Military Investigators Baffled By Stolen Box Of Armor-Piercing Grenades
The US military’s vast supply chain is susceptible to theft. Thirty armor-piercing grenades went missing last year and were recently found behind a residential house.
In 2017, rail freight company CSX Corp. hauled ammo shipping containers from Florida to Pennsylvania. Someone broke into the container along the line and stole one box of 40mm armor-piercing grenades used in a Mk 19 grenade launcher.
The ammo box was eventually found in an Atlanta neighborhood months later, February 2018. Christopher Zachery told NPR News he found the box that read: “Cartridges for weapons.” Inside were 30 armor-piercing grenades.
When he found the grenades, Zachery said, “I was scared.” He called the police, which evacuated five houses in both directions of his backyard, where he found the ammo box. Each round can penetrate three inches of steel and has a kill radius of 50 feet.
Investigators determined that the ammo box originated from one of the six flatbed rail cars that hauled 18 large storage containers. Each were marked with “Explosives” signs.
The train passed through Atlanta, later arriving at Letterkenny Army Depot in central Pennsylvania on its two-week shipping duration from Florida.
Military investigators are stumped on how the ammo box was stolen from the train and ended up in someone’s backyard. Armed guards who oversaw the shipment reported no incidents.
When the train arrived in Letterkenny, it was stored overnight in Rail Yard 1, an unsecured staging area outside the depot.
Investigators concluded that anti-theft seals on each container weren’t checked after it departed from Florida. Once the shipment reached Letterkenny, workers unpacked each container, eventually finding one container was breached. Workers then emptied the other containers to check for missing ammo or equipment, but the crime scene was contaminated by that time.
The Pentagon’s inspector general determined the disappearing grenades “further emphasized the lack of proper security for rail shipments of ammo.”
The most significant concern is that the military doesn’t have a tracking system for its rail shipments but instead relies on private corporations like CSX to move ammo and equipment across the US.
CSX released a statement about the incident and said all security protocols were followed during the shipment and that “no seal exceptions were identified while the container was in our possession.”
Each ammo box contains 32 rounds. Only 30 were found, which means two are missing.
Over the years, AP reports rifles top the list of missing military weapons.
Seems like the military has a logistical issue in tracking shipments…
Wed, 06/16/2021 – 18:00
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