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Over $1 Billion to Be Destroyed by DOD
By Harold Hutchison

Ammunition and munitions worth over a billion dollars may be destroyed by the DOD – all because of a failure to communicate among the services. One major reason may be the use of antiquated systems to track inventory by most of the armed services.

According to a report by the Marine Corps Times, the military relies on an annual conference to re-allocate excess ammunition, but that approach has been inadequate. The report also noted that the Army has stockpiles of FIM-92 Stingers, AGM-114 Hellfires, and FGM-148 Javelin missiles that other services have been unaware of. The total Pentagon stockpile of munitions is worth over $70 billion.

Former Representative Allen West noted, “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,” during his 22 years of service in the Army. The Marine Corps Times cited a GAO report that noted that the Army was the only service using a standard Pentagon format for tracking munitions, but that it was not reporting on its missile stockpile.

The Marine Corps Times reported noted that during Fiscal Year 2012, the services exchanged over 44 million items, including 32 million rounds of ammunition for machine guns and handguns.

Citing the reports, West asked, “All of which begs the simple question: who is in charge? Who is tracking ammunition production, allocation, usage, and redistribution?”

West added, “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.”

West noted that there was even an option to sell excess pistol ammunition to the civilian market.