Why would the Department of Energy (DOE) arm its agents? The answer might be simple if you consider the different roles of the DOE, one of which is to transport nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, and other items that require a high level of armed security. Ordinarily the DOE contracts out these tasks, but nevertheless, such convoys are usually accompanied by guards armed with a variety of weapons. An employee of CAPCO, a defense contractor located in Grand Junction, Colorado, during a routine scan of federal defense solicitations, discovered two documents from the Department of Energy with posting dates of February 7, 2012, and February 22, 2012. The employee of CAPCO claimed that he had never before seen requests from the DOE such as these for weapons that are much more appropriate for breaking down doors in American homes than for fighting off highway terrorists.
The government and its agencies, as a function of fairness to the market, publishes regular “solicitations,” which are simply open requests, for various materials on an Internet website called Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps.gov. The two documents in question were sent out by the DOE to defense contractors across the country within the pages of the publically accessible fedbizopps.gov website.
The February 7, document is a solicitation for “Combined Tactical Systems (CTS) Grenade, Hand, Smoke, Yellow, Model 6210-Y.” The agency named on the document is the Department of Energy, and the classification code for the smoke grenades is 10-weapons. The February 22 document is a solicitation for “12G, Slugs 2 ¾: Door-breeching frangible ammunition.” In lay terms, the February 22 solicitation is a request if for 12-guage shotgun shells that have the capability to knock down doors and pierce body armor. The shotgun slugs also have a classification of “10-weapons,” and were requested by the DOE.