It did not take long before my first FUBAR story of 2017. And folks, this one is a doozy. There are just no words to explain how abjectly stupid this idea is…and how far our military has been demeaned. Hold onto your hats boy and girls, here we go.
As reported by Fox News, “The U.S. Army gets through a lot of ammunition thanks to the amount of training it carries out. But that ammunition doesn’t come without waste which slowly degrades over hundreds of years polluting whatever ground (and nearby water sources) it happens to fall upon.
So the Department of Defense (DoD) decided to do something about it, and is requesting environmentally friendly ammunition for use during training exercises. The request was made via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Specifically, the DoD wants “biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.”
The ammunition the DoD wants to replace with biodegradable alternatives includes “low velocity 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars; shoulder launched munitions; 120mm tank rounds; and 155mm artillery rounds.” There’s also cartridge cases and sabot petals, which can either lay on the ground or end up buried beneath it. Sourcing the seeds for use in this new ammunition won’t be a problem as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) already bioengineered them so as not to germinate for several months, allowing time for the materials containing them to sufficiently biodegrade. The seeds can then take up any remaining contaminants as they grow, further reducing harm to the environment. As for what materials could be used to form the ammunition, the DoD points to materials used for manufacturing water bottles, plastic containers and other composite plastics already on the market today.”
This is the U.S. Army I love, the Army that’s been a part of our family since my dad served in World War II. This is the Army that’s supposed to be focused and ensuring the enemy is pushing up daisies…now we’re concerned with planted them?
I do hope that the incoming Secretary of the Army, Vincent Viola, ends this nonsense. I’ve seen the Army go through the restrictions of the desert tortoise, red cockheaded woodpecker, and other “environmental concerns.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love taking care of the environment, but gimme a break, who is concerned about the range and impact areas? The purpose of the impact zone or area is for the military to freely fire into these areas in order to train and fight as they will when deployed. Now, I was an artillery officer, and let me explain how absurd this is and what will have to happen to accommodate this insidious endeavor.
Weapons are configured to fire certain caliber ammunition based on ballistics. And when it comes to indirect fire, such as mortars and artillery, there are calculations based on the weapon and the ammunition. This is why it’s important to fire ammunition that correlates to combat situations. Can you imagine what will happen if our military only trains with the seed-bearing ammunition due to environmental concerns? When do they get back to training with the real ammunition?
The ballistic calculations and computations will be completely different because the weight of the projectiles will be different. And let me explain something: no one wants to go into impact areas; they’re purposefully placed in areas not dangerous for water sources, and certainly not near populated areas.
At a time when we’re looking at streamlining costs, some genius comes up with this idea. We need our Army to train and be a strong, capable deterrent force. And I’m quite sure we have other nations — particularly enemies — reading this and laughing their butts off. This Obama administration nightmare cannot end soon enough.
You know, as I said, I don’t have the words. I just cannot imagine who thought this was a great idea. It is the pure definition of FUBAR.