Critically defective 40 mm grenades and 60 mm mortars are being sold to the government that has, without question, killed and wounded countless American Soldiers and now claimed the lives of 7 marines during a training exercise at the Hawthorn Training Facility in Arizona
Written By: John D. King
First and foremost, I want to express my condolences to the families of the seven marines that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country when they were killed because of a critically defective 60 mm mortar exploded in the tube during a training exercise on March 18, 2013 at the Hawthorn Training Facility in Nevada. My thoughts and prayers are with them and with those that were wounded in that horrible accident.
Preventing this unnecessary loss of live of our American Soldiers because of inadequate, obsolete, and most importantly defective equipment, weapons, and ammunition was the only reason I was ethically and morally compelled to report my employer, DSE, Inc. in 2008 for selling critically defective ammunition of exactly the same category from the same contractors named in my complaint as the 60 mm mortars that just killed those young men. Thus becoming a whistleblower and losing everything including my career as a Subject Matter Expert in Quality Assurance for over 25 years and my home that I have owned and resided in for over 13 years.
I filed a Whistleblowing/Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in December of 2008 and the government conducted a very detailed and comprehensive investigation of the fraud that involved DSE, Inc., DSE Fuzing, LLC., Kaman Corporation, JKS Industries, GTI Systems, and American Ordinance (a subsidiary of General Dynamics) where the government confirmed literally all my allegations of fraud to be true and that gross numbers of critically defective 40 mm grenades had been and were currently being sold to the US Army. This was confirmed when General Maddux, who was in command of the Picatinny Arsenal and responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and test of both the 40 mm grenade and the 60 mm mortar.
60mm Mortar 40mm Grenade
General Maddux stated on ABC News more than three years after I filed my lawsuit that "based upon the information presented by Mr. King, we performed a minuet inspection and found that 156 out of 160 of the 40 mm grenades inspected did not meet the requirements of the governments Technical Data Package". Without the political spin on their findings, what General Maddux really stated was that 97.5% of the grenades delivered in April of 2011 were critically defective, which by the Department of Defenses own definition "are likely to be hazardous or unsafe for use by military personnel". General Maddux went on to say they invoked the warrantee clause of the contract demanding repayment of an undisclosed amount by DSE, Inc. and JKS Industries. The repayment of this critically defective ammunition is evident with a serious of "Zero Dollar Contracts" issued to both DSE, Inc. and JKS Industries that is detailed in various public web sites including www.FedSpending.org and www.usaspending.gov.
But, based upon the accident at the Hawthorn Training Facility and information available to me via the Freedom of Information Act, the government was repaid for the defective product, I received no compensation as the Whistleblower, which is called the "Relator" as defined by the False Claims Act.
But the government didn't fix the "root cause" of the problem that just killed seven American Soldiers.
I have been telling my now 11 year old daughter over the past five years that my lawsuit has never been about money, it is about saving lives of the men and women serving our country. Now, my lawsuit has almost been killed because of the political scandal it would create, with corruption beyond the average persons imagination, but what now that seven young men died unnecessarily after I risked and lost everything has accomplished nothing. That is just totally unacceptable to me and I am outraged and committed to this cause more than ever. All I do have left is my Freedom of Speech or do I? Time will tell . . .
Could, or even should have this accident have been prevented after a more than a five year investigation by myself and the government as a result of my False Claims lawsuit. This with the same subcontractors involved, their grossly ineffective or corrupt quality management systems and the totally inadequate oversight by the government?
Was the government aware of the excessive defect rates of both the 60 mm mortars and the 40 mm grenades being assembled, inspected, tested and delivered to the United States Government by American Ordinance (a division of General Dynamics)?
Should the quality assurance processes (required by the contract) have prevented the delivery of that critically defective 60 mm mortar?
