No ammo shortage in the Army


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Jubjub
September 18, 2009, 12:07 AM
My niece's husband is a sergeant in a National Guard engineer company that is about to deploy to Afghanistan. He's home for a few days, after spending the last couple of months training. At dinner last night, we talked a bit about the training.

He said that the company spent three days on the machine gun ranges, working with the M249, the M240, the M2, the Mk19, and the M24 sniper rifle. In that time, they shot up $115,000 dollars worth of ammo. I'm sure that the .50 caliber rounds and the 40mm grenades are pretty pricey even at government rates, but still that sounds like a ton of ammo to play with. And this is separate from their standard rifle practice that they've been doing all summer.

At least they'll know how to put some fire out there when the time comes.

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doc2rn
September 18, 2009, 01:19 AM
You fall back on your training when the stuff hits the oscellating rotator, I would never begrugdge someone put in harms way at such an early age from any firearm platform of familiarization. I see it as at least a better way of spending my tax $ on our men instead of on some foreign diplomat.

You dont have to support the war; just the men who fight it.

Thekid90
September 18, 2009, 01:22 AM
+1 if it was me going i would want as much range time as possible

EvanWilliams
September 18, 2009, 01:43 AM
I wish I would have loved guns as much when I was 17 and in the USAR as now. I never would have left. Youth is wasted on the young.

mustang_steve
September 18, 2009, 02:44 AM
doc2rn summed it up greatly....regardless of our opinions on the war, let's support what it takes to get our men home, preferably unharmed.

If that means burning up tons of ammo, let's do it. I'm willing to deal with a mass shortage of 9mm ammo if it means a soldier can come back to his family. After all, Family is what makes life truly great.

nathan
September 18, 2009, 03:19 AM
Its tax dollars well spent.

Berg
September 18, 2009, 03:24 AM
Do they really account for the dollar value of what they shoot? How did he know the exact value of what they were shooting?

tkopp
September 18, 2009, 04:52 AM
I don't have any access to the numbers, but I'm assuming the military is like any corporation in that their most expensive asset is the soldier. Food, housing, training, down time, benefits. A few extra bucks in ammo is protecting that investment.

Mags
September 18, 2009, 09:54 AM
Don't quite understand what the point is. Is the OP stating the US Military is wasting ammo? Or is he trying to state that the US Military is not rationing ammo due to limited availability? Either way it still doesn't make sense.

zombienerd
September 18, 2009, 10:25 AM
I will attest that the Mk19 ammo is not cheap :)

When I qualified on that weapon, we were only allowed 25 rounds each. The Chief Gunner's Mate said that the ship couldn't afford any more than that, and we were only able to qualify 30 out of 300 people. I was happy to be one of the 30 :)

nathan
September 18, 2009, 10:30 AM
SUffice to say, you can only have enough number of ammo for training . Make sure they have more than enough in inventory for real combat , or else they be useless soldiers if without ammo.

chuckusaret
September 18, 2009, 10:31 AM
IMO it is a waste of money and equipment to not provide the training to maintain the highest proficiency possible in the use of the equipment at all times. To question the cost of ammo in preparation of being sent into combat? or was the training going to cause a shortage of ammo? The ammo is the least of all costs in preparing a unit for combat, and the military has a sufficient stockpile of ammo to last for many years in combat and if they don't, I would guess we civilians would suffer a shortage of ammo.

I will attest that the Mk19 ammo is not cheap
With a rate of fire of 40 rounds per minute the cost for one minute of firing exceeds
$1,520 which far overshadows the $14,000 cost of the weapon. But that is a very cheap price for a round that has a killing radius of 15 meters.

peyton
September 18, 2009, 12:08 PM
As a side note the mk19 is being limited in use within Iraq. As a point area weapon it is being controlled by "higher headquarters, just like mortars and artillery".

HGUNHNTR
September 18, 2009, 12:14 PM
I respectfully disagree, "some foreign diplomat" just may be able to save a lot more lives by avoiding conflict in the first place. I'm all for supporting our troops, I just wish more were out of harms way all together.

X-Rap
September 18, 2009, 12:24 PM
peyton As a side note the mk19 is being limited in use within Iraq. As a point area weapon it is being controlled by "higher headquarters, just like mortars and artillery".
Today 07:31 AM

My son deploys in Oct. and he says the same. They will have them but can't use without authorization.
He says it is a very effective weapon and a shame that it has effectively been removed from the arsenal.

