Tags: navy | seals | lack | combat | rifles | shortage

Navy SEALs Report Lack of Combat Rifles

Image: Navy SEALs Report Lack of Combat Rifles
Navy SEAL trainees carry inflatable boats at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, Calif. (Photo by Denis Poroy/AP)

By    |   Monday, 07 Mar 2016 12:40 PM

A GOP lawmaker is sounding the alarm about a lack of combat rifles in the vaunted Navy SEALs fighting unit.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former Marine, says SEALs who've talked to him about the problem say their personalized weapons are reissued to other soldiers after they return from deployment, creating a "weapons carousel," according to the Associated Press.

"They want their rifles," Hunter tells the AP. "It's their lifeline. So let them keep their guns until they're assigned desk jobs at the Pentagon."

According to Navy Times, Hunter sent a letter Feb. 17 to Rear Adm. Brian Losey's team at Naval Special Warfare Command, which oversees the SEALs, arguing the lack of equipment comes despite millions of dollars in recent budget boosts.

"More concerning, it is my understanding that there aren't enough weapons for SEAL teams — let alone an individual operator — to have their own weapons," Hunter wrote, Navy Times reports.

According to Hunter, combat rifles are among the least costly items on the Navy's budget, costing as little as $1,000 each if bought in bulk in the case of the commonly used M4 carbine, but can run up to several thousands of dollars depending on the model and modifications.

"There is so much wasteful spending," Hunter said of the US Naval Special
Warfare Command. "Money is not reaching the people it needs to reach."

Meanwhile, Stars and Stripes reported last month the former active-duty operator and current reservist Lt. Cmdr. Sean Matson, who owns a military gear company, was summoned to Capitol Hill to discuss readiness woes.

Navy Times reports that has made some officials skeptical about whether the issue is one of supply, or that vendors would like to speed up the acquisition process to boost their businesses.

The Christian Science Monitor reports, however, the rifles-gap could be due to the dramatic rise in Special Operations Command troop levels in the past years, noting there were 33,600 about a decade ago and 56,000 today, including 2,450 SEALs in active duty.

The SOCOM budget for the 2016 fiscal year is $10.4 billion, and President Barack Obama suggested a $400 million increase for the coming fiscal year in his latest budget proposal.

The Navy also recently asked for more than $2 billion this year for "unfunded priorities" including jets and a destroyer, according to Reuters.

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A GOP lawmaker is sounding the alarm about a lack of combat rifles in the vaunted Navy SEALs fighting unit.
navy, seals, lack, combat, rifles, shortage
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2016-40-07
Monday, 07 Mar 2016 12:40 PM
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