The Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books.
It accumulated nearly $900 million worth of Stryker replacement parts - most of them in an Auburn warehouse - with much of the gear becoming outdated even as the military continued to order more equipment, according to a Defense Department Inspector General report released late last year.
Take, for instance, the $57 million worth of obsolete infrared equipment the Army has not installed in Strykers since 2007. It lingered at the Stryker warehouse until the Inspector General called attention to it last year.
Or, the 9,179 small replacement gears called pinions the Army bought as a temporary fix for a Stryker suspension problem that surfaced between 2007 and 2009. The Army took care of the root malfunction in 2010, but kept buying pinions.
It needed only 15 of the gears. The 9,164 extra pinions are worth $572,000, the Inspector General reported.
The off-the-books equipment piled up in a sort of Army accounting netherworld.