The U.S. government purchased sixteen transport planes for the Afghan Air Force at the cost of $500 million; those planes have now been destroyed by Afghan military and sold for scrap parts at six cents per pound. Congressional leaders are working to determine why taxpayer money was wasted on this failed program. Instead of finding another use for them, sixteen of the airplanes were transported to a remote corner of the Kabul airport and sold by the Defense Logistics Agency for scrap at a price of six cents per pound.
The Defense Department purchased for the Afghan military 20 G222 military transport planes at a total cost of $486 million dollars. The fleet was grounded last March “after sustained, serious performance, maintenance, and spare parts problems” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The IG wrote a letter to Secretary Hagel saying:
“It has come to my attention that the sixteen G222s at Kabul were recently towed to the far side of the airport and scrapped by the Defense Logistics Agency,”
“I was also informed that an Afghan construction company paid approximately 6 cents a pound for the scrapped planes, which came to a total of $32,000,”
“I am concerned that the officials responsible for planning and executing the scrapping of the planes may not have considered other possible alternatives in order to salvage taxpayer dollars.”
The aircraft was sitting abandoned on the tarmac at Kabul International Airport, the AAF decided to destroy sixteen of the planes and sell the scrap metal for six cents per pound. The SIGAR intended to inspect the aircraft but was caught off guard by the sudden destruction of the fleet. SIGAR is most concerned by the notion that U.S. officials did not consider any other options before destroying the planes at a high cost to the taxpayers. SIGAR has sent two letters to the Defense Department. Currently only four G222s from the program are still in existence, they are housed at Ramstein Air Base.