US military stumped by box of armor-piercing grenades stolen, other reports of scores of missing military weapons

| June 17, 2021

Got a two-parter here. Got this in off the wire from Jeff LPH 3.

First up is this report of a box of armor-piercing 40mm grenades. They turned up in a backyard in Atlanta still in their box, covered with a pink pillowcase.

The canister began its journey at Blount Island, a U.S. Marine Corps depot in Jacksonville, Florida. Six flatbed rail cars hauled 18 large storage containers known as conex boxes, each with an orange sign warning “Explosives” on its side. On car DODX48916, inside container USMC007574-6, canisters of the 40 mm rounds were stacked like soldiers in bunks.

The train’s circuitous route passed through Atlanta twice before it arrived 17 days later at Letterkenny Army Depot in central Pennsylvania. There, a worker unpacking the container discovered the theft.

Where, when, who, how — investigators were at a loss.

A series of security failures covered any tracks the thief left.

Armed guards who accompanied the shipment reported nothing. When the train reached Letterkenny, it was shuttled for the night to Rail Yard 1, an unsecured staging area outside the installation with no surveillance.

Upon arrival, workers didn’t verify whether anti-theft seals on each container were intact. An inspector didn’t check the seals the next day either, later saying it was because he couldn’t see them.

Yet another day passed before workers noticed the broken seals. The first laborer who saw the severed wooden framing used to hold pallets of canisters together thought it broke in transit. Then he noticed a metal strap that holds each canister snugly to the wood also was cut, and one box was gone.

Military investigators would conclude that no one checked the seals in the weeks after the train departed Blount Island.

The Pentagon’s inspector general wrote that the disappearing grenades “further emphasized the lack of proper security for rail shipments” of military arms, explosives and ammunition.

The military doesn’t have a centralized tracking system for rail shipments like this one, instead relying on contractors to deliver the arms and explosives safely. This shipment was the responsibility of rail freight giant CSX Corp., which provided everything from locomotive and tracks to guards and engineers to the dozen or so rail yards where the train stopped along the way.

CSX said in a statement that required security protocols were followed during the shipment and that “no seal exceptions were identified while the container was in our possession.”

The last hope of finding clues came when the grenades showed up in Atlanta. But instead of treating the canister as evidence, explosives specialists from Dobbins Air Reserve Base took it and blew it up.

There was just one thing. The canisters are packed with 32 rounds. This one only had 30.

Two remain missing.

Well that’s good news. Along with that we go to our second article. There are recent investigative reports that there are a lot of military firearms that go missing every year. 

The U.S. Army has hidden or downplayed the extent to which its firearms disappear, significantly understating losses and thefts even as some weapons are used in street crimes.

The Army’s pattern of secrecy and suppression dates back nearly a decade, when The Associated Press began investigating weapons accountability within the military. Officials fought the release of information for years, then offered misleading answers that contradict internal records.

Military guns aren’t just disappearing. Stolen guns have been used in shootings, brandished to rob and threaten people and recovered in the hands of felons. Thieves sold assault rifles to a street gang.

Army officials cited information that suggests only a couple of hundred firearms vanished during the 2010s. Internal Army memos that AP obtained show losses many times higher.

Efforts to suppress information date to 2012, when AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking records from a registry where all four armed services are supposed to report firearms loss or theft.

I thought that the government were the only ones to be trusted with weapons.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Army, Crime, Guest Link, Guns, Marines

Comments (19)

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  1. Skippy says:

    Damn I knew it was bad but not this bad

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    “Military guns aren’t just disappearing. Stolen guns have been used in shootings, brandished to rob and threaten people and recovered in the hands of felons. Thieves sold assault rifles to a street gang.” – article

    It seems as though all those antigun ownership laws aren’t working very well, are they? And guns are still being stolen out of railcars on Chicago’s south side, have been for decades.

    So what’s new?

    • Anonymous says:

      Evil “white supremacist” stuff, of course– ban guns, Leftism, etc. will achieve utopia, comrade!

    • UpNorth says:

      But…but…..Beetlejuice, er, Lori Lightfoot has been telling everyone that the carnage in Chiraq is the fault of Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and everyone who lives in those states. They don’t infringe upon their citizen’s rights near often enough to please her.

    • rgr769 says:

      Lightfoot’s BS agitprop for more gun control laws asserts that all the handguns used in crime in Shotcago are being bought in adjacent states. This is a lie. Illinois citizens cannot legally buy pistols in adjacent states. It is already a federal crime for even private sales of handguns by citizens of state A to sell, deliver, or entrust a pistol to a citizen of another state. Just like many other gun control propaganda talking points, the progs ignore the fact we already have federal laws prohibiting what they are squawking about banning.

  3. Sapper3307 says:
    And non military bullet launchers.

  4. KoB says:

    Seems like a precedent was set by a “Cool Black Dude” and his cohorts awhile back, using grubermint owned weapons to supply criminals with gunz. The taxpayer should be furious how fast these things disappear.

  5. 10thMountainMan says:

    The US Military is a joke. Obliterate the budget, downsize, kick out ALL fatties and end all future dependent benefits for all service members except by special dispensation.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    The rounds would be of little use to anyone without a launcher but
    the ammo can is well worth having. Super rugged tool box that
    every pickup truck needs.

    • MI Ranger says:

      not something you want to put in a M203 style launcher…break your arm and the launcher. Probably what they realized after trying to fire two!
      You ever try to break the belt on those? Not fun, I had a jam on a range I was running once, figured it was like a M60 or M2 link and just break the link and slide the stuck round out. Nope, those suckers are not designed to break apart! I eventually did, with some liberal use of cutters and was able to remove the jammed casing (not round) but man that sucked!

      • A Terminal Lance Coolie says:

        Once had a round try to turn sideways on the feed tray, because someone forgot the feed chute for the Mark. It took us 20 minutes just to pry the feed cover open on that gun.

        Kudos to whoever has the time to delink those rounds. They can keep the pain and misery they went through.

  7. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    CSX Railroad has been slashing jobs ever since Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) was first inflicted, thus I’d be very surprised if they ever had any surveillance at all on that car! As for the missing Military Weapons, that’s been going on for years. Hey, why not pass laws against stealing firearms, oops, we already have them, never mind.

    • UpNorth says:

      Well, considering that cabooses(cabeese?) are in very short supply, and that any passenger cars the CSX may own are for executive trains, where do these security peeps ride, and where do they stay, when the cars they’re guarding end up in a yard somewhere for a day or four?

  8. Roh-Dog says:

    I know people. Better yet, I know people that know people. FWIW I’ve NEVER heard of any private individual owning an Mk19.
    And two rounds? Call me when the idjit tries to dissemble the thing and turns himself into the past tense.
    Again, if people just followed the Regs (Read: Laws!) we wouldn’t have a problem.
    (for a little over a grand, $200 bucks to the AFT [sic] and a less-than-timely background investigation, one can own a M203 Destructive Device so as to fire TPT rounds to their hearts’ content. Don’t have one myself….yet)

    • MI Ranger says:

      A M203 40mm is considered an NFA item. The rounds on the other hand require a tax stamp for each one!
      On the other hand you can get a 37mm or 30mm launcher and put illum, buckshot, smoke, or 10x .22 rounds.

      As I said above though…don’t put a 40mm M430 round meant for a Mk-19 in an M203, you will be acting like that reporter who said shooting an AR-15 hurts! Ouch!!!!

  9. Sparks says:

    Known gang members being allowed into the military will produce military weapons in the hands of gang members.