of F-14 parts continue. On
    Thursday, Jilani Humayun of Lynbrook, N.Y., was arrested by federal
    agents on charges that between January 2004 and May 2006, he illegally
    exported F-14 and F-5 jet parts and Chinook helicopter parts to
    Malaysia, a common pass-through point for contraband military goods.

    Prosecutors wouldn't say whether any of the parts came from Pentagon
    surplus sales, though the complaint suggests at least some did,
    quoting one of Humayun's suppliers as telling him parts were military
    surplus and subject to export controls.


    On the Net:

    National Association of Aircraft & Communications Suppliers:

    Defense Department surplus sales:

  • #2
    The days of $600 hammers is still here, its even worse now.

    This video will make anyone mad.


    • #3
      Why would the government want to save money when they have the deep pockets of the people to use?

      It would be smart to destroy all the stock at the end of each year to be replaced by newly manufactured stuff.

      What better way to keep the economy going.
      It's only ink and paper


      • #4
        Big surprise, huh?

        Ever deal with the government? They may be all over you on the nitty little details, but when it comes to pricing they've always insisted on paying mucho bucks.

        I quit even trying to deal with them.

        The final straw was a few years back when after negotiating a price on some work their PO arrived with a price way over what we'd agreed upon. They had ordered using the large quantity price for single quantities.

        Don't even think about trying to get a gov purchasing agent admit he made a mistake.