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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

No, the stupid, it burns...

George Patton and Chesty Puller are turning in their graves.

Any veteran knows there is a lot of waste in the Pentagon's budget and the last eight years have only made it worse. Spending a fortune to retrofit submarines for women and using algae based fuel at multiples of the cost of conventional diesel. Now this stupidity:

Magic bullets: US Army pursues 'biodegradable' ammunition
(CNN)The traditional function of bullets is killing, but a new design could have the opposite effect.

The US army is seeking proposals for biodegradable ammunition to replace the existing rounds used in training -- including grenade and tank rounds - citing environmental concerns.

"Components of current training rounds require hundreds of years or more to biodegrade," states the Department of Defense brief. "Some of these rounds might have the potential to corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water."

The DoD stipulates that the new ammunition should, instead, contain seeds that produce food for animals: "This effort will make use of seeds to grow environmentally friendly plants that remove soil contaminants and consume the biodegradable components developed under this project. Animals should be able to consume the plants without any ill effects."

This eye-catching proposal may seem far-fetched, but the brief goes on to claim that US army researchers have already succeeded in embedding seeds into biodegradable material to flower months later.

Ripe targets

Military facilities account for 900 of the 1300 most polluted sites in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A comprehensive clean-up could cost $165 billion, according to the DoD.

Much of the damage is historic, pre-dating awareness of environmental issues.

"(Military bases) tend to have older buildings with lead paint and asbestos problems," says Skip Kazmarek, an environmental lawyer who has studied military sites. "If a base was operating in World War Two it might have burn pits for waste oil and solvents, and it can be a pretty nasty area."

But modern sites also generate toxic waste; from burning explosives to chemical leaks and heavy metal deposits -- including massive lead pollution.

Lead poisoning can cause serious health conditions including brain damage, as well as polluting the environment. Millions of lead bullets are fired each year on military firing ranges, which rapidly reach high levels of contamination according to an Environmental Working Group report.
"The lead in ammunition tends to build up over years and it can leach into groundwater and pose threats to wildlife," says Kazmarek. "You could improve environmental quality with a change from lead bullets."..

And this stupidity would help WWII barracks how? BTY, are you really worried about a biodegradable Sabot round for a tank? It's composed of depleted uranium and you're worried about what the casing is composed of.

Secretary Mattis, I think I've found a place to cut the budget....

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