15 September 2010

Time to go on a diet

This sentence from today's Washington Post, regarding Army Material Command's 40-man band and its new $4.4 million dollar facility, left me speechless:
[Army Material Command] has units in 49 states and 127 countries, with 67,000 civilian employees, 47,000 contractors and fewer than 5,000 military officers and enlisted personnel.
I'm not certain what's most shocking about this sentence.  First, we have a 40-man band with a $4.4 million dollar facility which caters to roughly a brigade and a half's worth of soldiers.  Then there's the startling revelation that we have AMC personnel in over two-thirds of the countries on the planet.  Lastly, and most surprisingly, there's the 9:1 ratio of contractors to soldiers within AMC, only exacerbated by the 13:1 ratio of DoD Civilians to soldiers. 

To put that perspective, there are enough contractors in AMC to man three whole divisions.  AMC also has more contractors and DoD civilians in its ranks than there are US service members in Afghanistan.

If Secretary Gates is really looking to cut funds, he might want to start eyeing this behemoth.


Michael C said...

The article that stunned me was this one in the early bird and Stars and Stripes: http://www.stripes.com/news/army-missteps-in-basing-troops-in-europe-could-cost-taxpayers-billions-gao-report-finds-1.118204.

In 2014, the cost to base two Brigades in Europe vice the US is 360 million every year. Imagine the number of students we could enroll in DLI or gives scholarships with those millions.

J. said...

Oh come on, Starbuck. Your naivety can't be that large. Do you really think that $4 million in MILCON is anything but loose change for AMC? There's a four-star general at AMC HQ, therefore there will be a band and a golf course.

I was in a band, high school, not military, but hey, the band is cool. They are moral builders, they pull us back to the roots of the Army. Don't dis the band.

As for the contractors, pheh. They're there because the Army G1 decided that they needed troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, so they stripped out the TDA units. Is this somehow a surprise to you? Did you think that AMC's mission should suffer as a result of having a personnel cap and military being diverted to ops?

It is the way of things.