Pentagon's $5.5 billion shutdown shopping spree

Hours before much of the government went on hiatus, the Pentagon was buying trucks, submarines and a new gym for the Air Force Academy.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 3, 2013 12:16PM

Image: The Pentagon © Digital Vision., Photodisc, Getty ImagesBy Brianna Ehley, The Fiscal Times


Just hours before Congress shut downThe Fiscal Times the federal government and put hundreds of thousands of federal workers out of work, the Pentagon quietly went on a shopping spree and spent billions.


The Defense Department awarded 94 contracts totaling more than $5.5 billion on everything from Mercedes-Benz trucks and robot submarines to a new gym at the Air Force Academy, complete with a television studio, Foreign Policy first reported.


Then a few hours later, the government shut down and 400,000 DOD civilian employees were furloughed until further notice.


The Pentagon awards hundreds of millions of dollars in pre-approved contracts to companies every day, but it typically spends more on the last day of the fiscal year.


This time, however, was a different story, since Congress still hasn't approved a budget to fund the government for the New Year. This leaves all departments and federal workers in limbo until the standstill on Capitol Hill is resolved.


Here's a sample of what was in DOD's shopping cart Monday night:


$2.5 billion – for "spare parts" used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The contract was awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to Connecticut-based aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney.


$230 million for the continuing operation of the sea-going X-band radar station that the Missile Defense Agency uses to detect ballistic missile launches in Asia. The contract was awarded to Massachusetts-based Raytheon (RTN).


$200 million for body armor and tactical vests made by Federal Prisons Industries to sell to other countries.


$139 million for sonar made by Lockheed Martin that allows destroyers to detect submarines and underwater mines.


$66 million for a new fuel pier at the Naval Base Point Loma.


$65 million for military helmets made by Arizona-based BAE Systems (BAESF), and used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.


$64 million to Lockheed Martin (LMT) for help operating spy satellites that are equipped with infrared cameras.


$49 million to Boeing (BA) to develop an upgraded version of the Army's MH-6 Little Bird chopper.


$49 million for 16 MQ-9 Reaper drones made by General Atomics for France.


$40 million for scalable offensive hand grenades that lets users choose the level of blast needed for the situation. The contract was awarded to Arizona-based Nammo Talley.


$19 million on cots for the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force (At these prices, they better be Tempur-Pedic.)


$18 million for a robot submarine that can save people from broken submarines up to 2,000 feet underwater.


 $15 million for a bulk of helium.


$9 million for field jackets for the Afghan National Police Force.


$9 million for the Air Force Academy's new gym that will include CrossFit training, a Triathlon Club and a television studio (for some reason).


$7.5 million purchase of 60 Mercedes-Benz trucks for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).


$6 million for thermally insensitive telescope mirrors created by Trex Enterprises. 


Related at The Fiscal Times:


Tags: RTN
Oct 3, 2013 1:56PM
2.5 billion for spare parts? sounds like a ridiculously large contract with vague guidelines to give to a single company.  Pratt & Whitney must have great lobbyist. Just more wasteful government contracts that are welfare for the wealthy.
Oct 3, 2013 2:30PM
If the Commander in Chief will be blamed, do so simultaneous with the pulling of every CEO and Board Director from every corrupt corporation in America. Let's get real here... the military acts in it's own vacuum version of Reality. Military types have been taking such license since the Stone Age. What TRULY matters is-- will that stuff truly be used? Every bit that goes to surplus should come from the procurer's pension and pay. 
Oct 3, 2013 2:06PM
Where did the so-called President get the money for seven guards at the WWII  Memorial to place barricades against the 70-100 year old veteran onslaught to the memorial that is never manned by security guards on a regular basis. This president is garbage.
Oct 3, 2013 2:18PM

UNACCOUNTABLE AND UNTOUCHABLE.....................................GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!


They don't give a RAT$ A$$ what the AMERICAN PEOPLE think. Once again this is proven.!!!!!!!!!

Oct 3, 2013 2:33PM

VL:All good points.Everybody complains about welfare mothers getting food stamps to feed

her kids,but the Pentagon wastes trillions.

Oct 3, 2013 2:21PM
Pres. Eisenhower's famed speech a few days after leaving office in Jan. 1961 sure applies here.  The threat of the military-industrial complex, etc. The decades long cost of the problem plagued F-35 fighter will exceed $1.5 trillion at the minimum. 
Oct 3, 2013 3:03PM
What this article fails to mentions is that Congress passed, and hte President signed a bill before the shutdown to fund the DOD. They furloughed the civilian workers as a political as a political stunt.
Oct 3, 2013 2:15PM
hmmm ....  Drudge is reporting the Dr. Ben Carson was Audited on orders from the White House after he gave his famous  anti-Obama speech.   Time to call the IRS back before Congress...

The Arrogance of this President, and his willingness to use government power to go after  his enemies is astounding!
Oct 3, 2013 2:09PM
NO big surprise.  Have already seen this happen in the past on the local level.
Oct 3, 2013 2:47PM
5.5B isn't that much. With 2,000,000 employees making an average of $74,700 a year we just need the government to stay closed for 2 weeks to cover it. That is if we don't pay them to set at home.
Oct 3, 2013 2:39PM
14 minutes ago   EX -REPUKE WROTE

CL: I hate to always be the one to enlighten you, but things are never as simple as you

seem to think.It`s hot today.Must be Obama`s fault.Of course things like this are going to

happen.People are going to take advantage of the situation.As the ancient Romans used

to say"CAVEAT EMPTOR".In others words, buyer beware.

                                                                                                                                                                                            AND I DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR ""ENLIGHTENMENT""                                                                                 THE BUYER GOT WHAT THEY PAID FOR
Oct 3, 2013 2:40PM
The Alabama Crimson Tide is the greatest college football team of all time

Oct 3, 2013 3:04PM

The Pentagon is like a separate country.There`s many "black PROJECTS" that even

the Congress and President doesn`t know what`s going on.This has happened for


Oct 3, 2013 2:55PM
Add all this to the trillion dollar plus tab for the F-35 fighter courtesy of Lockheed/Martin (and it won't fly in the rain) are you disgusted yet?
Oct 3, 2013 3:51PM
They must have Amazon Prime account
Oct 3, 2013 2:55PM
Call your congressman and Senators --- tell them NO to raising the debt ceiling.  The crush must continue until the progressive cancer is driven from the republic.
Oct 3, 2013 4:16PM
someone has to keep the economy moving-----congress sure isn't-lol
Oct 3, 2013 3:22PM
This is quite normal for all government agencies to send any excess at the end of a budget year.  My bet is that it was not just the DOD but also the state department, department of the interior and and of course, refurnishing the congressional offices.  Money for terrorism was spent last month in arms for Al Qaeda in Syria to coincide with their  9/11 celebration.
Oct 3, 2013 3:55PM
See! There really is such a thing as Military Intelligence.
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