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Coburn Report: The Military Is Full Of Wasteful Spending

November 19, 2012 by  

Coburn Report: The Military Is Full Of Wasteful Spending
PHOTOS.COM

The next time someone claims that the one place the United States cannot cut spending at all is the military because of devastating national security implications, point them to budget hawk Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) recent report “Department of Everything.”

Coburn argues in his report that the United States could cut $67.9 billion from its bloated military budget over the course of a decade by cutting “non-defense” defense spending.

“I believe in peace through strength but we cannot be strong militarily unless we are strong economically. And we cannot be strong economically if we treat politically-sensitive areas of the budget as sacrosanct. At a time when our own military leaders are calling our debt our greatest national security threat we need to look at every area of the budget for potential savings. No part of the budget can be taken off the table. Achieving peace through strength, and getting our debt under control, must involve refocusing the Pentagon on its core mission,” Coburn said.

Some of the over-the-top expenditures Coburn says fell under the Defense budget included:

  • $300,000 for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to fund Brown University’s research into archaeopteryx, the 150-million-year-old early bird. Researchers determined the creature likely had black feathers.
  • Money for the Office of Naval Research to develop an iPhone app, Caffeine Zone 2, which helps people manage coffee breaks.
  • $100,000 for a workshop on space travel, including a lecture called “Did Jesus Die For Klingons Too?” which discussed Christian theology and aliens.
  • Money for Pentagon researchers to study fish in order to determine “if ignorance can save democracy.”
  • $1.5 million for the development of beef jerky that looks like a Fruit Roll-up

Coburn also points out in his report that the United States military has more flag officers per troop than it did at the height of the Cold War and suggests “reducing general and flag officers from around 1,000 today to a Cold War ratio of five general officers per 10,000 troops (as opposed to the seven the Pentagon has today).” The report says that this would save the Department of Defense $800 million over the course of 10 years.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • GALT

    I’m sorry but……COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION?????????

    I know there is a question here somewhere……..gotta be some truth being sought, some lie being exposed , some corporate master involved ( nice doggie ), special interest
    group or information gate keeper…………simply because “the free market”, would
    not pay for such an “intrepid investigative reporter” to paraphrase a report by a
    duly elected U.S. Senator………..about the end product of his efforts on behalf of
    his constituency……….in the exercise of his oath of office?

    After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained.

    It would appear that Mr. Rolley has, if nothing else found such a journalistic position,
    ……….and today he has also linked to his paraphrased source……..the “distinguished
    gentlemen”…….from the “wind swept state”…….and he is clearly worth every penny
    of what he is being paid in pursuit of his goals.

    I’m sorry but……COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION?????????

    “Yo Senator, over here!!!!!!!” ( frantically waving arms from the back of the room
    of other “intrepid investigative journalists”. )

    Senator Coburn: Yes. you…….the one frantically waving your arms in the back
    of the room.”

    “Thank you, Senator………if I may……..first on behalf of “everyone” I like to
    personally for your efforts in producing this 73 page report…….”

    Senator Coburn: “Just doing my job……”

    ” I understand the Senator and I am curious but doesn’t the Senate have a budget
    committee, and a defense committee and…….

    Senator Coburn: Yes, but……….

    ” and didn’t you guys read the defense appropriations budget……..

    Senator Coburn: Yes, but……….

    ” and review all these items BEFORE……….”

    Senator Coburn: Yes, but……….

    ” you approved a finalized budget to be submitted the floor of the Senate for a vote?”

    Senator Coburn: Yes, but……….

    “So, Senator could you tell me WHY, if you knew all this BEFORE you all voted
    to approve this budget……..you all voted to APPROVE THIS BUDGET?????”

    Senator Coburn: ” I’m sorry…..could you repeat the question?”

    ” To conquer, first DIVIDE!!!!! ” ( and then HANG, separately. )

    • Doris Carman

      Yes yes yes but Galt, what they want to take from defense is our defense mechanisms not the waste. The waste is where the big shots make their big bucks.obama gives away our nukes supposedly in the hopes others will. No no no, the others know better.

      • GALT

        Okay, I’m confused……….I wasn’t aware we were giving up nukes……how many do
        we need………( the number required to destroy the world multiplied by ? )

        and we actually have the delivery capability to do it………..at will anywhere on the globe
        in 30 minutes or less……..

