GAO Reports Over a Million F-35 Parts Missing

Audit uncovers $85 million worth of missing parts due to lack of tracking system.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported more than one million spare parts for the F-35 aircraft—valued at a minimum of $85 million—have been lost over the past five years. The report highlighted that lack of tracking and monitoring by the Joint Program Office (JPO) resulted in the inability to determine the actual quantity, location, and value of these spare parts.

The GAO suggested the number and value of these lost parts may be even higher than what was reported by the JPO’s main contractor, Lockheed Martin. The Defense Department does not have its own tracking system and has been delayed in creating one by disagreements with Lockheed Martin on how to categorize missing parts.

Lockheed Martin states it is working with the F-35 JPO and the Defense Contract Management Agency to make certain they have the necessary documentation to support the discarding of parts that employees may deem to be “excess, obsolete, or unserviceable.”

However, the JPO stated, “We know where the vast majority of F-35 spare parts are in the global supply chain.” The office added, “At this time, our error rate is around 1%.”

The GAO recommended such actions as categorizing spare parts accurately, establishing a process for reporting lost parts, and providing instructions for disposing of unusable parts until they can be accounted for in the government’s tracking system.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Program Executive Officer Lt. General Michael Schmidt as he oversees the effort to create an accurate tracking system for F-35 spare parts.
  • For Executive Director Sean Burke as he collaborates in the leading of the Joint Program Office.
  • For U.S. defense officials to work with Lockheed Martin personnel to implement a reliable system for monitoring spare parts.

Sources: MilitaryTimes, Defense News


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