07:37 GMT +3 hours27 August 2016
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US Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment load hellfire missiles at the forward arming refueling point on Camp Eagle, South Korea. File photo.

Lost & Found: The Most Spectacular Blunders of US Military Logistics

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The Pentagon had apparently misplaced or lost shipments of military hardware and classified materials on numerous occasions.

A recent incident involving a Hellfire missile used in a NATO training exercise in Spain last year being inadvertently shipped to Cuba serves as another example of the US Department of Defense logistics’ inefficiency and incompetence, according to Bloomberg editor Tobin Harshaw.

The Hellfire missile incident, however, wasn’t the only US military logistics blunder, he points out.

In 2015, a military laboratory in Utah shipped anthrax spores to several government and commercial addresses in the United States and abroad via FedEx. An investigation by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention revealed that another military installation in Maryland may have also mislabeled and shipped samples of bubonic plague.

Guard tower at dawn at Camp Delta the military prison at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba
© East News/ Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth
In 2014, due to an apparent shortage of wrenches needed to install nuclear warheads on Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles, the technicians at three US military bases shipped these tools to each other via FedEx.

In 2013, a US Army contractor lost several RQ-20 surveillance drones, worth $500,000 apiece, either in Afghanistan or on the way back to the US. The missing drones were eventually discovered in Texas, about 8 months after their disappearance.

In 2007, a B-52 strategic bomber was flying for several hours over several US states while carrying six armed nuclear warheads. A subsequent Pentagon report stated that the US Air Force could not account for hundreds of components of its nuclear arsenal.

In 2006, four nose cones containing electrical fuses for nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan by the US Defense Logistics Agency.

"Nobody has ever bragged about Pentagon efficiency, but even so, it's been an embarrassing stretch for anyone trying to defend the Defense Department's logistics lapses and profligate ways," Harshaw remarks.

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equipment, mistakes, failure, missiles, shipment, drones, logistics, US military, Pentagon, United States
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  • Polana
    When it comes to losing things, the Pentagon is world number 1 at losing money. There are billions of dollars unaccounted for, planet sized holes in their budget. Where has the money gone?
  • jas
    All occurred after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I'm wondering if this could be the result of the Bush political purge of people who didn't agree with him. Many of these "mistakes" may even by a deliberate way of destroying US global influence, which I am beginning to suspect is the key objective of the current global chaos. As with any cartel or gang, the sabotage of one is an attempt by another to fill the power vacuum.
  • jasin reply toPolana(Show commentHide comment)
    Polana, And it's an "accident" that is consistent and with no attempts to resolve.
  • FlorianGeyer
    This is what happens when a nation's masses are deliberately 'dumbed down' by poor education. The subsequent 'worker bees' are blinkered in all that they are tasked with. They are easier to control BUT have zero initiative and common sense.
    America is living in its own propaganda bubble. It will certainly make me laugh when it bursts.
  • Tariq A
    Routine blunder is recipe for false flag.
  • Tariq Ain reply toPolana(Show commentHide comment)
    Polana, There are trillions of dollars unaccounted for, not billions. As Rumsfeld announced on 10th September 2001, Pentagon could not figure out where two trillion dollars have gone. It's not known to this day.
  • And that's just what we've heard about!
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