January 4, 2022
-The New American
The U.S. Department of Defense is updating the way it keeps track of its gun and explosive supplies, while Congress is requiring that the Pentagon provide greater accountability.
These changes come after an investigation by the Associated Press that showed lost or stolen military weapons were finding their way to American streets.
The list of missing weapons includes rifles, machine guns, handguns, armor-piercing grenades, artillery shells, mortars, grenade launchers, and plastic explosives.
The Pentagon is now obliged to give Capitol Hill an annual report on weapons loss and security under the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last month.
In accordance with the new reporting requirements, the military is modernizing the way it keeps track of millions of firearms and explosives.
“Clearly the accountability on this issue was stopping at too low of a level,” said U.S. Representative Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a U.S. Army veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee who supported the reforms. With the new requirements, “if there are hundreds of missing weapons in that report, members of Congress are going to see it and they are going to be asked about it publicly and held accountable for it.”
Officials at the Pentagon assert they take weapons security seriously and are able to account for more than 99.9 percent of firearms.
In its overhaul of missing weapons reporting, the Army, the U.S. military’s largest branch, is replacing paper records with digital systems. In addition, a central logistics operation center is collecting and verifying serious incident reports that didn’t always go all the way up the chain of command.
The new system makes use of an existing software known as Vantage, which gives commanders a real-time look at what is unaccounted for.