Pentagon to destroy $1 billion worth of ammo. This makes sense because…?

Why is the Pentagon to destroy ammunition for our men and women in uniform while the Department of Homeland Security is buying up millions of rounds of ammunition? As we asked last week, why are we decimating our military while many government agencies are arming up?

You really have to wonder why, according to USA Today, “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.”

Everyone complains about fraud, waste and abuse of American taxpayer dollars, and I will admit there is a degree of that in the Department of Defense (DoD), the Pentagon. I firmly supported — still do –an audit of the DoD when I sat on the House Armed Services Committee. But still, it makes you wonder.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said, “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.

Now, this last part is quite perplexing to me, having spent 22 years in the US Army as a combat artillery officer and being quite involved in ammunition management as a Brigade/Regimental operations officer, a Battalion Executive officer, and a Battalion Commander. We constantly received spreadsheets that were reconciled monthly for ammunition allocation and use. In the Army we have Division and Corps level Ammunition Officers whose sole mission is ammunition management, which is forecasted out and allocated yearly.

Excess ammunition? We were begging for excess ammunition for training purposes. And I recall on several occasions when I was an Army exchange officer with the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune working out some issues on ammunition transfer and training between XVIIIth Airborne Corps, Ft. Bragg. So what is this baloney?

Folks, this is why we need more men and women serving on Capitol Hill who have served in uniform and can raise the Bovine Excrement flag. It would also behoove these Members of the House and Senate who are on Armed Services committees to have staffers who are veterans and can provide proper insight and perspective.

However, more importantly, we need former servicemen and women in civilian leadership with oversight of the military who understand the tactical level processes and procedures so that at the higher strategic level, this type of foolishness does not occur. Instead, we have political nepotism and cronyism, as too many are positioned due to their campaign contributions or agenda allegiance, not because of their military experience or expertise.

USA Today says the GAO 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.

All of which begs the simple question: who is in charge? Who is tracking ammunition production, allocation, usage, and redistribution? This is why a serious audit system is necessary. If a monthly reconciliation is done at the unit/installation level, there should at least be a quarterly reconciliation at higher levels. If that is being done, then we should have fail-safe systems as well as procedures and methods upgraded to ensure effective and efficient management.

This is unacceptable and I bet you could sell the excess usable 9 mm ammunition at a reduced price to civilian outlets — and make money for the DoD. But then that would mean you’re arming civilians…

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285 Comments on "Pentagon to destroy $1 billion worth of ammo. This makes sense because…?"

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Timk
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Armed Citizen are “True Americans”…
Sempre Fi’

Dual Bag
Guest

oh bah mah

thinkingabovemypaygrade
Guest
thinkingabovemypaygrade

Quote from above “…Excess ammunition? We were begging for excess ammunition for training purposes…”

SAD!

Фрэнк Pharma Czar™
Guest
Фрэнк Pharma Czar™

Col. West, we need more people like you in government. I hope that you consider running again. We the People support you!

Maurice Moe Colontonio
Guest
Maurice Moe Colontonio

My last year in the Marine Corps Reserve, I was in an Infantry unit that only had 60 live rounds per man to train with for the entire year. What a waste this is.

edster48
Guest

Nothing to see here folks, move along. These are not the droids you’re looking for.

stop_the_damage_in_november
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stop_the_damage_in_november

Something is rotten in the state of our Union…..

Frank Szabo
Guest

If it were to be declared “surplus”, it could be sold to citizens – Obama and Heinrich Holder will have none of that.

Ohiogunr
Guest

There’s just SO MUCH , that’s so frustrating, that it’s hard to fathom how this Country can continue. From treasonous illegal actions of the administration and the Senate, to the inability of the House to reign in any of it, and the unwillingness of the “JUSTICE” department to stop the crimes. HOW can it survive? How can America remain free?

Ollie
Guest

It can’t, time for all Americans to put on their Captain American suits and take down these bastards!

Brian Sprouse
Guest

time for a reboot.

