Is it SOP for the military to scrounge up every last piece of missing ammo?


PDA






jefnvk
June 16, 2005, 04:08 PM
Do they do this all the time? I can see retrieving the bombs, but why are they searching the area for every last 25mm cartridges?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/06/16/harrier.crash.ap/index.html
YUMA, Arizona (AP) -- About 300 Marine base workers walked shoulder to shoulder through a southern Arizona neighborhood Thursday in search of any stray ammunition from the crash of a bomb-laden Harrier jet.

As each section was cleared, officials planned to let residents return to the last 52 homes still evacuated after Wednesday's crash in Yuma, said James Stover, the city's public affairs manager.

Hundreds more evacuees had been allowed to go home late Wednesday, hours after the jet plunged into a backyard while trying to land at Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma, about 185 miles southwest of Phoenix.

The pilot ejected safely before the crash, and one civilian on the ground had a minor cut. Two homes had structural damage, Marine Cpl. Michael Nease said.

The plane's four 500-pound bombs were safely removed. They have devices to prevent detonation if they are accidentally dropped from the aircraft or hit the ground in a crash, Nease said.

The plane was also carrying 300 rounds of 25-milimeter ammunition, none of which exploded.

Stover said most of the ammunition had been accounted for. "This is again to make sure there are no loose ends," he said.

The plane crashed and burst into flames about a mile from the base.

Marine investigator were trying to determine what caused the crash, Nease said.

The AV-8B Harrier, a light attack aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, was the fourth such jet from the Yuma air station to crash in 18 months. A Harrier crashed in Yuma on December 2 and two crashed in December 2003. In each case, the pilot ejected safely.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is it SOP for the military to scrounge up every last piece of missing ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Rebar
June 16, 2005, 04:12 PM
why are they searching the area for every last 25mm cartridges?
Liability. If some dunce finds one, puts it in a fire to "see what happens", and gets maimed/killed, then the marines would have to pay millions of dollars.

slowworm
June 16, 2005, 04:34 PM
These are not 147 grain FMJs that they are looking for.

Being 25mm and intended to air to air gunnery they may also be high explosive incendiary rounds.

I for one would not want HEI rounds lying in my yard waiting for a 5 year old kid to find. Think of these as 25mm hand grenades perhaps it will make more sense.

Blue Jays
June 16, 2005, 04:38 PM
Hi All-

USMC response might also be a little different if a single live round of 25-millimeter ammunition was lost over a remote section of Alaskan wasteland. The military has been taking a journalistic beating from liberal bedwetters in the mainstream media lately, so they're likely taking special precautions.

~ Blue Jays ~

jefnvk
June 16, 2005, 04:48 PM
I for one would not want HEI rounds lying in my yard waiting for a 5 year old kid to find. Think of these as 25mm hand grenades perhaps it will make more sense.

Makes more sense that way. I did not realize that these were explosive.

Ukraine Train
June 16, 2005, 05:05 PM
Imagine running over one with your lawn mower heh. Though I don't think they have much grass to mow in that area.

neoncowboy
June 16, 2005, 05:24 PM
Being 25mm and intended to air to air gunnery they may also be high explosive incendiary rounds.

USMC Harriers are ground attack planes...but same difference.

Definitely not something you want to leave laying around in a residential neighborhood.

Spreadfire Arms
June 16, 2005, 05:28 PM
ill bet the military NCIS or similar group will be hitting the area surplus stores and gun shows, as well as the internet, to look for any missing rounds as well.

they take this very seriously....

Randy in Arizona
June 16, 2005, 07:18 PM
Are these 25mm rounds the same as the 25mm Bushmaster rounds fired by a Bradley Fighting Vehicle?

Old NFO
June 16, 2005, 07:37 PM
It's SOP to do walkdowns not only for ammunition, but other items including gauges, radios, switches, etc. And Spreadfire is right, they will be checking "everywhere" for anything that might show up... They will also recover and transport all of the basic airframe they recover.

