Lawmakers Probe Reports of SpecOps Equipment Shortages

A U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret sniper, assigned to 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) walks along a ridge line during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, on Feb. 17, 2016. (Photo by Efren Lopez/U.S. Air Force)A U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret sniper, assigned to 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) walks along a ridge line during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, on Feb. 17, 2016. (Photo by Efren Lopez/U.S. Air Force)

Members of Congress questioned Special Operations Command leaders today about reported equipment shortages in some elite units that extend as far as not having enough individual weapons to go around.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, raised the issue with U.S. SOCOM Commander Gen. Joseph L. Votel at a March 1, hearing for the House Armed Service Committee’s subcommittee on Emerging threats and Capabilities.

“I have had multiple SEALS, multiple times come to me in the last six months come to me in San Diego and tell me how things have changed dramatically from five or six years ago meaning they don’t get weapons to work up with for two years,” Hunter said.

“They get their weapon when a guy comes back and hands over the weapon; then they have to recalibrate it, put on all their optics, all their laser stuff for themselves and then they have to turn that weapon back in again even if they are still in work ups and are going to deploy nine months later. They still have to give the weapon up to the next guy going out. It wasn’t like that in the 2001 to 2010 time frame.”

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Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at Military.com. He can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.