The Department of Defense is about to destroy a massive ammo stockpile because they can’t keep track of it.
A new government report says the Department of Defense (DOD) does not know how much of the $1.2 billion ammo stockpile can still be used, because they’re using an obsolete inventory system to share data.
A Nationwide Ammo ShortageThe news of the Pentagon's plans to destroy surplus ammo stockpile comes as US manufacturers are struggling to keep up with ammo production.
“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,” Sen. Tom Carper told USA Today. “This Government Accountability report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”
The DOD is destroying most of the ammo stockpile and making wasteful purchases on new ammo “because the Army does not report information on all available and useable items,” according to the report.
“Specifically, the Army’s report does not include information from prior years about useable ammunition that was unclaimed by another service and stored for potential foreign military sales or slated for potential disposal,” the report stated.
There’s also a problem with how the DOD handles ammunition requests and inventory data exchanges among the armed forces.
The ammo stockpile – which weighs approximately 1.7 million tons – is used by every branch of the military. The Army is the only branch that uses the Pentagon’s manual entry format of updating inventory data, which makes it difficult to exchange data and ammunition requests among the military branches.
The report also found that a great amount of inventory data is lost or never reported.
Destroying surplus ammo stockpiles is nothing new for the DOD. Sometimes it’s more cost effective for them to destroy their surpluses than to distribute it among the military and its allies.
That being said, the report makes it clear that it’s time for the DOD to upgrade their inventory systems to prevent massive amounts of wasteful spending.
Some of the surplus ammunition will be used in military exercises where soldiers are trained to shoot large quantities of bullets in a short period of time.
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