SALT LAKE CITY -- Already smarting from a high-profile misplacement of nuclear missile components, the accidental burning of radioactive uranium and a friendly fire incident at the Utah Test and Training Range, Hill Air Force Base officials on Wednesday acknowledged that they were searching for a case of missing M-16 assault rifles.
Base personnel said security was out in full force Tuesday as the officials attempted to locate the shipping case, which contained a dozen of the military's standard small-caliber weapon.
"It's possible that the rifles fell off a government vehicle while being moved from one location on base to another," 75th Air Base Wing commander Linda Medler said in a statement.
She called the recovery of the missing weapons "our top priority."
Hill officials were silent on further details, including which unit on base was responsible for the loss, citing a "continuing investigation."
Officials asked for assistance from the public, saying that anyone with information about the loss should contact base security or their local law enforcement agency.