Congress is Forcing the Pentagon to Keep Equipment it Doesn't Want


Credit: Staff Sgt. John McDowell/wikicommons

Congress will not allow the military to retire equipment it doesn't want. According to the Associated Press there are more than a dozen C-5A Galaxy transport planes at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas that the Air Force has not intention of using.

At military bases across the country the military is receiving mixed signals. While Congress has approved spending cuts it will not allow for some equipment the military would like to retire to be discarded.

The problem, as the AP report reports, is that politicians are not very keen to have bases closed or programs moved from their districts. Despite the fact that the Air Force believed that hundreds of millions of dollars would be saved if certain planes were retired Congress had other ideas.

From the AP:

While the Navy sought to retire the seven ships, the Air Force wanted to save more than $600 million by retiring C-130 and C-5A cargo aircraft, three B-1 bombers and 18 high-altitude Global Hawk surveillance drones.

Congress disagreed, adding various requirements that the Navy and Air Force maintain the ships and aircraft, and in some cases added money to the budget to cover them. Fifteen of the C-5A Galaxy aircraft no longer set to retire are at Lackland, while 11 are at Martinsburg, W.Va., and are flown by the Air National Guard there.

The story comes amid news that Lockheed Martin is expecting to see a fall in sales in 2013 because of the budget cuts that politicians seem to support but be hesitant to implement. First quarter sales at the defense contractor were reportedly down because of fewer sales of F-16 jets and C-130 transport planes.

So, despite our vast defense budget it looks like American taxpayers will still be paying for equipment that the Pentagon does not want because of politicians possibly having to face some of their constituents.