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$500 Million Worth of Planes Collecting Dust

C-27 Spartan

A C-27 Spartan, the U.S. name for a G222, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A collection of 16 airplanes paid for by the U.S. Air Force is collecting dust at the Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan after being deemed nonfunctional due to consistent maintenance issues. According to Bloomberg, the broken down transport aircraft cost American taxpayers at least $486 million.

The G222 turboprop aircraft, produced by government contractor Finmeccanica, only logged 200 of their planned 4,500 flying hours before being grounded. They were intended to make up 15 percent of the Afghan Air Force’s fleet upon completion of the hours.

Instead, they will likely be stripped of military gear before being destroyed, since the U.S. has been unable to find any interested buyers.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has opened an investigation into how so much money could have gone to waste.

From Bloomberg:

We need answers to this huge waste of U.S. taxpayer money,” John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), said in an e-mailed statement. “Who made the decision to purchase these planes, and why? We need to get to the bottom of this, and that’s why we’re opening this inquiry.

Unfortunately, wasteful contractor spending in Afghanistan is nothing new. In August, the Project On Government Oversight wrote about SIGAR’s quarterly report to Congress, which found “serious shortcomings in U.S. oversight of contracts.” For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers paid $3.4 million to contractors for a building that remains incomplete and is full of potential health and safety hazards.

The failed aircraft have also opened up questions about how well the Afghan military will be able to function once the U.S. formally withdraws its troops. By the end of 2014, the U.S. government will no longer have oversight access to many of the projects it has paid for.

Image from NATO Training.
By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman Avery Kleinman is the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: SIGAR, Iraq & Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts, DOD Oversight, Defense, Waste, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Avery Kleinman

Submitted by CdnDefWriter at: December 15, 2013
Please note, u are confusing Apples & Oranges. While the C-27J in storage at Davis Monthan AFB in USA are a modernized derivative of the G222, they are not the same creature and are on par with the C-130J/J-30 used by USAF - they use nearly same engine and some common avionics. The G222 are old ex-Italian AF planes retired (replaced by C-27J) and bought/refurbished by USA for Afghan AF use.
Submitted by CDN Taxpayer at: December 14, 2013
Canada's DND-RCAF is considering buying some of these for Search & Rescue! I hope not as I am a poor TAX PAYER
Submitted by Bullet at: December 14, 2013
The waste and coruption with the military in United States, began with the American revolution. The fact is that it continues to get worse as the years go by.It is never going to improve because Americans like to elect dishonest congressmen and senators who like money more than the country or the citizens that elected them. Those aircraft should be transfered to Israel or an ally not left to be canabalized and sold by the terrorists rulers in Afganistan to enrich themselves.
Submitted by dkray at: December 14, 2013
And 52% of the new budget is going to defense spending. Gimme a freaking break
Submitted by Former Disgusted Vet at: December 13, 2013
As far as who gets a contact, the ones who have connections and or enough money to bribe the contractee. I was shocked when I served on a carrier how rather than make a simple repair the failed equipment was pulled junked (in these cases thrown over the side)and we were not in a combat zone. I should have been so lucky to have been able to salvaged much of it.... But what the hell it'd only money from a bloated mismanaged military budget, no care more and more available. And the folks who's food stamps will be cut shortly, damn join your 12 year old into the Armed forces, good chance to get fed or killed or both. Got a feeling your gettin squeezed. Your call...
Submitted by TimC at: December 11, 2013
Interesting article, especially since rumor has it that the USAF took the C-27 from the Army ("AF does fixed wing - we've got it") then killed it cause they didn't want the plane or mission in the first place.
Submitted by barbL at: December 11, 2013
They know damn good and well who ordered them. That is always such a joke......'investigate'..ha. Someones son or friend or son of a friend needed money~so they got the contract. The WHY is also easy.
Submitted by tedbohne at: December 11, 2013
the plural for the noun, 'aircraft,' is aircraft. not aircrafts.

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