W900A
Guest

Shouldn’t some of this be declared surplus like in the past? Surplus and placed up for auction and disposed of to the public. Obviously some of this may not be common 7.62, 9mm, etc. etc. But if it is it shouldn’t be “destroyed” if it is safe to be used.

eherring
Guest

It is bad when the most trusted institution can’t be trusted

tripleopts
Guest

It’s simple business management. You have to do weekly/monthly/annual inventory audits for ordering purposes. I guess they don’t care when it’s not their dollar on the line. We need more accountability from those that earn their wages and pensions from our hard earned tax dollars.

Ollie
Guest

one flew over the coo coo nest and is now in charge dangerous fools indeed!

Dallas
Guest

Raise the Bovine Excrement flag.. LOL good one.

irish7_1sg
Guest

Another DELIBERATE, NEFARIOUS plan to decrease the operational capacity of the American military. Barry wants DHS to be the “Power Broker”, largely because he has hand picked the leaders to support the destruction of the United States as a FREE, CAPITALIST nation.

Willie Dowg
Guest

The albatross that is the Federal government is out of control. It cannot even communicate with itself within the channels of its own communications. It is time to reboot and rid this nation of its albatross.

Dan McNally
Guest

What has the GAO been doing . . . besides, apparently, nothing?

HackAtak
Guest

Gun Control via Attrition! They could offer this SURPLUS ammo up for sale to the private sector, but keeping it out of the private sectors hands means no ammo for gun owners! So they waste over a Billion Dollars to be in control! Liberal Genius!

JimNEPA2_0
Guest

Why aren’t they selling it at auction to the civilian market? Cheaper Than Dirt, Sportsmans Guide, etc, would scoop it right up?

Oh…….

Nevermind!

American-By-Choice
Guest
Whoa… Hold on now. I’ve been introduced to a term with which I am wholly unfamiliar. What is this thing ‘Excess Ammunition’? It seems to be a flaming non sequitur. You’re using a word which implies ‘too much of something’, which in practical terms cannot be associated with the thing it is being used to quantify… Now, this is relevant to one’s position I suppose… For instance, if I were, oh… I dunno, say I was an enemy insurgent, who found myself in the office of the President of the US, and I needed some means to undermine the means… Read more »
akatom3565
Guest

This is just one example why I don’t want them to be in charge of my health care!

American-By-Choice
Guest

HEALTHCARE??

These people want to be in charge of the ENVIRONMENT… Healthcare is a block of wood by comparison.

We’re talking about people who are not only inefficient, their intentionally inefficient, because being inefficient is how they undermine our means to BE FREE. They’ve done this for DECADES. It is intentional, it is deceitful and it is fraudulence on a grand scale… They’re subversives, and they are decidedly NOT WITH US.

KJinWTexas
Guest

First and foremost, they need to update and integrate their computer systems so the right hand can see what the left hand is doing. Talk to the folks at Facebook – they can show you how to share information. If 50 gazillion FB’ers can share one post, why can’t the government figure this out??

Reba
Guest

The reason the systems don’t talk to each other, is each branch has their own system. It has been an issue for many years and has been tried over and over to be fixed, but the top command of a couple of services do not want to change their system. Until they are ordered to do it, period, it will not change.
As for Facebook, the government does not run like businesses, although certain things could be used.

KJinWTexas
Guest

So true, Reba. Think how much better it would be if it were run more like a business.

Reba
Guest

The government can’t be run like a business, but parts of it could be fine-tuned. There are areas that could be improved and this is one of them. To destroy ammo that could be used is insane. This administration thinks they have a money tree in their backyard.

Paul
Guest

We’ve lost our damn mind…

Jupiter C.
Guest

Good information to know.

paul
Guest

During the depression they were dumping tons of potatoes in the ocean while people were going hungry. Follow the money and you will find the answer.

American-By-Choice
Guest

Tens of thousands of head of cattle and pigs went the same way… even as those who were slaughtering that livestock, were lamenting the ‘lack of jobs’ to produce earnings to buy food.

Mancave Heywood
Guest

I hope one day in the near future the system just crashes here!

