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US asks private sector to ease bullet shortage
Financial Times ^ | May 26, 2004 | Christopher Bowe

Posted on 05/26/2004 6:53:33 PM PDT by NCjim

Even in the age of unmanned aerial vehicles, satellite-guided bombs and night-vision goggles, the US army cannot fight a war without its most basic necessity: bullets.

And with more troops in Iraq, more intense combat than expected and the need for almost every soldier from frontline infantryman to rearguard logistician to be prepared for an ambush, the army suddenly finds itself in a bullet crunch.

According to a requisition last week by the Army Field Support Command, the service will need 300m to 500m more bullets a year for at least five years, or more than 1.5m a year for combat and training. And because the single army-owned, small-calibre ammunition factory in Lake City, Missouri, can produce only 1.2m bullets annually, the army is suddenly scrambling to get private defence contractors to help fill the gap.

The bullet problem has its roots in a Pentagon effort to restock its depleted war materiel reserve. But it has been exacerbated by the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where rearguard and supply units have been thinly-stretched throughout the countryside, occasionally without active duty combat soldiers to protect them.

The army's formal solicitation acknowledges that its current m anufacturing abilities have been all but exhausted. "Increasing military contingencies have created a situation where the capability to produce small calibre ammunition through conventional methods has been fully exercised," it said.

Specifically, the army is looking for 300m more bullets annually, potentially rising to 500m a year.

Alliant Techsystems, which runs the army-owned factory in Lake City, is in talks with the military about remedying the bullet production shortage, insisting it could expand output by 200m to 300m a year.

General Dynamics, the US defence contractor which submitted its proposed solution on Tuesday, said it had pulled together several small bullet suppliers - including Winchester, a unit of Olin Corporation; Israel Military Industries; and Canada's SNC Technologies - to meet the army's gap.

"We're using so much ammunition in Iraq there isn't enough capacity around," said Eric Hugel, a defence industry analyst at Sephens Inc. "They have to go internationally."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ammo; banglist; supplylines
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1 posted on 05/26/2004 6:53:33 PM PDT by NCjim
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To: NCjim

"....Alliant Techsystems, which runs the army-owned factory in Lake City, is in talks with the military about remedying the bullet production shortage, insisting it could expand output by 200m to 300m a year..."

Gadzooks, another illiterate journalist. The word he wants is "remediating"...


2 posted on 05/26/2004 7:00:23 PM PDT by Renfield
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To: NCjim
Statement: "US asks private sector to ease bullet shortage"

Response: Yet another result of "outsourcing?"

3 posted on 05/26/2004 7:02:31 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (Further, the statement assumed)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

More a victim of piss poor planning. The private sector can easily pick up the slack provided that they can make a reasonable profit.


4 posted on 05/26/2004 7:08:53 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: NCjim
Bullets are to cartridges as flour is to bread as cement is to concrete, etc. When will they ever learn? Words have meanings.
5 posted on 05/26/2004 7:12:38 PM PDT by Buffalo Head (Illigitimi non carborundum)
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To: NCjim

Interesting thought. If OUR troops, who are well trained to aim before firing, are getting a bit short, you gotta wonder about the Jihadists whose supply lines gotta be much more fragile than ours and whose primary "tactic" is to spray 'n pray a whole mag.


6 posted on 05/26/2004 7:12:40 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: NCjim

There's something I find vastly amusing about getting the civilian ammo market to make up for military shortfalls. Heck, they oughta just pass the hat at my local range.


7 posted on 05/26/2004 7:16:30 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: NCjim

Didn't they do something like this in WWII?


8 posted on 05/26/2004 7:17:26 PM PDT by stevio
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To: Blood of Tyrants

there are millions of tons of munitions buried all over the country - tons stored in mosques. they have plenty I think.

but isn't alot of our ammo specialized? who in the private sector makes ammo for AC130 guns, or the guns on the Bradleys?


