Yes, there is a BS flag on the field, and there bears an explanation of the penalty... Senator Barack Obama is a complete idiot in a "no idiot zone" for saying the following...
"And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief."
But first, a little personal history...
We had pushed out our security to set the ORP (composed of the Afghan soldiers we were mentoring) and with their security out before we conducted our movement to contact to ensure no one was setting up to launch rockets at us, I snapped this picture.
I want everyone to notice that my issued M-4 is hanging on the mirror of my UP Armored Hummer. I am about 20 feet away and I have my M-9 Pistol with me. I also have my basic load of ammo, as does Capt. Jack, who is in the turret. That is my new issued Kevlar helmet in the hood.
And for you KISS mafia types (Keep It Super Safe out there soldier), I put my helmet back on after I snapped this and carried my M-4 the rest of the entire day.
The mounted gun is a MK-19 Grenade Launcher and inside the truck is an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, an M-240-B Machine Gun, 4 Claymore mines, 10 Fragmentation Grenades, 12 Smoke Grenades of various colors, Parachute flares, star clusters etc.
In that gun-truck, I had enough ammunition for a basic load for each of those weapons, fuel to get me halfway to Islamabad, food and water for 3 days for 2 men, and enough other miscellaneous equipment to start a small war...
Lucky for me, I was in a place I could do and was expected to do that very thing.
Which brings me to the beginning of my point about how Barack Obama is complete idiot for opening up his pie-hole about something he obviously knows nothing about...
My job was to mentor, train, and assist the NCOs of my assigned Afghan Infantry Company. One of those subtasks is training their men in the use of their organic weapons (AK-47/74, SVD, RPK, RPG, RPD, PKM, and 82mm Mortar).
Being an MP, I had to get a crash course in 18B. And I did. The part they don't tell you about before you get in country, is the Afghan Supply system. And that was a system based upon shortages.
The warlord system of supply is not quite worked out of the Afghan military. Their supply system is horribly bureaucratic and is not geared toward supplying the companies, but in demonstrating who has the power ("I have the stuff, therefore I have the power") They are still working that out, with our assistance. As a result, we did scrounge RPG-7 rounds, 82mm Mortar rounds, and rifle ammunition from any caches that we hit, knowing that we could wait for months to be re-supplied otherwise.
But I want to be clear to everyone on Senator Obama's points:
- There were no shortages of anything "American" that I needed to fight the battle. We did have some issues with supply in our own chain of command (I think they thought that we weren't really "at war" and wanted justifications for everything) and in getting more crew served weapons, as many of those were headed to Iraq, and between repairs and replacements, extra heavy weapons were hard to come by. I knew all of the other units in the area and we got many of our supplies from Active Duty units that we might operate with or be co-located with. I never wanted for ammunition, food, fuel, explosives, American Mortar rounds (for the 120mm that I got from SF) or other classes of supply.
- I did not have to "scavenge" a weapon off of any dead Taliban. Their captured or liberated equipment was something that was returned to the service of the Afghan government (if it could be made serviceable after I got done taking it from the Taliban) or destroyed. My M-4, and all of those guns inside that truck were of vastly better quality than anything the Taliban had. They worked as advertised.
- Although I was allowed to teach the NCOs how to teach their soldiers how to operate their weapons, I was prohibited by my command (all the way up the chain of command) from using these weapons on operations. It was a stupid rule, and I did carry an 82mm mortar and rounds in the back of my truck on a few operations to augment our firepower. That would be the extent of my use of any "foreign" weapons.
No unit that I ran into, regardless of their designation or acronym, carried anything other than what was issued by the US Government, at least that I could tell. In many cases, they had more than they needed and would give some of it to me without even asking.
I was issued my M-4 and M-9 Beretta in the US and carried them for the entire deployment and turned it all in when I got to Ft. Carson.
Every unit I conducted operations with, visited my firebase, assisted us in operations, or co-located with us had a good supply of whatever they needed to ensure the Taliban stayed dead.
So, No, Senator Obama, the situation you described at the debate never happened anywhere I went. That assertion by you is as full of crap as a Christmas Goose, and I think you know it.
A closed mouth gathers no foot Senator Obama. Better for you to stick with "Hope" and "Change."