  • eddie47d

    Sometimes Sam Rolley really impresses me and isn’t always afraid to tackle issues the right hold as sacrosanct. The military like corporations have become extremely top heavy where billions are going to keep “important” paper pushers employed. That in it self costs us all dearly when buying a product or keeping our nation secure. More than Michael Moore or Chris Christie need to trim the fat.

    • Vigilant

      Now eddie, I don’t think you’ll find anyone on the right, left, or in the middle who considers such wasteful and idiotic spending “sacrosanct.”

      Nor, as distasteful as it is for me to agree with GALT, he has a valid point in that Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle voted to adopt those budgets. Yes, the same politicos who passed wasteful budgets of all departments of government, which contained idiotic projects such as Mr. Rolley mentioned.

      The impact of such projects is not nearly as wasteful as the opportunities for fraud embedded in them. They make the headlines simply because they are egregiously ridiculous expenditures, but they can’t hold a candle to the real source of waste, the fraud that is rampant in Medicare/Medicaid, military and domestic welfare programs.

  • JimH

    Of course the army needs $500 hammers. You can’t drive a $20 nail with just any old hammer.
    Not just the military, but EVERY government branch. Get back to what you NEED, not just WANT.
    Want and need aren’t interchangeable words.
    We’re broke but no one in charge seems to notice.

  • Right Brain Thinker

    Nice try, Sam.

    Coburn says we can save $7 billion a year. That’s out of a defense budget of nearly $600 billion a year and a total “security” budget that is in the neighborhood of $1 trillion a year. WOW!, and DOUBLE WOW!

    GALT sees the hypocrisy involved here and so do I. This “report” is nothing more than a smoke screen for the REAL “over-the-top” waste in the defense budget. And that is the hidden “welfare costs” of supporting the defense industry moochers. As in buying hugely expensive weapon systems that the military doesn’t want.

    Once again, it all circles back to the need for corporate “profit” so that the greedy rich can accumulate even more at the expense of the rest of us.

    And you, Sam, are just shilling for Coburn when you ask us to believe that he is serious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dan.mancuso.56 Dan Mancuso

      I found an interesting fiction novel at a 2nd hand book store published way back in 1984, that ‘dicusses’ many of the issues in this article and the comments. It’s called, “THE TESLA BEQUEST”, by Lewis Perdue. Amoung many other issues it addresses why toilet seats and hammers etc. cost so much.

  • factnotrhetoric

    We’re all missing the point here.

    Most of the wasteful spending is going toward the funding of a NATO takeover of the world governments one at a time. We could cut defense spending by 60% overnight If we stopped funding the NATO One World Military Government. Calling it the Department of Defense is a joke on the American public. see BringOurSoldiersHome.com

    • Vigilant

      factnotrhetoric says: “We’re all missing the point here.”

      No, you are missing a few marbles here.

      US funding of NATO’s civil, military and security investment budgets totals less than a billion bucks a year.

      Recommendation: change your screen moniker to “rhetoricnotfact.”

      • factnotrhetoric

        NATO led American troops into Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan. NATO is bankrupting America using American military for the overthrow of these countries and turn them all into NATO Military Dictatorships by leaving Sharia Law in their constitutions.

        Either NATO or the US Soldiers are responsible for killing over 1 million Iraqis. Either NATO or American Air Force is responsible for killing over 30,000 Libyans. Either NATO or the US Air Force is guilty of assassinating over 3,500 Pakistanis with drones. Either NATO or the US Army killed over 30,000 Afghan’s. Either NATO or General Dempsey paid 2000 Al Qaeda to overthrow Libya with USAF support. Either NATO or General Petraeus armed Al Qaeda with Stinger missiles to overthrow Syria.

        These are all extreme war crimes and I can’t believe you’re telling me American Soldiers did this instead of NATO. If any American Soldier helped in any of these war crimes, then our soldiers can be tried and convicted by any country in the world for their part in the war crimes. Even enemies of the US can try and convict our soldiers for these war crimes.

        With a simple state law, we can bring our soldiers home from this NATO takeover of the world governments using US soldiers. see BringOurSoldiersHome.com

      • Vigilant

        rhetoricnotfact wants to change history to make NATO the prime mover in Iraq. NATO had NOTHING to do with Iraq.

        rhetoricnotfact wants to change history by claiming that NATO led US troops in other areas of the world. NATO has led NO ONE, including Clinton’s “Wag the Dog” scenario in Kosovo.

        You have no understanding of how NATO works. I worked for NATO for over 14 years. Believe me, the US is the leader, not the follower, in NATO affairs.

