Some of the Army’s extra Stryker replacement parts will be headed to an underfunded Marine vehicle renovation project.
The Marines’ Light Armored Vehicle program stands to benefit from the Army’s Stryker inventory, according to a Marine report from last month.
It’s starting with about $400,000 in savings by acquiring already produced Stryker steering and battery parts.
“With the Department of Defense entering a period of fiscal austerity, we found a way to save the Marine Corps a significant amount of taxpayer dollars,” Col. Mark Brinkman, the program manager for LAV, told a Marine writer. “The initial savings with this upgrade is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Marine report is one example of how the Defense Department could put its backlog of Stryker replacement parts to work for other programs. The News Tribune last week reported on a Defense Department Inspector General study that found a $900 million inventory of those parts with most of the material building up at an Auburn warehouse.
Our report had good run around the web over the past week.
Former Marine Jonathan Rue added up what the Defense Department could have bought with $900 million, such as 150 new Strykers, or two Navy littoral combat ships.
Pete Hegseth of Concerned Veterans for America wrote in The Huffington Post that the IG report exemplified a need for the Defense Department to make a thorough audit of its spending as it prepares for a future with tighter budgets.
And The Washington Times cited the story as an example of the media rooting around for Pentagon waste while the Defense Department raises an alarm about haphazard cuts falling from the so-called federal budget sequester.
Meanwhile, here’s our first installment of our “embed at home” with the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment. We found that Stryker soldiers are being asked to take more responsibility for keeping up their vehicles now that the Army wants to reduce its spending on contracted maintenance.