We talked to Scott Smullen, the Deputy Director of NOAA Communications & External Affairs who says the announcement is a mistake and is apparently being corrected at the time of this writing.This works out to a little over 700 rounds each for practice and qualification. Quite frankly, that doesn't seem like a very stringent qualification. NOAA should be ordering a half million rounds of ammo for these 63 officers to train and qualify.
From Scott's email:
Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA's National Weather Service as the requesting office. The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system. The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement personnel in their firearms qualifications and training.
So everyone can stand down. Not only is there a perfectly plausible explanation, it's another example of the low standards set by the Fed.Gov. Hopefully these are FPS types, and represent entry level (not elite) police. Why NOAA needs a police force is a whole different question, of course, but it sure doesn't seem very big (or 'l33t).
Of course, I'll probably be keeping a bench in the Camps warm for all y'all, but this seems to be pretty minor. Your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, do not remove tag under penalty of (NOAA) law.