Pentagon’s $5.5 Billion Dollar Shutdown Spending Spree
Policy + Politics

Pentagon’s $5.5 Billion Dollar Shutdown Spending Spree


Just hours before Congress shut down the federal government and put hundreds of thousands of federal workers out of work, the Pentagon quietly went on a shopping spree and spent billions.

The Defense Department awarded 94 contracts totaling more than $5.5 billion on everything from Mercedes-Benz trucks and robot submarines to a new gym at the Air Force Academy, complete with a television studio, Foreign Policy first reported.

Then a few hours later, the government shut down and 400,000 DOD civilian employees were furloughed until further notice.


The Pentagon awards hundreds of millions of dollars in pre-approved contracts to companies every day, but it typically spends more on the last day of the fiscal year.

This time, however, was a different story, since Congress still hasn't approved a budget to fund the government for the New Year. Leaving all departments and federal workers in limbo until the standstill on Capitol Hill is resolved.

Here's a sample of what was in DOD's shopping cart Monday night:

$2.5 billion – for "spare parts" used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The contract was awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to Connecticut-based aircraft engine-maker Pratt & Whitney.

$230 million for the continuing operation of the X-band radar station that the Missile Defense Agency uses to detect ballistic missile launches. The contract was awarded to Massachusetts-based Raytheon.

$200 million for body armor and tactical vests made by Federal Prisons Industries to sell to other countries.

$139 million for sonar made by Lockheed Martin that allows destroyers to detect submarines and underwater mines.

$66 million for a new fuel pier at the Naval Base Point Loma.

$65 million for military helmets made by Arizona-based BAE systems, and used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

$64 million to Lockheed Martin for help operating spy satellites that are equipped with infrared cameras.

$49 million to Boeing to develop an upgraded version of the Army's MH-6 Little Bird chopper.

$49 million for 16 MQ-9 Reaper drones made by General Atomics for France.

$40 million for scalable offensive hand grenades that lets users choose the level of blast needed for the situation. The contract was awarded to Arizona-based Nammo Talley.

$19 million on cots for the Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force (At these prices, they better be Tempur-Pedic)

$18 million for a robot submarine that can save people from broken submarines up to 2,000 feet underwater.

 $15 million for a bulk of helium.

$9 million for field jackets for the Afghan National Police Force.

$9 million for the Air Force Academy's new gym that will include CrossFit training, a Triathlon Club and a television studio (for some reason).

$7.5 million purchase of 60 Mercedes-Benz trucks for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

$6 million for thermally insensitive telescope mirrors created by Trex Enterprises.