John Brown
Guest
That disaster in Iran, where 4 services got involved in attempting to rescue the hostages being held in Tehran, was caused in part by radios not on the same frequency, equipment that was incompatible between the services, and fragmented command and control. We lost lots of good men and good airplanes in that fiasco. Squabbling and positioning for a piece of the Grenada pie was bad enough that even that simple operation was in doubt. The marine who had to use his cell phone to contact Washington to contact his command post is a case in point for non-interoperability. Each… Read more »
PedroGonzalez
Guest

It is Obama’s intention to bankrupt our nation. He does this by giving away, spending, wasting and destroying.

Firebrand98
Guest

1. They have shown time and again that they can not automate (obamacare)
2. Gift to the ammo manufacturers. “Give you a nice new BIG contract if you do not leave state. (New York, California, etc)

Timothy Elkins
Guest

Sounds about right…

Rob
Guest

Any good senator wants to put those back on the hands of the tax payers, we would gladly buy it back.

geo brecke
Guest

Not my Senators, Cantwell and Murray don’t want you running with scissors….

Bob
Guest

Buy it my ass. We’ve already paid for it! Hand it over to the people!

American-By-Choice
Guest
I entered the Corps in 1977. The Carter Years were not kind to the US Military. I went to the westpac shortly afterwards and we didn’t have enough ammo to train with. The 3rd Marine Division barely had enough ammo to provide us with the means to meet our annual qualifications. We’re heading right back there, right now. (What a change when President Reagan came along. Brand new rifles, and enough ammo to train everyday for what seemed like forever. We trained with live rounds in every conceivable way, almost every week… you would NOT have wanted to tangle with… Read more »
geo brecke
Guest

That’s exactly what it takes, practice, and lots of it. It’s a reason to consider starting back up the draft, these bastards need to know, it could be their Sons going into battle with far less training than they need.

American-By-Choice
Guest

Well, I’m against the draft… specifically on the grounds that we shouldn’t be training the people we’re going to be fighting, when the Left finally ignites the big one.

SHOTGUN285
Guest

Its more recent than that. I went through MCT in and SOI in 1992, and there were still ammo shortages because so much had been shipped to saudi. A lot of the weapons we would have normally fired were instead fired by instructors as a demonstration only. So 400 new Marines got to see an instructor fire one box of ammo through a weapon. That was the extent of our live fire training on anything bigger than 5.56mm

repellant
Guest

Shouldn’t we all just be grateful that they aren’t sharing it with Mexican drug cartels?

Gunner
Guest

Or sharing it with Al Qaeda in Syria, But then again they might be. all they have to do is say we are destroying it

Ronny Nelson
Guest

How do you know they aren’t?

ElmoS
Guest

This inept Government never cease’s to amaze me, one unit buys all the ammo and weapons for the IRS, DOJ, HHS, BLM, CIA, NOHA, and others who don’t need this ammo and then the DOD destroys it. Its no wonder we are going broke, sell this ammo to GUN SHOPS and we will buy it, but, no the government can’t do that. We the tax payer have already paid for it so give it back?

JonDillinger2016
Guest

Give it to the new militarized police state that will eventually try to take over our military.

Akbull
Guest

These are supposed to be the smartest people we can find? we definitely have some real DUMMIES running the Pentagon…..ie GOVERNMENT!

Kim Bailey
Guest

Is there not some “mandate” that these must be disposed of through the CMP, or has obummer changed that?

opsman
Guest
With all the automation available today to all the branches, there should be some simple method of accounting for ammo inventory and expenditures. I agree the branches need to talk to each other and make use of what is available, but this business of the Pentagon destroying ammo when it can be used is just plain stupid. But what really makes me scratch my head is why is the Pentagon destroying ammo when the various Law Enforcement agencies within the Government are buying billions of rounds. What I really want to know is why NOAA buying ammo? Is someone going… Read more »
Lawrence Bouchat Jr
Guest

WTH! They should use the ammo for training if not good for Combat, or sell it through the CMP, (Civilian Marksmanship Program) as they did in the past, before all the libs took control. DUMB A$$ POLITICS!!!!

Robert Ray
Guest

Liberalism is logic’s retarded cousin.

The_Moderate
Guest

And yet you are here and you believe every word of this article.. Don’t you?

