12:21 17 Jul 2003

This is the second piece I’ve read on this issue recently. It seems that the governement-provided cleaning lubricants the troops use on their weapons are not up to the task, especially in Iraq’s environment. The other story I read (I can’t remember where) said that it actually ATTRACTED the fine Iraqi sand. Weapons jam too much when they aren’t clogged with sand, don’t they? Can you believe this? But it gets better…

Apparently, a superior product, Militec, has long been available but hasn’t been able to pass the Army’s testing labs. In fact, according to this story at least, the Army stopped any shipments of Militec to combat troops. So the troops order it and pay for it themselves. Support troops, not as knowledgeable or interested, rarely do so. The Marines that were first on the scene of the maintenance convoy that was ambushed (Jessica Lynch’s unit) reported no 5.56 NATO brass (used by US M16s and M249s – I know the article says M240 but it’s wrong) on the ground, but a lot of AK-47 brass. And multiple reports stated that the convoy had issues with jamming weapons when they were hit.

Is it me, or is this INSANE? Either figure out why Militec doesn’t pass testing and get it fixed (or fix the tests, which is what Militec claims is the problem), or find something else that works as good. Or issue AK-47s and Iraqi lube to the troops. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Now we all know what we can toss into that care package for troops overseas.

I wonder if someone on or with influence over the testing or the procurement groups of the the lube has a financial stake in the current supplier. Just a thought.