        Name ONE government overtaken by NATO.

      • factnotrhetoric

        Then your saying it’s not your precious NATO that killed over 1 million Iraqis on false NATO nuclear weapons reports and put Sharia Law in the Iraq constitution.

        You’re telling me it’s not your precious NATO that killed over 30,000 Afghans and put Shari Law in the Afghan constitution all on false 9/11 reports.

        You’re telling me it’s not your precious NATO that killed over 30,000 Libyans and stole 144 tons of Libyan gold.

        Your saying America did this? You’re saying Obama has the gold.

        WAKE UP AND BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME FROM THIS INSANE MILITARY TAKEOVER OF WORLD GOVERNMENTS.

        WAKE UP AND REALIZE IT’S NATO PAID AL QAEDA THAT OVERTHREW LIBYA AND NOW SYRIA.

        WAKE UP AND REALIZE THAT IT’S FALSE NATO NUCLEAR WEAPONS REPORTS ON IRAN BEING CRAMMED DOWN OUR THROATS BY NATO TO OVERTHROW IRAN.

      • Vigilant

        You should have disclosed earlier that you are a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. I had assumed that I was talking to someone rational. My mistake.

      • factnotrhetoric

        I deal in facts, not name calling. Stop with the drug abuse accusations and conspiracy accusations.

        On 9/11, the FBI never once charged, or claimed, that Osama Bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11. The overthrow of Uranium Rich Afghanistan was all based on false NATO Military misinformation. NATO misinformation allowed NATO to overthrow of both Uranium rich Afghanistan and oil rich Iraq. NATO put Shari Law in both country’s constitutions to turn both countries into NATO Military puppet dictatorships. NATO can put in a new puppet dictator any time they want. This was never about democracy.

        Americans have been conned one too many times by NATO and UN lies, deceit and their overthrow of governments for the oil, the uranium and the gold these countries had.

        The funny thing about 9/11 is that NATO had moved the American Fleet to around Afghanistan three weeks before 9/11. Gee, how did NATO know? The FBI didn’t and still doesn’t.

      • Vigilant

        Rhetoricnotfact says, “I deal in facts, not name calling. Stop with the drug abuse accusations and conspiracy accusations.”

        “Drug abuse accusations?” Pray tell, from which posting of mine did you glean that “fact?”

        “Conspiracy accusations?” You have admitted that yourself, sonny.

        I repeat, you know NOTHING about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its mission, command structure and scope of operations. Had you an ounce of intelligence and a willingness to read about NATO from more than just conspiracy websites, you’d know that NATO’s participation in areas outside of its charter have been the result of US pressure, not vice-versa.

        Clinton started it by pressuring NATO to violate its own Article 5 of the charter by following the US into Kosovo, a highly illegal operation under international law. NATO has/had no leadership role in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It was the unwilling partner in the Libyan operation, and wants nothing to do with the Syrian debacle.

        Your stupid claims about the uranium in Afghanistan and the oil in Iraq are just that, stupid. If oil were an aim in Iraq, you might care to explain why Iraqi oil operations are STILL depressed below levels prior to the Iran-Iraq conflict. If uranium is a factor in the Afghani equation, you might care to explain why no infrastructure to mine it has been erected after 10 years of war.

        Moreover, NATO had NO part in the crafting of constitutions for any country, period. Any nation building has been attempted by the USA only.

        Then, from a person who takes me to task for calling him a conspiracy theorist, rhetoricnotfact says, “The funny thing about 9/11 is that NATO had moved the American Fleet to around Afghanistan three weeks before 9/11. Gee, how did NATO know? The FBI didn’t and still doesn’t.”

        I see you’re geography-challenged as well. Explain to us (1) how an international treaty organization can command the USA to do anything, especially since the USA is the most powerful entity within that organization, and (2) how the US fleet can be moved “around” Afghanistan since that country is landlocked, and the closest waterways are the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. These waterways are constantly monitored by US Carrier Groups, and always have been.

        In short, wake up, idiot.

      • factnotrhetoric

        Stop with the name calling, it’s a last resort of someone who has lost an argument.

        I’d like to see you offer one single shred of proof that Obama, not NATO is guilty of hiring 2000 Al Qaeda to overthrow Libya. I’d like to see one single shred of proof that Obama is the one that gave stinger missiles to Al Qaeda in Turkey to overthrow Syria. I’d like to see one shred of proof that Obama has the 144 tons of Libyan gold and not NATO.

