From: Vos Iz Neias
DHS Talks Back
Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true. The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them — roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States — for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.
Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. That’s when conservative radio host Alex Jones spoke of an “arms race against the American people” and said the government was “gearing up for total collapse, they’re gearing up for huge wars.”
The government’s explanation is much less sinister.
Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as “strategic sourcing contracts,” which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.
Dixon said one of the contracts would allow Homeland Security to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years for its training facilities. The rounds are used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies under the department’s umbrella. The facilities also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers. More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year.
The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency.
ICE’s ammunition requests in the last year included:
- 450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition
- 40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds
- 176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract
- 25,000 blank rounds
The Homeland Security ammo buy is not the first time the government’s bullets purchases have sparked concerns on the Internet. The same thing happened last year when the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was buying 174,000 hollow point bullets.
Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency’s assistant inspector general for external relations, said those bullets were for the Social Security inspector general’s office, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.
Jones the talk show host did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
From: Before It’s News
Adding It All Up
Last March we found 450 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition slated for delivery to the Department of Homeland Service and its agencies.
Weeks later we found an additional request for 750 million rounds. The news wasn’t reported much, though the order forms are still floating around.
It’s not as if demand for ammunition by the DHS is terribly new. Manufacturer Wimchester posted an award to its site in 2009 agreeing to deliver 200 million rounds for the agency over five years. But if that’s accurate it’s an additional order that’s still coming in on top of the others.
Major General Jerry Curry, (Ret) offered up a good point when the 750 million order became public last fall saying that number of bullets was more than 10 times what U.S. troops used in a full year of Iraqi combat.
Now that a new Department of Homeland Security order for another 200,000 hollow point rounds has been placed, we’re curious to see what happens to that much ammunition in 12 months. Knowing that DHS trains rural, regional, and federal law enforcement at their Georgia training center, we took a look online to see what programs they have requiring so much firepower.
The Firearms Division (FAD) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center(FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia is the biggest facility of its kind in the nation and has more than 88 instructors from several federal agencies.
Main Firearms Courses Where Some of This Ammo Goes
Homeland Security offers a Rifle Training Program, and a Precision Rifle Observer Training Program (PROP) that looks like a 37 hour sniper/counter-sniper course. The bonus at PROP is any uniformed officer can take the course and receive the advanced training, since assignment to a sniper team or tactical unit is not required. No rifle or sniper training at all, in fact, is required to take this one where public servants learn to take out targets at more than 1,800 feet away.
There’s also the Reactive Shooting Instructor Training Program (RSITP), which looks like some sound practical advice for folks facing off against bad people during their workday.
The Submachine Gun Instructor Training Program (SMGITP) provides H&K MP-5s and UMP-40s, Colt M-4 SMGs, and FN P90s for testing and training. There are even two qualifications required to graduate this one. One test goes down with the H&K MP-5 the other the Colt M-4.
Finally, the Survival Shooting Training Program (SSTP) seems like a challenging 8.5 day Master course where law enforcement officers become acquainted with a variety of weaponry, techniques, and the effects of stress.
Interesting Facts About the Firearms Division
Definitely a comprehensive program, especially the Interesting Facts About the Firearms Division page. I’ll list them below in their entirety after I point one fact that states all the firing in the above courses, and whatever else gets expended, requires about 15 million rounds of ammunition a year.
That doesn’t make the most recent batch of 200,000 rounds seem out of line, but those billion or so rounds, seem like they could be better accounted for. Anyway, as promised — all the interesting facts about the firearms division:
1) Firearms Division (FAD) has approximately 49 buildings that include indoor and outdoor firing ranges, offices, ammunition and weapons storage, equipment and supply storage spaces.
2) The indoor range complex and the outdoor ranges (to include 2 outdoor ranges currently under construction) have a combined total of approximately 384 firing points for live fire training.
3) These do not include the various scenario-based training ranges that FAD uses for tactical training.
4) FAD has approximately 9 training ranges used for scenario-based tactical firearms training.
5) There are approximately 150 staff members assigned to the Firearms Division including managers, support personnel and instructors.
6) The instructor cadre consists of former law enforcement and/or military personnel who now work for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and current law enforcement personnel detailed from many of the agencies who participate in training conducted at the FLETC.
7) Training requires the use of approximately 15 million rounds of ammunition annually.
8) The ammunition includes lead projectiles and reduced hazard (environmentally friendly) ammunition.
9) The reduced hazard ammunition accounts for approximately 70 percent of the ammunition expended for training.
10) FAD offers 8 advanced firearms training programs. These programs are open to Federal, state and municipal law enforcement personnel. Some international law enforcement personnel attend these programs when they are sponsored by one of the Federal partner agencies.
11) FAD offers approximately 120 firearms courses. Many of these are contained in FLETC basic, agency basic and advanced law enforcement training programs.
12) FAD conducts advanced export training (off site) at other federal, state and municipal facilities around+ the country on an as-needed basis.
** Signing off the DHS FLETC home page I noticed a small banner at the bottom right stating firearms training requires about 20 million rounds annually. Even using this higher number as the sum total of all federal training expenditures in terms of ammunition, at 1.6 billion rounds, DHS should have all its bases covered for the next 80 years.