Pentagon investigates Army Aviation Unit in Huntsville - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Pentagon investigates Army Aviation Unit in Huntsville

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A new report claims the Pentagon is investigating an Army Aviation Unit that oversaw a program that cost the U.S. government millions of dollars. A new report claims the Pentagon is investigating an Army Aviation Unit that oversaw a program that cost the U.S. government millions of dollars.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A new report claims the Pentagon is investigating an Army Aviation Unit in Huntsville.

A Reuters report claims the Army aviation office oversaw a program that cost the U.S. government millions of dollars.

It came in the form of awards for contract work to overhaul Russian-made helicopters.

The Army's Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft Office based in Huntsville, manages the program for maintaining MI-17 Russian helicopters and contracts the work out. In this case, that went to Northrop Grumman.

WAFF obtained this audit by the Department of Defenses' Inspector General that goes into detail of over spending.

The Reuters report claims the audit is what prompted the Pentagon to start looking into the Army unit.

The audit found that two sub-contractors brought on by Northrop Grumman to overhaul the aircrafts "took 12 to 20 months longer than planned, failed to identify unsanctioned parts for the helicopters and cost the U.S. Government $16.4 million in unnecessary costs."

The audit goes on to say the government overpaid for aircraft parts where sub-contractors drove up the price 29 percent higher than if they were bought elsewhere, all of which would have fallen under the oversight of the Huntsville based Army unit.

A spokeswoman with the Department of Defense issued this statement:

"The Department is not able to comment on the existence, status or details of a particular criminal investigation involving the program management office or any affiliated current or former personnel, to include AVB/SPARC, which performed as a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the overhaul of Mi-17 helicopters. The Department will of course fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by DCIS or other appropriate agency," said Maureen Schumann, DoD Public Affairs.

[Click to read audit (pdf)]

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