Corrosion of military equipment and facilities has been, for many years, a significant and ongoing problem. The corrosion-related problems are becoming more prominent as the acquisition of new equipment is decreasing and the reliability required of aging systems is increasing. The data provided by the military services (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps) indicate that corrosion is potentially the number one cost driver in life cycle costs. The total annual direct cost of corrosion incurred by the military service for systems and infrastructure is approximately $20 billion.
The aging of military systems poses a unique challenge for maintenance and corrosion engineers in all three services. A most serious problem facing the military is aging equipment with no immediate promise of replacement. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop corrosion maintenance programs that can carry the various aging systems well into the 21st century. Such a program requires cooperation between all the services and the commitment of system managers and maintenance personnel to succeed. In order to preserve the aging military assets, a DOD wide corrosion control and maintenance plan must be developed and implemented. An important component of such a program is the gaining of awareness and recognition by all military personnel that corrosion is an important factor in the life, readiness, and integrity of all military systems. Courses and training will be needed to develop the knowledge to deal with corrosion. Funding needs to be made available to develop predictive corrosion models and new inspection and monitoring techniques, which will enable system management to maintain their systems in a cost-effective manner.