FILE PHOTO: A C-5 Galaxy from Wright-Patterson Air Force Reserve Command, Ohio, is part of Exercise Ardent Sentry at Hulman Fieldin Terre Haute, Indiana. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John S. Chapman)

U.S. Air Force was paying $10K to replace an airplane toilet seat cover through 2017

Until recently, the United States Air Force was paying $10,000 to replace a toilet seat cover on certain aircraft.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, in May said the military was paying $10,000 to replace toilet seat covers on certain military planes, according to a June letter written by Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

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Though the cover costs about $10,000 to replace, it only costs around $300 to make through a 3-D printer, Roper said.

The plane with the toilet seat in question, a C-5 Galaxy, is a Vietnam-era military cargo plane that dates back to the 1960s, The Washington Post reports. Although the Air Force has replaced the toilet seat covers at least three times, all future replacements will be 3-D printed at a lower cost, according to The Post.

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In his June, letter Grassley tried to bring the issue of the toilet seat cover to the attention of the Department of Defense’s Inspector General. He asked the OIG to conduct more “aggressive oversight” of the Air Force’s spending and said the toilet seat cover “could be just the tip of the iceberg.”

“It seems to me that there is no way to justify a $10,000 price tag for a toilet seat lid. It’s just not credible. It needs scrutiny,” Grassley wrote in his letter to the inspector general’s office.

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