Hardware
June 17, 2005, 01:49 AM
Imagine running over one with your lawn mower heh. Though I don't think they have much grass to mow in that area.

but on the plus side the US would be the first country to put a lawnmower in orbit. :p :D

Firethorn
June 17, 2005, 02:02 AM
I'm in the air force, and have been at a base with a couple crashes. The paper might say 'looking for lost ammunition', but in reality, they're looking for everything from that plane down to the screws. Forensics, basically.

And yes, 25mm rounds are a whole different ballgame from a few 5.56 or 9mm rounds.

richyoung
June 17, 2005, 10:03 AM
How times change - I remember in the early nineties reading about an air museum that had aquired an early jet fighter (F-84, IIRC..) that had been an instructional airframe at a technical school for 25+ years. When they went to take it apart to truck it to the museum, they found it still had the cannons in it - LOADED! :eek: Lucky nobody at the school had crossed the wrong wires....

WT
June 17, 2005, 10:11 AM
If I remember correctly, a Bradley IFV with a 25 mm gun took out an Iraqi tank.

slowworm
June 17, 2005, 10:16 AM
Are these 25mm rounds the same as the 25mm Bushmaster rounds fired by a Bradley Fighting Vehicle?

I believe that they are dimensionally the same but the Bradley uses a different projectile optimized for the role.

slowworm
June 17, 2005, 10:20 AM
but on the plus side the US would be the first country to put a lawnmower in orbit

Flying Lawnmower (http://www.big-boys.com/articles/lawnfly.html)

Bobarino
June 17, 2005, 12:32 PM
if the rounds are tank buster rounds, aren't they Depleted Uranium? i don't think the military wants to be responsible for low level radio active waste laying about in the desert. they might end up with some three headed Gila Monsters or something.

Bobby

Old NFO
June 17, 2005, 01:07 PM
if the rounds are tank buster rounds, aren't they Depleted Uranium? i don't think the military wants to be responsible for low level radio active waste laying about in the desert. they might end up with some three headed Gila Monsters or something.

No biggie, they'll just put em in Savannah River with the three toed fishes.... :neener:

Tankcommander
June 17, 2005, 02:02 PM
I don't think they would be on a training flight with DU rounds, thats war shot saved for Iraq and points West. Any part might help with an accident investigation.

Four planes down in one year doesn't sound good. The Harrier is a tough bird to fly.

TC

simon
June 17, 2005, 02:43 PM
Its just hear-say (third party) but a guy I know says one can go out to the choclate mtns. in CA. near the Az. border, at the aerial gunnery range, and pick up 20mm rounds off the ground, both live rounds and brass,dummy bombs,etc.

Tory
June 17, 2005, 03:40 PM
"...at the aerial gunnery range, and pick up 20mm rounds off the ground..."

The key phrase being "at the aerial gunnery range'" NOT a residential neighborhood. Grasp the distinction! :rolleyes:

Note also that the range is clearly posted and entry by souvenir-hunters is forbidden. :eek:

Moondoggie
June 17, 2005, 04:00 PM
As others have posted already, they're looking for ANY pieces of the downed bird. Harriers are made largely of a composite material that's highly toxic when it's broken into pieces.

The only good thing about a Harrier is the Martin Baker "Zero/Zero" ejection seat. I once read an interview in the base newspaper at MCAS Yuma with a LtCol, Harrier Sqdn CO, who had ejected out of FOUR Harriers in his career...two that had caught on fire on the ground.

When I was stationed at Cherry Point and Yuma (the 2 primary places where the Marines have Harriers) we used to have a saying...."If you'd like to have your very own Harrier, all you have to do is buy a piece of land near the base and sooner or later you'll get one!"

Although the Harrier is PRIMARILY a ground attack aircraft, it does have a (very) limited air-to-air capability. It's barely supersonic and could fight a helo or another attack aircraft much better than it could a 3rd generation fighter aircraft.

I was assigned to the Marine Adversary Squadron at Yuma for 5 yrs (VMFT-401) which flew the F-5 aircraft. Our pilots used to spank the Harriers whenever we'd "play" against them.

HankB
June 17, 2005, 04:17 PM
Although the Harrier is PRIMARILY a ground attack aircraft, it does have a (very) limited air-to-air capability. It's barely supersonic I thought British Harriers did OK against whatever jets (probably not first-line) Argentina was using in the Falklands.

