Molesworth site recovers $60k in titanium

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

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England-based property disposal personnel recently teamed with Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services headquarters staff and the agency’s Strategic Materials program to save taxpayers more than $60,000 by adding surplus titanium to DLA’s reserve cache.

The property disposal team at Royal Air Force Molesworth, near Cambridgeshire, recently received a lot of 70 stock bars of titanium weighing between 20 and 100 pounds apiece. Titanium’s allure comes from its stellar strength-to-density ratio, the highest of any metal. It is highly corrosion-resistant and can be alloyed with a variety of other elements to create an abundance of strong but lightweight products and components. Defense contractors count on titanium’s properties for the production of items like missiles and jet engine blades.

Property Disposal Specialist Dan Callens said the excess metal was turned over by BAE Systems, a multinational defense contractor based in the United Kingdom with clients that include the U.S. military. Callens said identifying a follow-on usage for the raw element took a bit more coordination than the typical property turn in.  

“It was not a normal requisition,” Callens said, noting that the Sales Office’s Danniel Schneider and Reuse, Transfer and Donation Office’s Sheila Everest identified a destination and processed the requisition. Fellow Property Disposal Specialist Floyd Gardner helped provide item information and Callens said he and Controlled Property Verifier William Meehan packed and crated the bars and shipped them to DLA’s repository in Hammond, Indiana. 

Among its various business functions, the core function of DLA Strategic Materials is the operation and oversight of the National Defense Stockpile. The stockpile exists to “decrease and preclude dependence upon foreign sources or single points of failure for strategic materials in times of national emergency.” Some of those strategic materials include metals, ores and rare earths ranging from the well-known like copper, quartz and aluminum, to the extremely obscure like dysprosium, scandium and ytterbium.

DLA Disposition Services has managed a similar but separate mission for the Defense Department since the 1970s, returning hundreds of millions worth of precious metals from end-of-life government property back into federal stock. Those metals, like silver, gold and platinum, are removed from used equipment, melted down and later relied on to drive down the costs of creating new equipment for warfighters.