9 posted on 05/26/2004 7:20:47 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: Blood of Tyrants
"More a victim of piss poor planning." No, a victim of Bill Clinton not replacing training ammunition as it was being used and two unanticipated wars.

"The private sector can easily pick up the slack provided that they can make a reasonable profit." Not necessarily. Winchester is already into the act with a contract to produce 5.56mm Ball M855 ammunition. Just how much do you know about the Remington Arms Company and Federal Cartridge Company's current capacity to produce such ammunition? Can you name any other U.S. manufacturer with the capability and capacity? Please get your facts correct before posting.

Buff

10 posted on 05/26/2004 7:23:26 PM PDT by Buffalo Head (Illigitimi non carborundum)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
No.

because the single army-owned, small-calibre ammunition factory in Lake City, Missouri, can produce only 1.2m bullets annually, the army is suddenly scrambling to get private defence contractors to help fill the gap.

From the article. We are using more then this factory can make. That is all.

I suppose they could buy another one but start-up would take a while. Not sure how I feel about the army owning factories in the first place. Just seems wrong somehow.

11 posted on 05/26/2004 7:23:56 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Stalin's grave is just another communist plot.)
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To: Buffalo Head
It has been 3 1/2 years, I think they current admin shares in the blame. They have had more than enough time to correct this.
12 posted on 05/26/2004 7:27:28 PM PDT by inflation (Cuba = BAD, China = Good? Why, should not both be treated the way Cuba is?)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
"Not sure how I feel about the army owning factories in the first place."

The government owns the ammunition production facility in Lake City, Missouri but private industry operates it.

13 posted on 05/26/2004 7:29:52 PM PDT by Buffalo Head (Illigitimi non carborundum)
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To: NCjim

How about a bullets fundraiser. Imagine school children sending their penies to bullets to kill terroirsts. The left would go bald from pulling their hairs.


14 posted on 05/26/2004 7:31:41 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: inflation

Why do you speculate without knowing the facts?


15 posted on 05/26/2004 7:32:19 PM PDT by Buffalo Head (Illigitimi non carborundum)
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To: Buffalo Head

I respond to the point you made, the one blaming this on clintoon and two wars.


16 posted on 05/26/2004 7:36:33 PM PDT by inflation (Cuba = BAD, China = Good? Why, should not both be treated the way Cuba is?)
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To: Buffalo Head

You posted the exact comment about a year ago. Is it possible that they don't have a cartridge problem and they are having trouble producing quality projectiles?


17 posted on 05/26/2004 7:37:27 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: oceanview

I think the problem is that our ammo has to be envirowacko freindly.


18 posted on 05/26/2004 7:37:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: NCjim
US asks private sector to ease bullet shortage

Am I the only one who is wandering what would happen if we were in a real shooting war instead of fending off a bands of thugs and terrorists as claimed by our leaders?

Now we are running short on ammunition at the same time as we are running short on troops.

Isn't this "war" going ass backward? Isn't the usual process of wind-down after a victory? Isn't it usual for need of troop strength to decrease after defeat of the enemy instead of a build-up? Shouldn't there be less demand for ammunition in mop-up then would be required in full combat between regular armies?

19 posted on 05/26/2004 7:38:13 PM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: NCjim

I'm all for supplying the army with more bullets, but it would be better if they gave the troops powder and primers as well, maybe in some sort of self-contained cartridge.


20 posted on 05/26/2004 7:38:15 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: NCjim
I was issued 12 rounds of 9mm ammo during Desert Storm. Six rounds for each 15 rd clip of my FN 9mm. Was threatened with a court martial when my wife sent me 2 boxes of 9mm ammo in the mail.

Seems the Saudis needed all the 9mm ammo for celebrating with their Sterlings.

21 posted on 05/26/2004 7:39:10 PM PDT by Feckless
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To: Buffalo Head
The government owns the ammunition production facility in Lake City, Missouri but private industry operates it.