Was there a connection between the False Claims Act Lawsuit for the "Bunker Buster" bomb fuse that was filed more than a year after I filed my FCA lawsuit where my 86 page complaint and my testimony for over eight hours explaining the fraud to the government officials on the fraud being committed at the Orlando Fuzing facility and Kaman Corporation settlement with the government for $4.75 Million.
Did government invoke the warrantee clause against DSE, Inc. and JKS Industries and get repaid for the defective 40 mm grenades sold to the United States Government.
Did the I, "The Whistleblower", who without question was the original source of the fraud as it related to the bunker buster fuse and the 40 mm grenade fuse warn the government that the deficient quality assurance processes of American Ordinance and the grossly ineffective oversight of the government would certainly cause unnecessary loss of American lives, just exactly what killed 7 marines was their fraudulent quality assurance processes, used company wide by all the named defendans and was not product specific?
After a 25 year successful career as a Quality Assurance and Test Engineer, after losing everything including his home and career, get stiffed by the government as it related to getting my "fair share" of what was recovered by the government as defined by the False Claims Act?
The answers are YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, and Yes . . .
Is there a connection between the critically defective 40 mm grenades produced and sold by DSE, Inc. and JKS Industries to the United States Government that I reported to the Department of Justice in 2008 and the 60 mm mortars that just killed seven marines in Arizona?
The answer once again is YES . . .
What is directly common between my case involving 40 mm grenades and the 60 mm mortars is that both ammunition are in the same category, under the control of Picatinny Arsenal, in New Jersey. Their are also common contractors and subcontractors in both cases, which both I and the government proved that the fraud I alleged was factual and that the defendants have been shipping of grossly defective ammunition and fuzes for over a decade and from what I have been able to determine via public information, is that they still are.
The information I have been able to acquire also shows that contracts from the Picatinny Arsenal for 60 mm mortars were given to three contractors General Dynamics, Day & Zimmerman, Inc., and American Ordinance. General Dynamics and Day & Zimmerman jointly own American Ordinance, so they are actually one entity and their knowledge of the quality issues at American Ordinance has to be assumed to known at all three corporations. American Ordinance was the subcontractor that did the final assembly of the 40 mm grenade and performed the Lot Acceptance Test for the government. AO was the actual entity that signed the Certificates of Conformance and should have been named as a defendant in my lawsuit, but my lawyer Craig James refused to add them against my very strong desires. Mr. James along with his predecessor, Mike Tuma violated too many rules as defined by Florida's Rules of Professional Conduct and I believe there is undisputed evidence of corruption and that they were compromised which prompted them to assist in the cover up of the extent of the fraud then finally being directly responsible for my case being dismissed. My lawsuit is currently under appeal and I have no legal representation.
American Ordinance has the test range and facilities, so the work from all three corporations must have been done at AO. My Whistle blowing Lawsuit was covered up and the corruption is obvious even to the casual observer and something has to be done. I would be available by phone in person if I provide any further information, but my plan is to continue to post information on my web site, go to law school and try to make a difference with this hugh problem. But, Abraham Lincoln already solved the problem back in 1863 by enacting the False Claims Act. But, every FCA lawsuit is an embarrassment to the government officials that are in charge of overseeing the defense contractors, but is virtually unknown in the industry. See, I because a Whistle blower and knew nothing about the False Claims Act and that if the government recovered monies from the fraud I would get a percentage. The government collected millions and I haven't seen a dime. Not the incentive for those from inside these corrupt companies to come forward as President Lincoln intended in 1863.
National News Stories about the 60 mm Mortar Accident that killed 7 soldiers
ABC News Story about Deadly Accidenthttp://abcnews.go.com/US/mortar-rounds-suspended-accident-kills-marines/story?id=18762644#.UXXLSH7D8iQ
CBS News Story about Deadly Accidenthttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57575076/pentagon-bans-60mm-mortar-round-after-marine-deaths/
NBC News Story about Deadly Accident
FOX News Releasehttp://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/19/explosion-during-training-at-hawthorne-army-depot/
Life as a Whistleblower
I established Protect the Troops. Inc. with over 25 years of experience as an expert in quality assurance, manufacturing, and testing of military products. I felt ethically obligated and I was morally compelled to report my employer DSE, Inc. and four other corrupt companies for knowingly producing and selling defective 40 mm Grenades to the U.S. Army, that I was certain through my detailed engineering and statically analysis would have killed or wounded unacceptable numbers American Soldiers and clearly did not meet the governments quality assurance requirements.
