Magazine article National Defense

Readers Forum

Magazine article National Defense

Readers Forum

Article excerpt

More Pentagon Waste?

I found the article, "Demilitarization Work Takes Its First Budget Hit in Years," in the July/August National Defense (p.35) to be, frankly, an obscenity. It clearly demonstrates the short-sightedness, wastefulness, and overall "who cares, it's not my money" mindset of the federal government in general and the Defense Department in particular.

The article talks of the 518,000 tons of ammunition, ranging from small arms ammo to tactical missiles, currently awaiting disposition. It mentions TOW and MLRS ammunition awaiting destruction at a cost of $569 million over the next 10 years.

Nowhere in this entire article, however, was there mention made of the tremendous training potential that still exists as a result of using this ammunition. How many TOW gunners, ground or airborne, get to fire a real, full up TOW in their entire military career, short of actually going to war? Commanders are strapped by budget problems that don't allow them to train with live ammo, yet 518,000 tons are sitting around awaiting disposal at a cost to taxpayers.

Send those MLRS rockets and 105mm rounds to Ft. Sill or 29 Palms and let Army and Marine gunners shoot to their hearts' content. You say that the military is going out of the 105mm business and using 155mm exclusively? Who cares? Laying, sighting, and shooting artillery pieces are tasks that know no caliber. Pull some 105mm guns out of storage and let these guys see what it's like to fire a real cannon, using real ammo and not some stupid sub-caliber device that use 7.62mm NATO or .30-- 06 rounds, or worst, that pea shooter 5.56mm round!

Send the TOW's to units that can put them to good use training their gunners on real world firings, not some video game where you don't have the rain, smoke, dust, wind, glaring sun, incoming mortar and artillery sounds and blasts and hosts of other real life problems TOW gunners face. …

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