Government Waste

After a Decade of War, Military Overwhelmed by Equipment Disposal

Threw away the equivalent of 1,000 pickup trucks in a single week

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As the war in Afghanistan continues to wind down, millions of pounds of combat equipment are being received and disposed of each week, according to officials with the Defense Logistics Agency, Disposition Services.

In a single week in October, the agency received 4.7 million pounds of equipment too costly to repair or no longer needed by the services to conduct unit missions. That's the equivalent of more than 1,000 Ford F-150 pickup trucks.

The same week, the agency destroyed 3.5 million pounds of material in an ongoing disposal process expected to continue for the next two years — and perhaps beyond. While the amount fluctuates week to week, the agency is tasked with one of the most daunting and important jobs required for a successful transition out of Afghanistan by 2014: to dispose of equipment no longer needed by forces or send it out of theater if it can be reused.