Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | May 27, 2002

"Security" at airports means empty guns

For months I have been telling anyone who listened that National Guard troops in airports were probably carrying unloaded weapons. I was right.

It's funny to me how the AP is breathlessly reporting this "scoop". Anyone with any kind of military service would know that the armed forces rarely trust their troops with loaded guns. I served in the US Army during the Gulf War. As my Germany-based unit didn't deploy, we were forced to do guard duty around our post. Yet, while we were on high alert for terrorist attacks, we never once received ammunition to properly defend ourselves.

Aside from that, the National Guard is a poor force to help guard airports. Their M-16 weapons are Vietnam-war era vintage. My rifle in 1989 was a newer model than those I saw in the airports. And, the M-16 is not design for close-quarters combat. It's a medium-range weapon. Airport security in countries outside the US usually carry short range submachine guns, such as Uzis. The M-16 is unwieldly and ackward when facing enemies just meters away.

Finally, regular Army units, and National Guard units, I pressume, do not receive training in close-quarters combat. That has always been the domain of the Special Forces. Thus, we have had ill-trained, ill-prepared and unarmed civilian-'warriors' patrolling our airports. And not to increase security, but to "[calm] people down and [give] them the assurance that we were doing something." Too bad they really weren't "doing something".

Posted May 27, 2002 08:51 AM | Comments (2)


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