        Stop calling US Presidents War Criminals without a single shred of proof. It’s your beloved NATO that’s guilty of war crimes and world conquest.

        Give it up. The facts all point toward NATO. Either Clinton and Obama are the smartest men in the world, framing NATO for their Presidential War Crimes, and framing NATO for creating Military Dictatorships under Sharia Law, or NATO is the true enemy.

      • Vigilant

        Son, I’ll make a deal with you. You stop making false claims about me and I’ll stop calling you names. First, you say I’ve accused you of abusing drugs (“Stop with the drug abuse accusations…”) and then you say I’ve labeled US presidents as war criminals (“Stop calling US Presidents War Criminals without a single shred of proof”). Compound that with another gratuitous assumption (“It’s your beloved NATO…”) and you have three strikes. You’re out, go to the showers.

        Calling NATO “guilty of war crimes and world conquest” is absolutely ridiculous. NATO members don’t even want to share the financial and troop burden equitably with the USA. The US has for decades urged the European members to increase their meager contributions to the organization, to little avail. Hell, when NATO spawned the idea of a rapid defense force, it was ridiculous at the time, as it is now, because NATO can “rapidly respond” to no one without US carrier resources. Thus. You give NATO credit for a strength that is far beyond any imposing threat to ANYONE without US support.

        So let’s take your screed at face value, change the words a bit, and see how you fare:

        “I’d like to see you offer one single shred of proof that NATO, not the US, is guilty of hiring 2000 Al Qaeda to overthrow Libya. I’d like to see one single shred of proof that NATO is the one that gave stinger missiles to Al Qaeda in Turkey to overthrow Syria. I’d like to see one shred of proof that NATO has the 144 tons of Libyan gold and not The US.”

        P.S. The US (CIA) gave the Stingers to Al Quaeda operatives. Check the Internet news sources instead of some wacko anti-NATO sites.

      • factnotrhetoric

        You’re not only calling Presidents War Criminals, you’re calling a US congresswoman a liar and guilty of liable too if you state that NATO did not steal the 144 tons of gold, kill 30,000 innocent civilians and destroy the civilian water supply and its only water repair plant.

        These are all NATO war crimes using 2,000 NATO paid Al Qaeda Terrorists as Congresswoman McKinney clearly describes and proves in her book. “The Illegal War on Libya” is the title of the book by congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who was on the ground during some of the NATO invasion of Libya and reports first hand.

        NATO is the organization funding the overthrow of Syria through funding Turkey Al Qaeda, not America. It would be an act of terrorism for anyone in the CIA to give stinger missiles to Turkey Al Qaeda. The CIA is not that stupid, just like Petraeus, Obama, Clinton, and McKinney are not that stupid.

        The back cover from Congresswoman McKinney quotes,
        “In 2011, former Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney, took a delegation of observers to Libya to monitor NATO’s so-called humanitarian intervention. They were in Libya during the 2011 NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, and were among the few independent voices to report on the tragedy.”

        “This collection of essays includes personal accounts by witness to the NATO assault on a helpless civilian population it had a UN Mandate to protect and the massive propaganda campaign that made it possible.”

      • factnotrhetoric

        BringOurSoldiersHome.com

        A simple state law can bring our soldiers home from this NATO madness and protect our soldiers from being ordered by NATO to commit more war crimes.

        If you are serving in the military, read the Geneva Convention, then you’ll want to Bring Our Soldiers Home too.

        Everything I stated above is a war crime under the Geneva Convention and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Any US soldier guilty of aiding in any of these war crimes can be tried and prosecuted by any foreign government in the world under the Geneva and Hague conventions.

    • John Lilleburnes Ghost

      This is a day of firsts, I agree with Rolley, I agree with Galt and now I agree with Vigilant. Factsnotrhetoric you need your your meds reviewed

      • factnotrhetoric

        You’re probably right John.
        I may be overreacting and need to get my meds checked.

        But I get so angry when I realize that over 6,000 American Soldiers have been killed, and over 50,000 American Soldiers have been wounded for this NATO madness of world conquest.

        I get angry when I realize that American Soldiers must now be afraid to show their faces in foreign countries because at any time, in any country, they could be tried and prosecuted them for their part in the NATO war crimes.

        I have 14 grandkids and part of my anger is blatant fear for my grandkid’s safety in this madness. Maybe I do need to get my meds checked so I can become a good little patsy and pretend none of this ever happened and NATO war crimes don’t exist. Enough drugs and everything will look rosey.

