Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rifles and nonsense

Michelle Malkin pointed out earlier this week, the media and Democrats seem to take some perverse delight in (wrongly) pointing out equipment problems in the military. While I'm sure there are problems with equipment, being that there has been since someone first sharpened a stick with which to fight, it's astounding how either ignorant or deceptive these leftists can be when trying to tarnish the military.

From Ms. Malkin's piece on Humvee armor:

Capt. Matt Schoenfeldt, who serves as a gunner in Iraq’s Diyala province, also sent me his reaction:

I would first like to point out that this is just one more attempt by the liberals to take an extremely complicated situation, look at one small aspect of the story, and then invent the story that they [want] to tell. We have over 70,000 M1114 Up-Armored HMMWVs in theater right now. With that said, it is remarkable that we would be able to retro-fit this number of vehicles with armor in this short time period while still conducting 24-hour combat operations. . . . In addition to the upgrades to all of these 70,000-plus M1114s, the Army has upgraded every vehicle that travels out in sector; from ballistic glass for Track Commanders on Tanks and Bradleys, to armored doors and glass for support vehicles, and everything in between. There is not a single vehicle that goes out in sector that has not been upgraded for threats specific to Iraq.

The armored upgrade program is a tremendously successful program and has saved thousands of lives. This story on the armor upgrades has been taken by the media and other uneducated members, and painted a very successful and impressive program as a failure. It is an appalling lack of fact-checking by the media and others that should be informed on the issue.
Today, the NY Times has a story on preparedness of the National Guard.
Capt. Christopher Heathscott, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, said the state’s 39th Brigade Combat Team was 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers and also lacked its full arsenal of mortars and howitzers.
Leftists, of course, leapt on this article as proof that our soldiers are being sent into battle with inadequate equipment.

Confederate Yankee did a great job of pointing out the differences in the rifles that are being discussed. I think he, however, doesn't go far enough in pointing out how stupid this whole discussion is. It isn't even a debate about whether the M4s or M16s are better.

I called and spoke with Captain Heathscott today to ask him about the missing rifles, mortars and howitzers mentioned in the NY Times article. He told me that the reason they don't currently have them is because they left them in Iraq on their last deployment for the unit that relieved them. He said they have all the rifles and equipment they currently need for training and further, he said they would have all the equipment to round out their TO&E when they actually received their orders and deployed.