Mikee Loxxer
September 18, 2009, 12:27 PM
+1 hgunhntr!

chuckusaret
September 18, 2009, 12:34 PM
As a side note the mk19 is being limited in use within Iraq. As a point area weapon it is being controlled by "higher headquarters, just like mortars and artillery".
The restrictions on weapons is nothing new for our combat troops when they are controlled by civilians in Washington. In Vietnam we were not allowed to engage the enemy or return fire without prior approval and in many cases the delay resulted in many of our troops being killed.

DonP
September 18, 2009, 12:49 PM
When he was deploying before the start of OIF he went to the range at Ft. Rucker to sharpen his skills with the M9 and the A2 he was issued.

At the range they told him that only MPs and field grade officers were allowed to qualify or practice with the M9 because of an ammunition shortage in 9mm. They told him the stockpiles had gotten very low and were still building back up.

I'm really glad to see there is plenty for the guys that really need it. Hearing that, I don't mind waiting quite so much for my next order of .223.

James T Thomas
September 18, 2009, 01:23 PM
Recommendation for Hgnhnter and Loxxer:

Your principles are well focused; avoidance is the best resort. If you can!However, please also look into the history of "Diplomacy" and then make a reassesment of just how effective it is.
Begin with the farewell address of our nation's founding father, and go right up to "Peace in Our Time."
Please don't skip over the efforts of two of our recent Presidents; Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
And take a look at the efforts of his wife. Let me correct that, the Secretary of State.

The best role models I can think of for diplomacy would be the Generals
George Patton and Curts LeMay.

If I had to do all that thrilling shooting over again, I would place more emphasis on removing the soldiers who will just go through the motions of shooting during combat; that is, those who enjoyed making all the banging during training, and replace them with men who had true grit -enough to earn the Combat Infantryman's Badge. Or USMC equivalent.
Our military should not be expending hundreds, or thousands of rounds for every dead enemy soldier.

How about that you single shot re-enactors?

HGUNHNTR
September 18, 2009, 01:36 PM
^ Very well, however, each situation is unique. What was effective or not effective yesterday, may or may not be effective today. If the goal is some sort of resolution, or victory, smart leaders don't choose the bloodiest option first. Our servicemen and women deserve the best our diplomats can offer, it may not be as glorious as a victory won in battle, but I would be willing to bet almost all on the front lines would forego the glory.

It seems our government has been doing an exceptional job wasting money as of late. Like my grandpa used to say, "When you find something your good at, stick with it!"

Hillbillyz
September 18, 2009, 01:46 PM
The training is well worth it, and I have heard many stories of how the bad guys will shoot at our troops from farther and farther distances. Many terrrorists have found out that shooting at our troops is a good way of ending up dead. Our boys can and do hit what they are aiming at.

Impureclient
September 18, 2009, 01:52 PM
In Vietnam we were not allowed to engage the enemy or return fire without prior approval and in many cases the delay resulted in many of our troops being killed.

That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Actually that's tops most crazy things. You need an order to return fire? How's that work?
Your buddy just gets shot next to you and you then have to ask whether you can defend yourself or give him cover fire?

armoredman
September 18, 2009, 01:58 PM
Think that's nuts? Look up "policy bombing pauses". We HAVE to have civilian control of the military, but great SCOTT I wish sometimes they'd let the professionals run the war!

danprkr
September 18, 2009, 04:14 PM
Our soldiers deserve all the training, ammo, and creature comforts they can get.

chuckusaret
September 18, 2009, 04:49 PM
That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Actually that's tops most crazy things. You need an order to return fire? How's that work?

I would suggest you discuss this with a person that served in Vietnam as a grunt, artillery or air support type, happened everyday. Before you could engage/return fire the platoon/squad/whatever you were in, you were required to call the TOC (Tacticle Operations Center) and give your position coordinates and what type unit and then wait for approval. Some times it was instant and some times approval was not given, normally after a long wait. Then you tucked your tail in and retreated. Vietnam was not a popular war and most people cared less about what happened to the troops. I was very lucky, most of my tours were in Helicopter units assigned to the 101st Airborne an organization that had their act together but only after Gen. Zais left

danprkr
September 18, 2009, 07:59 PM
In Vietnam we were not allowed to engage the enemy or return fire without prior approval and in many cases the delay resulted in many of our troops being killed.

Heck, read Blackhawk Down. They had some pretty stupid restrictions on when they could shoot back then. I gotta believe with the administration we have now it's only going to get worse unfortunately. In my opinion if someone even looks like he's going to shoot while in sight of one of our soldiers our guys should be allowed to rain hell down on them in whatever form most efficient for removing the threat.

As to some weapons being restricted. That's horse pucky too. If it's in the arsenal use it to make bad guys stop doing bad thing!