Martin Bellone
Guest

Always said there are way too many civilians working in DoD. Let the Soldiers do what they are trained to do and the ammunition will get used properly both in training and combat!

geo brecke
Guest

It has been declared illegal to destroy assets paid for out of the public purse WHEN there’s a legal market for same. Wasn’t it just a short time ago, the Federal Government was caught selling empty brass to the lower bidders? Why must we pay ever higher taxes when these clowns make such poor use of our taxes? It’s time to sue them, and it’s a slam dunk.

Jim Markert
Guest
Mr. West, l don’t know what kind of oath, if any, DHS or TSA must take. But I know that our armed forces take an oath to uphold the constitution and to defend this country from enemies, both foreign AND DOMESTIC. Many of our troops believe in the path they took. There is one group called the “3 percenters”, who pledge to display any orders to fire upon their fellow Americans. If they do this, in essence, they become “enemies of the state” or government. Might this be our federal government’s way of tipping the scales in their favor if… Read more »
Rick Vincent
Guest

Obama himself took an oath. Fat lot of good that did.

Syble
Guest

And with this information as just a small example… I just bet the Federal Reserve could stand an audit too!!!…?????

AnneCameo
Guest

By whom?

AnneCameo
Guest
As our fed. gov’t proves over and over again, they are unable to couple of basic functions they are Constitutionally required to do: submit a budget, manage fed. lands and programs; and RUN OUR MILITARY….. Libs/ Dems/ Obama added a huge new entitlement that has failed/been a debacle, a train wreck from the writing, to the passing, to the reading, to the instituting…? If this type of lack of accountability isn’t enough cause for treason or prison… it certainly should be. What will it take to reclaim some amount of accountability?
The_Patriot
Guest

http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/ Operation American Spring, may 16th1.8 million people peacefully march on DC

Laird Manlove
Guest

It’s getting harder and harder to convince myself that things like this are not gross stupidity, but part of a master plan to revoke the Constitution, seize dictatorial control, declare many of us domestic terrorist and authorize unlimited bonbons and vacations for the White House. Can anyone see over the horizon yet? Does anyone know how to stop the slide into anarchy?

The_Moderate
Guest

Boy you are paranoid, aren’t you?

Homer
Guest

I`m thinking that if you aren’t atleast alittle worried/paranoid over what this govt. has been doing in the last 5 years you are either Part of it or legally blind!

The_Moderate
Guest

I’m not exactly worried. Things really aren’t all that bad. Could you elaborate on what’s troubling you?

Homer
Guest

At this point if your really in the service and in politics and you don’t see a problem then either it`s too late for you or u Are part of the problem..

c ya

The_Patriot
Guest

Operation American Spring will happen on may16th millions of people will descend on DC Calling for barry and company to resign

http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/

Scott Snoopy
Guest

what is most amazing about this is that small arms ammo that is properly stored functions reliably decades after its manufacture date. Why in the hell is the Army allowed to destroy a perfectly good product? We hear all this talk of cost savings…well here you is one

Peter Erik Bensen
Guest

That’s because you have lawyers and liability specialists making the decisions for our warfighters. At the behest of politicians, to cover their worthless a$$e$.

Magic Monty
Guest

Are they really destroying it!?!? Or is that code for ship the supply to Al Qaeda secretly? We have a President in office with scandal after scandal. Fast and Furious, Benghazi etc. It is time to stop the talk and start using action to remove this President from Office. Impeachment at this point would be a slap in the hand.

AnneCameo
Guest

I could be confused so don’t be too hard on me; but didn’t Obama – through some Ex. O. or a couple of years ago, declare no weaponry – used in foreign countries – could be brought back to the U.S.? Seems my husband I talked about it, as those items were, in the past, brought back and sold at auctions? I don’t think this has much to do with poor management, as Obama’s rule?

eadtuff
Guest

I wonder if West knows that many people in the armed forces move on to work at defense contractors and happily bilk their old employer. Presumably he doesn’t want to cut the defense budget either.

beenthere
Guest

The military knows about a problem. Seems like the same the FBI and CIA had before September 11. The right hand has no idea that the left had has what they need. Government accounting has always been an issue, BUT HOW STUPID IS IT NOT TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM AND SAME MONEY. My God what is it going to take to get the living dead in Washington to do the right thing for a change.