And it's news to me that the Harrier is supersonic at all . . .

MudPuppy
June 17, 2005, 04:22 PM
When I was on the Korean DMZ in the mid-80s, we were responsible for every .223 and .45 round. A guy lost one someone once and I was a freakin' hero for "finding" it. (I had a stash for that reason. There's the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way. And I guess there's My way too...)

Moondoggie
June 17, 2005, 06:34 PM
A Harrier can hit Mach 1...going "downhill, with the wind"...they won't fall apart or anything more catastrophic than normal at that speed. Joking in my previous sentence. If memory serves, their "rated" top speed puts them at about 10 knots above Mach 1...they can't maintain it for very long cuz it sucks up their fuel. Being marginally supersonic and also having a marginal air-to-air capability are factors that the Harrier patrons hang their hats on to justify keeping the piece of junk around. It's way more maint intensive than any other A/C in our inventory, especially when it comes to changing-out an engine (just ONE engine...the only one it has).

BTW, the statement in the news item about the Harrier being able to take off and land like a helo are propaganda.....a Harrier CAN do this with a minimal load of fuel/ordnance on a cool day. Impresses folks at airshows. It's official designation is a V/STOL aircraft..(Vertical/Short Take Off or Landing) In a hot climate a fully loaded Harrier becomes a STOL (SHORT takeoff/landing) aircraft. I've known about two dozen Harrier drivers. I've never actually met a Harrier enthusiast (above the rank of 1stLt), unless their career depended upon higher-ups thinking that they were toeing the party line.

My last 13 yrs in the Marines were spent in aviation units, up to and including billets on Group/General staffs.

Berek
June 17, 2005, 07:34 PM
One of the biggest concerns I would have: Children.

Being the most inquisitive things on the planet, kids will find a way to detonate the round, open and pour the powder then light the powder, hammer the primer, etc.

There have been reports of children scrounging rounds, separating the components and selling the brass. In some cases, someone forgot to remove the powder or wasn't paying attention and a round went off injuring, maiming or killing someone. I admit, our children are not interested in salvaging brass, but their curiosity puts them into the same situation.

{ramble ramble....}

I, for one, applaud their efforts to recover lost rounds.

Berek

MikeIsaj
June 17, 2005, 11:31 PM
Marines are maniacal about ammo accountability. I am certain they are looking for ammo as well as any other parts of the aircraft.

Its just hear-say (third party) but a guy I know says one can go out to the choclate mtns. in CA. near the Az. border, at the aerial gunnery range, and pick up 20mm rounds off the ground, both live rounds and brass,dummy bombs,etc.

Two thoughts;
1. If you do you are tresspassing on restricted federal property. If you are caught, you will be dealt with severely. The Marines take restricted space incursions seriously because of #2.
2. Early eighties I was in Twentynine Palms when an "accident" occured on the Chocolate Mtn. Gunnery Range. Live bombing run fragged a group camping on the range.

Blue Jays
June 18, 2005, 02:04 AM
Hi Berek-

Don't worry about all the ammunition being secured. It's For The ChildrenTM

~ Blue Jays ~

BlackCat
June 18, 2005, 03:50 AM
Another thread, another dream lost.

I have wanted to fly a Harrier for as long as I've known they exist, coolest jets in the military in my opinion.

Now this thread gives me the feel baddies.

Hank Zudd
June 18, 2005, 12:08 PM
there was this rocket sciencetist in our 4 duce mortar platoon (in late 70's) at ft. hood that had several round left over from a range shoot. turning in out of the crate unfired ammo is worse that a jp-4 enema, so they threw several unfused HE rounds into a creek they crossed returning to the motor pool area. (about a 5 hour road march on the tank trails) The whole platoon (+30 guys) spent 3 WEEKS walking up & down this creek looking for the stuff. only found 2 rounds out of 4. this was on a military training reservation, basicly opened to the public. Yea, there was tons of unexploded ordanance all over this post, but knowing that it was done on purpose was what caused the hell to break loose. I'm sure anyone who's been in the biz for any length of time has similar stories.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is it SOP for the military to scrounge up every last piece of missing ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!