Thank you. That is a little better. Not much though. I can see the logic but still... call it a knee-jerk reaction from a black souled Adam Smith capitalist.

22 posted on 05/26/2004 7:40:34 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Stalin's grave is just another communist plot.)
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To: Shooter 2.5; *bang_list

Bullet alert.


23 posted on 05/26/2004 7:41:46 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: NCjim

This article is talking about the UK not the US military.


24 posted on 05/26/2004 7:43:19 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: NCjim

BLOAT. (Should have listened to us)


25 posted on 05/26/2004 7:45:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: inflation

Read post #24 before you go off on Rumsfeld.


26 posted on 05/26/2004 7:46:31 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin
This article is talking about the UK not the US military.

Are you sure about that?

27 posted on 05/26/2004 7:48:55 PM PDT by primeval patriot
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To: MediaMole
...it would be better if they gave the troops powder and primers as well, maybe in some sort of self-contained cartridge.

Oh, please. What are you going to do, stuff them in little tubes of extruded brass?

Dang kids. Flintlocks were good enough for me, but you guys gotta get fancy.

28 posted on 05/26/2004 7:49:02 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: John Lenin

First, I didn't go off on anyone and second the US is mentioned several times in the article. The article, however, was written by the FT of London. ;->


29 posted on 05/26/2004 7:49:44 PM PDT by inflation (Cuba = BAD, China = Good? Why, should not both be treated the way Cuba is?)
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To: NCjim

Makes me contemplate if we should have gone to a 7.62 x 39 round. There is an ample supply to be taken from the enemy.


30 posted on 05/26/2004 7:50:02 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Feckless

What I have to say about that would get me suspended. Grrrr.


31 posted on 05/26/2004 7:51:25 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (hoplophobia is a mental aberration rather than a mere attitude)
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To: NCjim

The Government bans the private sector from owning military style firearms, the private sector stops producing military style ammo to sell to the private sector.

Actions have consequences.

The idiots in Congress don't understand that.


32 posted on 05/26/2004 7:53:11 PM PDT by Chewbacca (Pro-Choice/Abortion = Death penalty for the innocent.)
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To: Chewbacca

BPOTT (best post of the thread)


33 posted on 05/26/2004 7:54:12 PM PDT by umgud (speaking strictly as an infidel,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
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To: oceanview
but isn't alot of our ammo specialized? who in the private sector makes ammo for AC130 guns, or the guns on the Bradleys?

Lake City (in Independence, MO) makes small arms ammo, up to and including 20mm cannon.

I used to do some work out there. The place is amazing... The first time I walked through one of their 5.56mm production lines, I had just gotten my Dillon 550 reloading press, and while I was pretty good with it, seeing the machines they have out there was awe inspiring.

Interestingly enough, the 7.62 machines they've got out there have been modified from .30-06/WWII vintage, and are a bit slower than the newer machines, but (at least 10 years ago) they NEVER broke down.

Mark

34 posted on 05/26/2004 7:54:43 PM PDT by MarkL (The meek shall inherit the earth... But usually in plots 6' x 3' x 6' deep...)
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To: NCjim

Yep, bet we outsourced that too..


35 posted on 05/26/2004 7:57:10 PM PDT by Havoc ("The line must be drawn here. This far and no further!")
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To: John Lenin
This article is talking about the UK not the US military.

Huh? The article specifically mentions the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, which is in Independence, MO, and supplies the US military.

Mark

36 posted on 05/26/2004 7:58:12 PM PDT by MarkL (The meek shall inherit the earth... But usually in plots 6' x 3' x 6' deep...)
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To: NCjim

Here's an 'assault weapon ban' take on this.

If every family in America owned an AR-15 there would be plenty of privately owned manufacturers of .223 ammo to pick up the slack.

9mm ammo is in plentiful supply in America thanks to it's wide popularity. I buy 300-500 rounds a month.


37 posted on 05/26/2004 7:59:09 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Not sure how I feel about the army owning factories in the first place. Just seems wrong somehow.

