Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Are U.S. Special Operators Stuck Buying Their Own Equipment?

In a 2007 file photo, a U.S. Special Operations Forces member prepares his gear for an evening mission in western Iraq. Eli J. Medellin/U.S. Navy and Stripes: Lacking Basic Gear, Special Operators Stuck Buying Their Own Equipment

WASHINGTON -- Sean Matson, who recently left active duty as a Navy SEAL, said the military measured his head four times -- each time before deployment -- with plans to provide him a more advanced ballistic helmet.

But the new helmet never materialized. During a deployment in Africa, Matson and six of his fellow SEALs each shelled out about $900 for updated helmets that held the lights, communications devices and batteries needed for their missions.

"There was never a clear solution to it, so guys were going out spending $800-$900 on their own ballistic helmet," said Matson, who is now CEO of the military supply company Matbock.

Elite troops such as the SEALs are more and more forced to dip into their own pockets to purchase basic military gear such as helmets, global positioning devices and medical supplies, according to Matson and others involved in the military's unofficial civilian-side supply network who came to Capitol Hill on Thursday.

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WNU Editor: With a Pentagon budget in the hundreds of billions .... you would think they would have enough money to properly equip a soldier .... especially those who are being deployed. Apparently not .... and this problem has been around for a very long time.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The USMC has the right theory; every piece of equipment is meant to support the individual rifleman - the basic tool of any force.
An F-35, B-2, M-1 Abrams, Apaches, drones, carriers; none of these things can control the ground... Rather than being the backbone of a force, these expensive items should be seen as tools of support.
a properly equipped group of Marines or Soldiers can hold ground...and with far less money. And as we have seen, controlling the ground is still a necessity in warfare.
Unfortunately a reduction in the "big ticket" items in favor of large numbers of properly equipped individuals would mean General Dynamics and Boeing (among others) would lose their enormous share of the defense market.