WASHINGTON, D.C. ( — Fear of massive defense budget cuts caused a panic on U.S. military bases around the globe today as soldiers, sailors and marines rushed to clear shelves of everything from howitzers to Knighthawk helicopters.

Unidentified sailor trying to hide the USS George Washington behind his back.

Machine guns, grenade launchers and F-16 Falcons were among the most popular items swept from shelves and airfields as soldiers stocked up “just in case.” Across the armed forces, ordnance and equipment personnel reported that air strips, motor pools and weapons storage racks were empty as soldiers, waiting for the doors to open at 6 a.m., rushed in to grab everything they could.
“It’s like a tornado went through here,” said Staff Sergeant Will Hurtsbee at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. “They took everything. I spent a week building up a nice pyramid-shaped display of Avenger missiles and they just tore it down like it didn’t matter.”
Military hoarding is nothing new, according to historian Juan Tirasco, who noted that soldiers sometimes raid stores when conditions are tough or supply lines are cut. “But usually we’re talking things like food, toilet paper, and soap,” he said, “instead of guns, Predator drones and Navy destroyers.”

Or nuclear submarines.

“Yeah, we seem to be suddenly out of submarines,” conceded Rear Admiral Joseph Slater at the San Diego Naval Base. “Maybe come back next week. We hope to get a fresh supply in then.”

Some questioned the ethics of hoarding military hardware, but armed forces members countered that “hey, you never know.”

“The Army always underequips us when wars start,” said Lt. Charles Ingram, stationed in Germany. “Like in Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was shameful we didn’t get what we needed: body armor, night vision goggles, and tactical nuclear weapons. So I grabbed all those things, including a couple of bunker-buster nukes.

Shoppers hurry home with their goodies

“I need a bigger foot locker,” Ingram added.

Specialist Karen Miller had a similar problem at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. Her haul? Eighty-seven M1A2 tanks.

“I couldn’t carry them off. Obviously. So I got up real early, just before dawn, and put up a sign that said, ‘Mine.’

As the day wore on, disappointed Balad comrades pleaded hopelessly with Miller to share, while others waited for her to turn her back in order to sneak a tank or two.

“Hey hey hey hey hey!” Miller yelled as one soldier started to run off with a 70-ton machine. “Fuck you!”

A Defense spokesman refused to comment on Miller’s haul, but the Pentagon did issue a statement this afternoon. “Bitch,” it said.

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