  • Chris

    Just “one” of our ultimate “wastes”:
    From 2005: Last week the Air Force officially received the last F-22 Raptor from defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin, completing an order of 187 planes that cost U.S. taxpayers (1/2 the U.S. population) an estimated $79 billion — meaning that including research, development and production among other costs, EACH plane has a price tag of more than $420 million. Despite being the most advanced fighters on the planet, none of the planes have been used on a combat mission since they went combat-ready in late 2005.

    Yes, I agree with the article re: too much repetition……because there “IS”!

    • Right Brain Thinker

      How about the F-35?

  • Larry king

    I’m wondering how many of those who disagree with Coburns assessment’s of cutting Military waste ever served as a grunt. Trust me with the military deeply practicing political correctness within our forces and battle stragedy most has no idea what that cost along is…

    • GALT

      You referring to your basic 11B10 “grunt”? Or your average everyday any olde “MOS”
      grunt?

    • Right Brain Thinker

      One of my biggest concerns as a USMC grunt was hoping I didn’t die from food poisoning when I ate C-rations in 1960 that had dates from the late 1940′s on them. Since the Corps doesn’t waste much money and lives on hand-me-downs (except maybe for things like the Osprey), those C-rats were probably brought back from Korea rather than being ditched. We always had plenty of nice shiny .new .30-06 rounds for our M-1′s though.

      On a more serious note, I hate to see the term “political correctness” coming up. It makes me think we are maybe going to go far afield again and start talking about things like “God’s Will” and “The USA is a Christian Nation” before it’s over. Can you elaborate on the “PC problem” you see without going that far afield?

      • Larry king

        By using the term PC i’m basing this by what my son a Army Special forces soldier has told me and what i take from it. One is the Gay rules now and then the fact that the physical training to become a member of the elite forces has been down graded .

      • momo

        Don’t worry Thinker, I had c-rations marked from the 1950′s when I was in the army in the mid 1970′s.

      • Right Brain Thinker

        Momo,

        Wow! Hard to believe. And you survived with no ill effects? Some of the cans we got were a little bit swollen, but we WERE smart enough to stay away from those.

      • roger

        0311 From 1970-1974, had “c-rats” with 20 to 30 year old dates then too. I suppose we’re lucky to still be walking around??

    • Right Brain Thinker

      By using the term PC i’m basing this by what my son a Army Special forces soldier has told me and what i take from it. One is the Gay rules now and then the fact that the physical training to become a member of the elite forces has been down graded

      Gay was not an issue for us in the USMC 50+ years ago. I never saw any (perhaps because they were very undercover if there were any among us). Wouldn’t have mattered much to us anyway as long as they fought like Marines and understood Semper Fidelis. Same goes for women. Sorry to hear that the Army is perhaps being forced to lighten up on the physical training. From what I can gather, the SEALS and the USMC don’t have that problem. The Marines I see when I go on base look pretty fit to me.

      • Larry king

        You may not be aware of it but all special forces soldiers has to do a three year training duty and my son was sent a group of Marine special forces that they were training and told me they were so badly out of shape he had to stop on more than one occasion to give them time to recover which was usually 24 hr’s.As for the Gay comment i served with some also but i’m referring to the new rules that make it very difficult to deal with them as now they can cry there being singled out because there gay. I know they marched in Uniform in the Gay rights parade in SanDiego this year.

  • JON

    Hmmmm…..An article that goes along with the wasteful military spending that Obama wants to cut. How refreshing.

  • milagro

    Ask at JACK DANELS who are the largest buyers and they will laugh. In the top three is SAMS CLUB and COSCO as you would expect. But the third one in this trio is the US military. Now maybe they are a justified buyer but at such an amount?

    • NativeBlood

      The Class six store (AAFES/NAVEX) and the military club system is normally a soldier retail sales funded entity through non appropriated funding. Not a federally funded entity.

  • Terry Bateman

    The Coburn Report mentions $68 billion in savings over ten years. That is good.
    How about the savings over ten years by withdrawing our 50,000 troops from
    Japan permanently, withdrawing our troops from West Germany and South Korea
    permanently? How about closing all the military bases the military does not want?
    Across the board reductions in military and domestic spending coming in 2013
    automatically is even better.

