That Missing Machine Gun From Minot Turned Up In The Worst Possible Place

Bullet Points
A security forces technician assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, conducts live-fire training using the M-240B machine gun.
Air National Guard photo / Staff Sgt. John Wilkes.

The missing machine gun that triggered the firing of a security forces chief at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, in May turned up in what's probably the last place the Air Force wanted it to: stashed in an airman's home off-base.


  • Minot officials announced on Wednesday that the machine gun had been recovered by Air Force Office of Special Investigation agents after obtaining a federal search warrant for the unnamed airman's residence on June 19.
  • The machine gun was discovered missing during a standard weapons inventory by the 91st Missile Wing security forces on May 16, just about two weeks after airmen with the same unit reportedly lost a box of MK 19 grenades out of the back of a moving vehicle.
  • Security forces chief Col. Jason Beers was fired on May 23 “due to a loss of trust and confidence after a series of events under the scope of his leadership, including a recent loss of ammunition and weapons,” a 5th Bomb Wing news release said at the time. Beers landed a new job at Air Force Special Operations Command just a few weeks later.

The question remains: Why did this unnamed airman steal an M240 in the first place? Was he just some dumb kid, bored as hell with his posting at Minot and in search of some recreational fun? Or a budding arms trafficker or killer? It's not clear, but either way, it's not a great look for anyone involved.

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