I knew I was risking everything, including my career, but felt compelled to report this fraud to the federal government. Since becoming a Whistleblower, I have been "Blackballed" in the Industry, fired three times in less than two years after my employers found out I reported my previous employer, lived on unemployment and welfare for the first time in my live, losing my home, losing my career and being hung out to dry by the government. This not exactly the incentive Abraham Lincoln intended the FCA to be when he in acted this law in 1863. This law is virtually unknown in the industry and would be, if properly used by the government, would be the most affective deterrent against this type of fraud against the government, just as President Lincoln designed it to be.
After a two year investigation by the Department of Justice and after being presented with indisputable evidence and expert testimony by members of the conspiracies and acts of fraud by these companies against United States of America, conducting audits and generating 22 Level II Corrective Action Requests, finding 97% of the 40 mm grenades tested to be critically defective, writing a Level III Corrective Action Request when they caught DSE red handing tampering with the 40 mm fuses going to test which shut down the facility, the government failed to intervene in my law suit which almost always means certain death to the lawsuit. But, the DOJ did settle their copy cat FCA case for $4.75 Million and stiffing me saying I provided no information that helped in there investigation.
What's wrong with this, EVERYTHING!
I am am now blackballed in the industry, financially ruined, and totally committed to this cause full time. I have applied to law school with my entire focus on protecting the rights of a Whistleblower and possibly making examples of the corrupt companies making billions of dollars with a total disregard for the lives of American Soldiers fighting for our country, our rights of Americans, and keeping them as safe as humanly possible while serving our country.
United States of America/John D. King vs. DSE, Inc. Kaman Corporation, JKS Industries, and GTI Systems
A law suit was filed, under seal, by John D. King on behalf of the United States of America for violating the False Claims Act in December of 2008.
The named Defendants in the law suit are DSE, Inc., JKS Industries, Kaman Dayron, DSE Fuzing, and GTI Systems. The Department of Justice conducted a secret two year investigation reviewing thousands of documents provided by Mr. King, performed onsite audits, inspected and tested the grenades which confirmed at least some of Mr. King's allegations of corruption and fraudulent activities.
John King testified in a day-long interview before representatives of several government agencies of the United States including the State Attorneys Office, Department of Defense, Department of Justice and the U.S. Army detailing the corruption and fraudulent activities he observed while employed by Kaman Dayron in 2005 and again with DSE in 2008. Mr. King also explained the very complex technical aspects of the fraud committed by these companies not only affected the fuse of the 40 mm grenade but all the fuses manufactured by Kaman Dayron and/or DSE as it related to the government's quality assurance requirements.
ABC News Breaking Story
As a result of the first ABC News story, another story followed where Congressman Rick Nelson and Congressman Young promised an investigation.
ABC News Story Announcing a Congressional Investigationhttp://www.abcactionnews.com/
Over a year passed, where my attorney, Paul Byron stated that our entire case depended upon the government intervention and a detailed audit of the defendants facilities and inspections and tests on the 40 mm grenades.
ABC News Story where General Maddux Announced that 97% of the 40 mm grenades inspected were critically defective that closed of DSE's Fuzing Facilityhttp://www.abcactionnews.com/
The lawsuit filed by Mr. King, his testimony, and the Department of Justice's investigation, the DOJ requested and received four extensions to the seal to continue secretly investigating these companies with the their real intention was to bail on my FCA Lawsuit and launch a "copy cat" lawsuit as to cover up the governments incompetence and/or negligent oversight of these defense contractors. Or, maybe they just liked getting their ammunition cheap and accept the collateral damage resulting from these fake, non-military grade ammunition regardless of the contractual obligations that I had to ensure we met as the Quality Assurance Manager.
