DLA stockpiled millions of dollars of unused C-130 parts

Thursday , June 18, 2015 - 12:00 AM

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The military’s supply and weapons acquisition arm has several million dollars worth of extra C-130 parts, and it might not be able to move them.

According to a new audit released by the Department of Defense’s Inspector General’s Office, the Defense Logistics Agency's Aviation office has gradually built up an inventory of spare C-130 parts that have far exceeded what customers have actually ordered.

A “68‑part nonstatistical sample” of inventory found that the DLA had C-130 parts valued at $16 million, but DLA customers only ordered $1.36 million of that inventory annually from July 2012 through June 2014.

“The (DLA) Aviation purchased inventory that Air Force customers forecasted but the Air Force did not order,” said Assistant DoD Inspector General Jacqueline Wicecarver, also adding that the DLA “missed opportunities to cancel or reduce purchases that exceeded the target quantity for replenishing stock levels through new purchases.”

As part of the audit, the DoD IG reviewed inventory and met with DLA officials from its headquarters in Virginia as well as Hill Air Force Base and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

The DLA distribution center at Hill performs operations like receiving, storage, packing and shipping of military weapon system spare parts, according to the DLA website. The distribution center also supports Hill’s 388th and 419th Fighter Wings and the maintenance functions of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex. Distribution support to the Ogden ALC includes the C-130 Hercules cargo plane.

According to the report, the DLA relied on incomplete monthly inventory data when it reviewed whether or not they were purchasing excessive quantities of parts. The DoD IG concluded that the end-of-month inventory data used by DLA didn’t take into account purchase orders that were past due, but that would ultimately be received.

“During the audit, we informed DLA Aviation officials about the missing quantities of parts, and they confirmed that the monthly inventory data did not include end‑of‑month quantities on order but not received,” the report says.

According to DLA officials, they initiated a change to their computer system in December that they say has fixed the problem.

DLA officials say the agency established a Planning Review Team in March 2015 to review existing demand and supply planning processes. That team will provide recommendations to improve DLA processes, including ways to better collaborate with customers. The DLA will assess initial recommendations this month and tentatively plans to implement new control policies by October.

The DoD IG says if the DLA’s inventory management isn’t improved, the agency will continue to acquire inventory that exceeds customer orders. And those parts will be hard to get rid of, says the IG, because funds will have to be spent to manage and store the excess inventory, which in turn will drive up costs to customers.

Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch serves as director of the DLA. For three years between 2009 and 2012, Busch served as commander of the Ogden ALC.

Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart could not be reached for comment on the audit.

Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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