The U.S. Air Force has spent roughly $1 billion over seven years for a logistics management system which has gone belly up, according to recent statements from officials.
The Air Force is now trying to parse out systems that can be salvaged and develop a lesson plan for future investments to prevent repeat failures. It said its investment in the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), which provides a range of logistics and management services for its operations, will be explained alongside a plan on how to move forward when it reports to Congress in the near future.
The ECSS project was supposed to save the Air Force billions of dollars over the coming years by unifying and streamlining its existing supply chain; its supply chain management programs; and integrating the ability to buy, move, and manage equipment on a single platform.
“I am personally appalled at the limited capability the program has produced relative to that amount of investment,” Air Force Comptroller Jamie Morin told the Senate Armed Services readiness and management support subcommittee this week. Morin further said the platform’s ability to be used by service members, let alone to save money, was “negligible.”
Morin placed the blame solely on Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), a Va.-based firm that declined to comment on the system. The company and the Air Force previously stated they met their goals and objectives for the first half of the project, but neither specified the issues plaguing the second half.
Scrapping the project and developing a new system have led the Air Force to warn it will likely not meet recently established deadlines to reign in its spending and present balanced and auditable financial results by fiscal year 2017.
Comments suggested that the Air Force has known for some time the system would not be up to task, but was not able to quickly respond to the issue. — Geoff Whiting