Following the interview of the Relator (John King), the United States learned that another branch of the United States Government was independently conducting an audit of Defendant DSE Fuzing. In late July, the United States obtained a copy of the completed audit, which appears to confirm at least some of Relator's allegations."
In July of 2010, Mr. King's attorney at that time, Paul Byron, informed him that the Department of Justice concluded a test of the grenades confirming that the grenades were in fact defective. Additionally, Mr. Byron informed Mr. King that he was convinced that the Department of Justice was in fact going to intervene.
This is evident when the United States Attorney's Office filed their forth motion titled "UNITED STATES' EX PARTE MOTION FOR A BRIEF OF TIME TO INTERVENE AND CONCURRENT EXTENSION OF THE SEAL". The motion stated "The testing referred to in the previous extension application has been completed, but the results of that testing must now be reviewed by the Government" and that "the undersigned counsel needs time to confer with the two separate counsel for the affected military branches to determine their positions regarding intervention". This lends to support the argument that the test confirmed that the grenades were defective, failed to function properly, and that the Department of Justice was poised to intervene, but the Army made the final decision not to intervene. Therefore, it was not a surprise to Mr. King and his attorneys when the Department of Justice filed a law suit against Kaman Dayron on November 06, 2009 for a different fuse that is contained in a Bunker Buster Bomb, built in the same factory, just on a different assembly line. But, it was a surprise to Mr. King and his attorney's when the Department of Justice announced on August 17, 2010 that they declined to intervene at this time on his lawsuit, but planned on continuing their law suit on the defective fuses for the Bunker Buster Bomb.
How is the whistleblower doing today, well I have lost everything after a very successful career after being blackballed, my home of 13 years goes on sale on the steps of the Volusia County Courthouse and the defendants waged a character assignation of me sparing no cost and every attorney I had laid down on me to keep their relationships with their contacts within the Department of Defense. My case was dismissed when someone stole critical evidence and now I am looking for an attorney to represent me in my appeal. Is there one decent, ethical attorney that is willing to protect the rights of a whistleblower and share a setttlement valued at tens of millions. This is far from a pro bono opportunity.
Read more: featured_stories/40_mm_grenades.html
Defective Humvee Armor
An issue that still occasionally pops up is the issue of armored Humvees. All you have to do is Google for "Humvee armor scandal" or something similar and you'll find the following criticisms of the Pentagon, Rumsfeld, or even George W Bush:
- The Humvee should have been built with armor in the first place
- Once we realized that we were facing an insurgency we should have up
armored our Humvees faster
- The bosses at the Pentagon made high-tech weapons a priority when they
should have made armored Humvees their priority.
- Nothing like this has ever happened before in all of recorded history, or at least before Vietnam, the only war any of them seem to be aware of.
Basically, war critics say that this episode demonstrates "criminal negligence" and/or "incompetence" on the part of the administration, or as many put it, "BushCo". What is almost funny is that when you read their "recommendations" as to what the military should do, the military has already been doing these things or is in the process of doing them. It all reminds of of John Kerry during the 2004 elections, everything he said we should do we were already doing.
Read more: featured_stories/Humvee_Armor.html
Defective Body Armor
secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the
marines who have been killed in
from wounds to their upper body could have
survived if they had
extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but
until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to
troops despite calls from the field for additional protection,
according to military officials.
The ceramic plates in vests currently worn by the majority of military personnel in
Thirty-one of the deadly wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that simply enlarging the existing shields "would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome," according to the study, which was obtained by The New York Times.
Read more: featured_stories/Body_Armor.html
How many sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives have to come home in body bags before something is done?