Taxpayers benefit from Army's excess non-standard equipment
November 24, 2010
- The Army has provided more than $4 million in excess non-standard equipment to 11 U.S. state governments.
- The equipment claimed by states will be used by schools, hospitals, food banks, fire and police departments, and others.
- The Army has a liaison in Iraq that reports on available items and the condition of those items.
- The states pay only the costs for shipping from Kuwait to their intake location at Defense Transportation System rates.
PENTAGON, Nov. 24, 2010 -- The Army has provided more than $4 million in excess non-standard equipment to 11 U.S. state governments since March 2010 as part of the drawdown of U.S. equipment from Iraq.
The equipment transferred to state governments is generally commercially available and is not used for combat or force protection missions. Examples of this type of equipment include commercial generators, forklifts, floodlights, and cement mixers.
"As we drawdown, every piece of equipment in Iraq has a place to go. We are being meticulous about not wasting our taxpayers' dollars by leaving equipment there that is not needed," said Lt. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Logistics (G-4) and the Army lead for the donation effort. "This transfer program helps ensure viable equipment the Army no longer needs doesn't go to waste."
At one point, these items were required by the U.S. in Iraq, but now that U.S. presence is decreasing, the need for it is also decreasing. Rather than storing the equipment and risk its deterioration during non-use (and spend valuable resources maintaining it in storage), the Army is providing it to the state governments that have an immediate need for it.
The General Services Administration (GSA) and the non-profit National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP) are partnering with the Army to make this program successful.
"At a time when many local governments, not-for-profit organizations, and small businesses are facing significant deficits in their lean budgets, this collaboration by the Department of Defense, U.S. Army and GSA to return property to the U.S. taxpayers could become a small, but critical catalyst needed to help our resource-starved communities," said Curtis Howard, President of NASASP.
The equipment claimed by states through this program will be used by schools, hospitals, food banks, senior centers, fire and police departments, and many other eligible recipients.
Alabama was the first to receive a piece of excess non-standard equipment from Iraq, a commercial-grade generator to be used as a back-up power source for a wastewater treatment plant. Illinois has also claimed a significant amount of the equipment - $300,000 worth of emergency light sets, 50-ft boom mowers and other items.
On Nov. 22, Oklahoma received the bulldozer they were anxiously awaiting.
"We are thrilled to get this bulldozer," said Jerry Holland, NASASP coordinator for Oklahoma. "It is in excellent condition. It just needed a new battery. (It) will replace an older, worn-out bulldozer at the Cleveland County Commissioner's office."
Other states that have claimed equipment include Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.
To facilitate the process, the Army has a liaison in Iraq that reports to NASASP with lists of available items and the condition of those items. NASASP then provides these lists to the states, and the states reply back to NASASP with what they want. The liaison then arranges for transportation, customs clearance, equipment cleaning, and door-to-door equipment tracking.
The states receive their equipment for pennies on the dollar, only paying the costs for shipping from Kuwait to their intake location at Defense Transportation System rates. For example, the generator Alabama claimed had an acquisition value of $50,000 (when new) yet paid only $4,000 in shipping costs.
The transfer of excess non-standard equipment will continue as the Army reduces its presence in Iraq through next year. Right now, Army personnel in Iraq are processing over 1000 more items (largely hand tools and carpentry items) for redistribution to several states.
Through this donation effort, the Army is executing due diligence by continuing to be good stewards of the nation's resources in its management of excess non-standard equipment. As the Army continues to reduce its presence in Iraq, all equipment must be on record; consequently, this program helps make sure that excess non-standard equipment is accounted for and put to good use.