  • Jonincs

    Besides the obvious pork projects, the military budget folks, as well as those from almost all other agencies, are rewarded for spending money, not saving it. Any funds not spent by the end of the year (on anything), disappears is given to someone else who did not budget well and needs more. To make it worse, that agency’s next year’s budget is then decreased by the amount they saved. That is, they are punished for being honest. Until that system is changed, money will continue to be wasted.

    • Right Brain Thinker

      Jonincs,
      A sort of parable for you regarding “who did not budget well and needs more”.

      I was a school administrator who was responsible for overseeing the purchasing of textbooks for a large high school in a large county school district. The school’s finance officer and I figured out that we could game the time lags in the bookkeeping system and actually spend some of the same money twice. We never overdid it but DID manage to get an extra $5k to $8K every year to supplement the budgeted amount of around $200K that we got from the school system.

      We went to a meeting one year where all the administrators and finance officers responsible for the textbook budget at all the 6 high schools in our subdistrict were “in-serviced”—some 10 or 12 people. The finance officer for that subdistrict .stood up and said accusingly “Which one of you overspent your book budget by $7,000 this year.?” One school said “Not us, we gave back $15k”, another said “We gave back $9K”. It went like that until it got to us, when we said “It was us, sorry we couldn’t get more to spend”. Everyone from the other schools looked at us smugly until the head finance officer said “Good for you—you’re the only people in this room that know what you’re doing” and threatened to chop the other schools’ budgets and give it to us up front so we didn’t have to play games. Her stated reason? She had to give it back to the county if we didn’t spend it. Sound familiar?. She also didn’t get too upset when we figured out a way to invest the county’s money in MM and CD accounts but have the interest come directly back to the school’s local account—-not illegal but she did make us stop doing that—”makes us look dumb”, she said, referring to her and her bosses. She never said a word about the way we continued to play the book $$$ game in future years because the other schools STILL couldn’t manage to spend all theirs so she was perfectly happy to let us tap into it.. .

      I see your point, but we “budgeted” VERY well and TOOK more and didn’t waste a penny since we never had enough money for books and were forced to use them for too long.

  • Jimbo

    I saw plenty of wasteful military spending when I was stationed at MacDill AFB, Florida. I was working in “maintenance control”. There was a device at the flightline or tower called a “Tacan” used to guide planes in. It got TOP priority. I would send a ground radio repairman out to fix it. When one or more modules of the thing failed, the troubleshooting process always consumed standard 1/4″ glass fuses. But the Inspector General only allowed us to keep a couple on hand at any time. The theory being that they saved money by not storing too many spare parts.

    The fuses were no different than fuses sold at Radio Shack. But ours had to be in military packaging and come from a base in Georgia. So standard operating procedure was for me to call the Georgia base. They would hand two fuses to a fighter pilot, who would fly his plane over the Atlantic, on full afterburners. How much did that cost?! I would send a man to meet him and get the fuses. If those two fuses burned out during troubleshooting, we went through the whole thing all over again! The officers and commanders didn’t seem to care. After all, it wasn’t their money. But they did care about response times for repairs. And they would ream the Ground Radio repair staff if the Tacan was down for too long.

    After doing this for months, a smart maintenance man came up with the only solution he could. He stocked up in advance on fuses and other parts. And to keep from being written up by the Inspector General’s office, he would keep the parts in trucks, gassed up and ready to go. He befriended the guards at the gate, and when the IG arrived on base for a surprise inspection, he would call the sergeant. They would drive the truck around base untill the IG left base? (The IG never stopped and inspected vehicles.)

    When we went on manuevers, our communications vans went by cargo plane. One of the sergeants policed the bivouac area for aluminum cans. When the wargame ended, he would throw equipment and patchcords worth thousands of dollars out of the van so he could stuff bags of soda cans in the bays. Your tax dollars paid for those cans to fly cross country so he could pocket the few dollars he made at the recycling center.

    I could go on and on about the waste I saw. As a two striper, you didn’t speak out about things like this. Got you in BIG trouble.

    I saw more government waste after I left the service and started working for manufacturers making military hardware. Including $200 solid aluminum lathe turned aluminum ashtrays for airplanes. When a $2 plastic ashtray would do just fine! And $1000 flat blade screwdrivers, the entire thing machined from solid steel, both handle and blade. Tolerances on the tip were +/-.0001″ (raising costs enormously). The idiot who designed it never thought to specify that it be hardened. So the first time it was used, the blade would bend, and they would order another one!

    Yes I believe the military and military contractors could use some common sense and get their act together.

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