Air Force squadron spends $56,000 on metal cups of coffee

A Pilot has a warm head in a KC-10 Extender at Travis Air Force Base, California, in June.

(U. S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

An Air Force squadron have almost $56,000 to replace broken just dozens of metal cups of coffee in the past three years, in the latest example of Pentagon procurement prices irregularities.

The cups are used by the 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force base in California because they can reheat coffee and tea on the air refueling of ships in the flight.

But, because the container’s design, the handle breaks easily when the cups are dropped.

A hot cup sitting on a counter inside a KC-10 Extender at Travis Air Force Base, California, in June.

(U. S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

“Unfortunately when dropped the lever breaks easily lead to the expenditure of a few thousand dollars to replace the cups as replacement parts are not available,” Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman, a squadron spokesman said.

The cups now cost about $ 1,220 each, according to Hodgman in July a press release. Two years ago she bought for 10 cups for $9,630. This year bought 25 more for $32,000, which is actually a price of $1,280 a cup.

“It is always important to think about the problem that each piece of equipment is intended to solve,” Grazier, Project On Government Oversight, a government watchdog, told Fox News Tuesday. “If this cup is only intended for heating water for coffee or tea, then the goal is to help the crew’s alertness by providing caffeine. The exact same effect can be achieved with a couple of cans of Red Bull, that would be much less expensive.”


Grazier, who served in the Navy, added: “Lest anyone shrug this example of waste like small, considering the billions of dollars wasted by the government, the thousands of dollars wasted here, combined with a few thousand dollars into a million other examples to add to the billions in waste over the entire government.”

The Pentagon Inspector General identified that a pin-code used on military helicopters bought was 853 per cent more than the fair and reasonable price.

(Pentagon Inspector General)

Travis is working on a solution to the detail, where 3D-printing.

“The handle is currently the head has a square bottom, which allows for a weak point on the handle, so any time is decreased, the handle splits shortly after the impact,” says Nicholas Wright, a volunteer 3D designer and the printer with the Phoenix Spark office at Travis.

“Our new rounded handle reduces that weak point. The handle we designed is stronger and can be printed on most air force bases.”

The Pentagon Inspector General, a cost analysis and determined that the Defense Logistics Agency paid 1,049 percent more than the fair and reasonable price for the bus used on military helicopters.

(Pentagon Inspector General )

Wright estimates that the replacement of the new handles, will cost them 50 cents at a time, in contrast to $ 1,200 per cup, saving thousands.

It is waiting on approval from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in Ohio.

The Corps paid $64,000 for a $4000 radio cable, according to a 2017 report.

(U. S. Marine Corps)


In July, it was reported that the air force had been billed $10,000 for a replacement toilet-seat cover for the C-5 Galaxy cargo plane.

Other examples of wasteful spending for replacement of parts and other items in abundance, according to a July 12 letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Pentagon’s Deputy Inspector General, Glenn Fine obtained this week by Fox News.

A 2014 audit found that the Defense Logistics Agency paid 1,049 percent more than the “reasonable” price” for a bus used in military helicopters, Fine said.

The same audit also found that a pin code be used on the helicopters was bought 853 percent more than the fair and reasonable price, ” he said.


In another example, the 2018 report found that TRICARE, the Pentagon’s managed health care program, paid $1,360 for an electric breast pump.

“However, wal-mart stores located in the vicinity of the TRICARE provider sold the same breast pump model for only $ 221,” Good said.

Last year, reported that the Marine Corps had to pay $64,000 for a radio cable that costs only $4,000. A Marine corporal who saw the overcharge was credited with saving the government $ 15 million.

The problem is not new at the Pentagon.

Decades ago, the Navy paid a defense contractor $659 each for aircraft ashtrays.

Grassley called the $10,000 C-5 toilet seat, a lid, a possible spare parts rip-off of great proportions.”

The air force responded by saying that it recently was able to save on the cost of a toilet cover $300 using a 3-D printer.

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