A message from my Congressman, Pete Sessions (TX-32)
I received this from my Congressman, Pete Sessions, and I am taking every word to heart. I believe Pete; I know Pete and he knows me. Most importantly; I trust Pete Sessions. I am sharing this to try and clear up some of the BS regarding all of the ammo and MRAP vehicle related issues of late.
I realize that no matter what I publish here on the blog, we’ll have some MOONBATS that think the Troops and Police are out to get them, and quite frankly, I don’t care what these people believe anymore, they are WRONG and that’s all there is to it.
As I have tried to tell people on numerous occasions, at least 75% of our Troops and Law Officers, on ALL levels of Law Enforcement, will tell Obama to *POUND SAND* when it comes to ILLEGAL ORDERS against the American people.
If there are people out there that want to hear the TRUTH, I WILL publish the truth, but if you want *tin-foil hat* conspiracy crap from Alex Jones, Prison Planet and the like, this blog is not for you and you’re not going to buy in to my ideas that America isn’t as far gone militarily of in Law Enforcement, and their solidarity with the American people as some say we is.
I am betting MY life on it!
Thank you for corresponding with me. I have received a lot of feedback from constituents who are concerned for media reports of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchasing an undetermined number of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles and large quantities of both “high-powered” and hollow-point ammunition.
While the facts of these reports vary, one thing that is certain is that DHS has done an extremely poor job communicating with Congress, the media and the American people on this issue. I hope that this correspondence may help answer some questions that remain out there.
DHS operates a total of 32 MRAPs, which were donated to DHS by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2008. Of these 32 vehicles, 16 MRAPs are used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for border security operations. The remaining 16 MRAPs are used by the Homeland Security Investigations unit of DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for high-risk counter-criminal operations, such as the execution of search or arrest warrants against known drug cartels.
Several media outlets have claimed that DHS purchased 2,717 MRAPs for use domestically in the United States. These reports are false, as the only federal government contracts for the purchase of MRAPs are with the DoD. In January of 2012, Navistar International Truck and Engine Corporation was awarded a $21 million contract by the Army Contracting Command to upgrade 2,717 International MaxxPro MRAPs with a new vehicle chassis. In similar manner, the Marine Corps Systems Command purchased 2,225 Navistar MRAPs pursuant to a 2008 request from the U.S. Army, and additional contracts were awarded in 2010 and 2011.
The Pentagon’s $47.7 billion MRAP procurement program ended in October of 2012. Of the approximately 20,000 MRAPs in service, 30 percent (6,000) will stay in brigade combat teams as troop transports and route clearance vehicles, 10 percent (2,000) will be used for training, and 60 percent (12,000) will either go into storage or be sold to allied nations. DHS has no plans to acquire additional MRAPs, and no authorization or funding requests for additional vehicles have been submitted to or approved by Congress.
In regard to ammunition purchases, it is important to understand that DHS employs approximately 62,000 law enforcement officers with arrest and firearms authority. These officers serve in the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and the Federal Protective Service.
Law enforcement firearms practice and qualification exercises consume a great deal of ammunition. Annual firearm qualifications require as many as 200 rounds per officer, while practice sessions can easily consume 250 rounds or more. Specialty units, such as SWAT, counternarcotics, and canine units train more frequently, and can expend 1,000 training rounds in a week. Furthermore, the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), which trains an additional 60,000 law enforcement officers and agents from the federal, state and local levels each year, consumes a large amount of ammunition.
In 2008, DHS consolidated its ammunition procurement process into a congressionally-mandated department-wide contracting and procurement system to maximize cost-savings through bulk purchases. These multi-year solicitations for proposals include a high maximum quantity for purchase and are for periods as long as five years. While the total number of rounds for potential purchase is large, the amount of ammunition actually purchased is much lower, and is subject to DHS’s actual need for ammunition and congressionally approved budgets.
These solicitations for proposals are a matter of public record, and cannot be confused with the quantities of ammunition actually purchased by DHS. A review of actual DHS ammunition purchases shows that over the past three years, the number of rounds purchased has decreased each year, from 148,314,825 (2010) to 108,664,054 (2011) to 103,178,200 (2012). When the 2012 purchase amount is compared to the 62,000 armed officers serving in the DHS, it breaks down to 138 rounds per officer per month, a level well within the ordinary service, training and qualification needs for everyday law enforcement.
You may have read that DHS has stockpiled more than two billion of rounds of ammunition. This information is incorrect, as the latest DHS inventory audit from November of 2012 reported that the department has 263.7 million rounds of ammunition on hand. These mistaken reports are therefore wrong by an entire order of magnitude.
Another concern is that many of the rounds purchased by DHS are hollow-point ammunition. Hollow-point bullets expand on impact and cause more damage, but are also less likely to exit the target and harm bystanders. In consequence, while more expensive, they are the preferred ammunition for law enforcement officers throughout the country. Furthermore, because DHS officers carry hollow-point ammunition in the field, officers prefer to train with the same ammunition used on duty.
It is apparent that DHS has done a poor job communicating their intentions and long term acquisition plan to Congress and the American people. That is why I strongly support Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, as he works to get further answers from DHS on the ammo purchases. Specifically, Chairman McCaul has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an independent review into these ammunition purchases comparing current ammo purchases with those made in the past, to identify how much excess ammo DHS has, and to determine how DHS ensures that it buys weapons and ammo in the most efficient way possible. I will continue to support this inquiry to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted.
I will continue to monitor this situation closely and support all oversight efforts within the House of Representatives. I remain committed to gathering all the facts on this topic which is why it is essential that we continue asking questions and have a thorough, independent and fact-based review conducted on ammunition procurements.
As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Legislative Assistant, Kevin Hubbard, at 202.225.2231, or by email at Kevin.Hubbard@mail.house.gov
Member of Congress
I hope my friends, family and readers will share this post to ALL of their contacts. It’s a message that needs to be seen.