Sad part is that I believe what I just wrote emotionally, but I realize intellectually that it may not be the totally correct thing to do. We have to temper our responses in a civilian/noncombatant area to keep from making prevoiusly neutral or even allies into bad guys. I can see a situation where, "Ahmed, why are you hear? You've never supported jihad before?"

"There was my brother taking our sons to ___________, his car backfired, and some infidel American blew him away with a mortar strike. DEATH TO INFIDELS!"

OOOPS! So some tempering has to be done, and some judgment has to be used, but it should be at the battlefield level. But, once the judgment has been made that a target has to be destroyed. GET IT DONE in the most efficient safe for our guys possible.

Nicodemus38
September 18, 2009, 10:08 PM
the ammunition alotment for actual combat is not the same as it is for basic training. in summer 2008 in Fort Benning the standard allotment was 5 rounds of blank cartridges to familiarize troops with their m16s recoil. 5 rounds to sight the weapon in at 100 yards. a single 30 round magazine for the rifle qualification on the popup targets. 5 rounds to get used to full auto fire on the m4 carbine. i cant remember the ammount of ammunition allowed with the belt fed weapons. dont remember it being much. handgrenades were all dummys, only one LIVE grenade per platoon, and that was tossed by the drill sergeant. one LIVE claymore was used in the ied/landmine course.
and our companies FTX scenario was "extraction of a friendly village elder and his family through covert work involving the use of avoiding combat."

40 percent of the gas masks in the training company were on the list to be replaced outright for at least a year before we got to use them.

tkendrick
September 18, 2009, 10:49 PM
Quote:
In Vietnam we were not allowed to engage the enemy or return fire without prior approval and in many cases the delay resulted in many of our troops being killed.

That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Actually that's tops most crazy things. You need an order to return fire? How's that work?
Your buddy just gets shot next to you and you then have to ask whether you can defend yourself or give him cover fire?

It was common practice toward the end of the war. I saw more than one soldier draw punishments from Extra-duty article 15's to general courts over firing without authorization. Watched from an OP one afternoon while charlie sat up several mortars in a field below us, couldn't get authorization for any fires, and that night several civilians and a couple GI's in a nearby town were killed.

From what I hear from my son and some of his buddies coming back from Afghanistan, they are starting to run into the same problem over there, now. My son has 11 years in, he's an E-7 11b. I told him it's time to bail. He has a degree in computer gaming and networking, he sure as hell doesn't need to be fighting a war that this country has no intention of winning.

Tim the student
September 19, 2009, 01:26 AM
a single 30 round magazine for the rifle qualification on the popup targets. 5 rounds to get used to full auto fire on the m4 carbine.

When did the qualification change? I just got out of the Army about a year and a half ago, and it was 40 rounds then.

Never seen an M4 that was full auto either, except for long-tabbers'. Cool you guys got to play with one though.

BacSi67
September 19, 2009, 03:12 PM
I've got to back CHUCKUSARET on his no fire zone comment. Was there with the 9th ID in 1967 and we went through the same crap.
BacSi

BADSBSNF81
September 20, 2009, 01:21 AM
Yes, the military accounts for everything it fires. Someone puts in the requisition, someone picks it up and signs for it and when the residue is turned in it is weighed. There are some variences allowed in weight since there is always some loss.

mljdeckard
September 20, 2009, 01:28 AM
Wish MY unit emphasized combat training. The trigger time I've gotten lately was when I was assisting combat units on the ranges and they let me shoot.

It's never a question of IF there is ammo. It's a question of if YOUR UNIT thinks it's important enough to budget for it.

AZAviator
September 20, 2009, 05:41 AM
I dont know alot about the Vietnam war and I might be wrong but didnt alot of the "calling for authorization before firing" stem from the high number of friendly fire? Doesnt make it right tho even if true.

happygeek
September 20, 2009, 09:47 AM
Wish MY unit emphasized combat training. The trigger time I've gotten lately was when I was assisting combat units on the ranges and they let me shoot.

It's never a question of IF there is ammo. It's a question of if YOUR UNIT thinks it's important enough to budget for it.

And a matter of the unit's training budget. Combat Arms units and units headed into a war zone would seem to get a LOT more ammo to train with than stategic support units.

One of the guy's I know who was stationed in Korea told me stories about his time there. Apparrantly they shoot less there than a lot of civilian gun owners do stateside.

chuckusaret
September 20, 2009, 02:17 PM
I dont know alot about the Vietnam war and I might be wrong but didnt alot of the "calling for authorization before firing" stem from the high number of friendly fire? Doesnt make it right tho even if true.
I was stationed near the DMZ and their was no friendly fire concerns north of my location, only a very well armed, well trained NVA not a ragged VC platoon that we made daily/nightly contact with.

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