Editor's note: The 26.1 million rounds of ammo as originally reported was a miscalculation. We've updated this story to reflect the correct numbers and to explain the miscalculation.
On a semi-private website is a solicitation by the Department of Homeland Security for a total of 240,000 rounds of ammunition, which it is seeking to purchase from a small business. Although this might seem like a lot, sources tell us it is not out of the ordinary.
Going through the website FedBid, DHS' Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Arteia, New Mexico, is putting out a call for the training ammunition through competitive bids, which have to be at least $10, according to the post. Here's a breakdown of what it wants:
(Image: FedBid screenshot)
The FLETC in New Mexico includes programs for Border Patrol, TSA and Indian Affairs. Specialized programs like Firearms Instructor Training Program and Defensive Tactics Instructor Training Program are also conducted at the Artesia facility.
Mike Piccione for The Daily Caller pointed out that the 26.1 million rounds that was being reported was a miscalculation due to misinterpreting that the delivery was to be priced per 1,000 rounds. Here are Piccione's calculations:
1. .40 cal. 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds
2. 9mm 115 grain, 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds
3. 9mm 124 grain ball, 40 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 40,000 rounds
Total = 240,000 rounds
The website FedBid is an online marketplace where federal, state and local governments, as well as businesses, can buy items or services. According to a profile about FedBiz owner Ali Saadat in the Washington Business Journal, the website conducted $1.4 billion worth of federal transactions in 2012.
Saadat said the concept for FedBid is changing how people in the industry would traditionally seek out and respond to business, which often includes sending requests for proposals or requests for quotes.
"That time is gone. It all happens on the Internet and in a transparent way," Saadat told the Washington Business Journal.
Going through FedBid's home page, to try and search for requests for goods or services, it appears that one has to sign up to become a member as a buyer or seller in order to view the marketplace pages.
As for the ammunition being solicited by DHS with bids ending Feb. 11, here are a few examples to put the amount into perspective:
- In 2012, defense contractor AKT was awarded a five-year contract to provide 450 million rounds (max) to DHS.
- The government sought 175 million rounds of .223 caliber rifle ammo in 2012 as well.
- Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III said in 2004 testimony to the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the Committee on Arms Services that soldiers used 72 million rounds in Iraq in 2003 and that their expenditure at the time was 5.5 million rounds per month.
At the time of ATK's contract award for 450 million rounds last spring, TheBlaze's Tiffany Gabbay wrote that while this might seem like a lot of ammo, it wasn't unusual. Gabbay wrote gun experts saying that it was part of a practice by such agencies to spend any budget surplus on useful items before the end of the fiscal year. That could be what is going on with this latest request for ammo but we don't know for sure.
Former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, who runs the website SOFREP (the Special Operations Forces Report) told us in an email that everything on the list looks "perfectly normal" to him.
"It's a training center for DHS so there going to need a lot, I mean a LOT, of ammo," Webb wrote in an email. "Figure one day a guy will shoot through 500-1000 rounds a piece and it starts to add up."
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.