You've never owned a Springfield Armory M1903 or M1 Garand have you? Some of the finest military produced rifles of their day. And the plants were darned efficient, too. At it's peak in WWII, SA was putting out almost 90,000 M1 Garands a month.

38 posted on 05/26/2004 7:59:10 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: inflation

How hard is it to add a second or third shift ? The way you talk we should get rid of 'the current administration'.


39 posted on 05/26/2004 7:59:57 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: NCjim

The free market always fixes these things. I'm not sure why that's a hard concept to understand, but the handwringers and fingerpointers don't.


40 posted on 05/26/2004 8:01:40 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: John Lenin

I said no such thing. I just said that, having been in office for 3.5 years, the current administration shares some of the blame. To place all the blame of clintoon isn't truthful, not I didn't say he did not share in the blame just that he wasn't the only one responsible. And last time I check, President Bush didn't ok ammo orders, someone lower in the Military does. THEY should be brought to task.


41 posted on 05/26/2004 8:05:57 PM PDT by inflation (Cuba = BAD, China = Good? Why, should not both be treated the way Cuba is?)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I never said they couldn't produce a quality product. I am sure they do. I just don't like the idea of the government owning and running factories.

It just seems wrong.

42 posted on 05/26/2004 8:09:15 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Stalin's grave is just another communist plot.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Not sure how I feel about the army owning factories in the first place. Just seems wrong somehow.

Maybe so, but it's traditional. Most bombs and other heavy stuff is made in government owned factories even today. Oh the guidance equipment and so forth are made by private industry, but the ordance part is made in government owned factories. The same holds for missles, motars and so forth. The famous M-1 Garand was a product of a government Arsenal (and John Garand worked for the government), as was the follow on M-14. Of course the M-1 Carbine was not, nor was the M-16. During WW-II much of the production was done by private industy, including many that had never been involved in making guns or ammunition before. Prior WW-I, most of the military small arms, and the big guns too, were made in government owned arsenals. Harper's Ferry in Virgina for example, or Springfield in Massachusetts for example. The big overhall and modification depots of the Air Force (Air Logistics Centers) are government owned factories for all practical purposes, although more of the support work in now done by contractors than was the case 30 years ago.

43 posted on 05/26/2004 8:09:43 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: longtermmemmory
I think the problem is that our ammo has to be envirowacko freindly.

Only the practice ammo, not the war reserve stuff.

44 posted on 05/26/2004 8:11:49 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: longtermmemmory
How about a bullets fundraiser. Imagine school children sending their penies to bullets to kill terroirsts. The left would go bald from pulling their hairs

Now that is a great idea, which is why it will never happen, at least not in the public schools.

45 posted on 05/26/2004 8:13:06 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: El Gato
During WW-II much of the production was done by private industy, including many that had never been involved in making guns...

My M-1 was build by International Harvester, and my M-16 was build by GM.

46 posted on 05/26/2004 8:19:35 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (...and Freedom tastes of Reality)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
The USAF owns all warplane production facilities, to include dies, jigs, machinery, etc.

Aircraft companies such as Lockheed, Boeing, Sikorsky, etc., lease the facilities and equipment from the government to produce the aircraft.

47 posted on 05/26/2004 8:21:08 PM PDT by spectre
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To: NCjim
...can produce only 1.2m bullets annually...

I'm interpreting "1.2m" as 1.2 million. Shouldn't this be 1.2 billion?

48 posted on 05/26/2004 8:21:32 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (...and Freedom tastes of Reality)
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To: NCjim

I will give up my private stock of .223 ammo to the Military providing each bullet ends up residing in the torso or head of a terrorist.


49 posted on 05/26/2004 8:21:35 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (DEMS STILL LIE like yellow dogs.)
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To: Dog Gone

Army should get a Sportsmans Guide catalog (10% off on ammo with membership card).


50 posted on 05/26/2004 8:21:37 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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