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U.S. troops have the wrong tools
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | May 5, 2004 | Lonnie Shoultz

Posted on 05/05/2004 9:26:30 PM PDT by Vetvoice

While the dramas in Fallujah and Najaf come to a conclusion, the Army's soldiers are still riding the roads of Iraq in inferior armored vehicles while the better-protected armored personnel carriers are waiting for them in Kuwait.

We're asking our troops to perform a job with the wrong tools, a mistake rooted in the 1999 decision by President Clinton's Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to take the Army off tracks and put it on wheels.

When, in July 2003, acting Army Chief of Staff Gen. John Keane laid out the overall Army plan to rotate the units stationed in Iraq since the start of the war and replace them with fresh units from the United States and Europe, his plan included a surprise development: The new Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade would be part of the replacement strategy.

Under Keane's rotation plan, the Stryker Brigade would deploy to Iraq, overlapping with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment for five or six months, after which the cavalry unit would return to the United States. Despite delays, the absence of its main offensive weapon and the fact that it had yet to be certified as a combat unit, the Stryker Brigade (3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division) deployed on a combat mission to Iraq last December.

Considered by the Army generals to be too "thin-skinned" to take part in combat, the Stryker Brigade is stationed in the generally tame extreme north of Iraq in Mosul in territory controlled by the Kurds. Reports are that some Strykers have been moved south to provide convoy protection but their protection for, or of, anything is questionable. They lack firepower.

When the rotation plan began, the Army was in full panic mode, trying to add armor to the light trucks (Humvees) that it purchased in the '80s. Our soldiers have been patrolling, convoying and dying in these unprotected vehicles. The Army's knee-jerk reaction of "up-armoring" the Humvees with added steel on the sides and thick window coverings is offset by the laws of physics. To now add 2,500 to 3,000 pounds of armor, Plexiglas, sandbags on the floor to guard against mines and still try to carry the 2,000 pounds of cargo for which the truck was originally built has, predictably, placed many of them in garages and junk yards years before their scheduled retirement date.

But we already had -- and still have -- 700 upgraded M113A2-3 armored personnel carriers stored as "prepositioned stock" in Kuwait, scarcely 20 miles south of the Iraqi border. Using these 700 truly armored M113s and stripping our National Guard units for many of the 11,000 M113s we have stateside could have eliminated most of the deaths inflicted in the past 13 months by Improvised Explosive Devices.

The M113 could be hit by an Improvised Explosive Device but should have the same advantages as the Humvees of superior armor and heavier weight to help it hold the road and not crash. So, the enemy is fixed in Fallujah and Najaf. What are the commanders supposed to use to spearhead an attack against his fortifications? It certainly cannot be the wheeled vehicles that are Shinseki's legacy.

The unnecessary deaths of our soldiers due to a lack of armored convoy and patrol vehicles are a command blunder that should result in some general officers, at the very least, being sacked and possibly tried for manslaughter -- because they have apparently kept secret safer vehicles available to the troops in Iraq from the command authority of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 3rdbde2id; armor; humvee; humvees; iraq; kuwait; m113; prepositioning; sbct; stryker; uparmored; wheeledarmor
Everytime we accept delivery of one of those widow-makers, an "up-armored" humvee, an American soldier will die believing he was protected by true armor - not Plexiglas.
1 posted on 05/05/2004 9:26:31 PM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Vetvoice
The Hummer is just a better Jeep - never intended to be an Armoured Vehicle.

Trying to armour it is like putting wheels on a bumblebee. Stupid............FRegards

2 posted on 05/05/2004 9:45:23 PM PDT by gonzo (Look, it's not easy dealing with Tourettes' Syndrome, SO CUT ME SOME F*%CKING SLACK!!..........)
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To: Vetvoice
Published in the Seattle P.I., which, I'm sure, has opposed every defense appropriation in my lifetime.
3 posted on 05/05/2004 9:57:22 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Islam: Nothing BEER couldn't cure.)
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To: Vetvoice
Just to play devil's advocate.

Aren't M113s succeptable to .50 cal fire?

Aren't M113s just as or more vulnerable to RPGs as Strykers?

Is the maintenance infrastructure in place to deal with putting hundreds of miles a week on tracked vehicles?

4 posted on 05/05/2004 10:05:58 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: MediaMole
Amazing what 8 years of neglect/cuts will do to something huh!
Not to mention people that vote for the war and then vote NOT to fund it!!!
Those same people are now the biggest finger-pointers out there....AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH...(time for MY Dean-Scream)
5 posted on 05/05/2004 10:13:37 PM PDT by FlashBack (USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA..USA...USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Brad Cloven
Not only that, but the Stryker BDE currently in Iraq is stationed at Ft. Lewis, just down I5, and the Washington National Guard's 81st BDE (also in Iraq) is Heaquartered in Seattle...good to see the PI is so interested in informing the soldiers loved ones about alleged problems with the armor...

regards,
6 posted on 05/06/2004 4:07:43 AM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; archy
Ping.
7 posted on 05/06/2004 4:09:18 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (This space intentionally blank)
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Personally, I favor bigger guns.

8 posted on 05/06/2004 4:23:47 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: FreedomPoster
Thanks
9 posted on 05/06/2004 4:33:06 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: FreedomPoster; af_vet_rr; ALOHA RONNIE; American in Israel; American Soldier; archy; ...
ping
10 posted on 05/06/2004 4:36:34 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: Thunder 6; lshoultz; Criminal Number 18F
Everybody has an agenda. Those who stand to make money off Strykers have theirs, as do those who stand to make money off M113's, and they all claim it's all for the troops.

And then there are those who want to politicize every death and create in the minds of the mothers of America the notion that it is above and beyond the call of duty to ride in an unarmored vehcle.

11 posted on 05/06/2004 4:49:39 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: MediaMole; lshoultz
They have an answer for every question. They can sell us armor upgrade packages and an entirely new maintenance infrastructure, if only we weren't so blind.

Shoultz is tied in with Hackworth. You have to wade through a lot of histrionics to get to the nuggets worth keeping.

12 posted on 05/06/2004 4:59:19 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: MediaMole
Aren't M113s succeptable to .50 cal fire?

Aren't M113s just as or more vulnerable to RPGs as Strykers?

Yep. Obviously whoever wrote this has never laid eyes on an M113. At least the Humvee is quicker. The -113 is slow and still thin-skinned. From what I've been reading the Strykers have been doing very well over there. One of them got hit with an IED, but it didn't totally demolish it and kill everyone inside like this article would have you believe.

One thing people fail to realize is just how cheap and effective an RPG is. They're powerful enough to knock the hell out of a Bradley. The only armored vehicle that's generally "safe" against it is the Abrams MBT. So unless we're going to perform all operations in the M-1 or armor everything we have to that standard, IEDs and RPGs will continue to be a problem. The enemy has tons of them, and, luckily, they can't shoot for sh*t. Not only that, but we're seizing massive weapons shipments on a fairly regular basis. We just have to keep widdling away at them.

There's supposed to be a next-gen Humvee coming out, maybe they can make engine, suspension, and armor adjustments to it so this won't be as big a problem anymore.

13 posted on 05/06/2004 5:01:31 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Oh boy, I can't wait to eat that monkey!"--Abe Simpson)
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To: Vetvoice; All
I don't tell war stories, however, I never saw a Jeep survive an encounter with an RPG nor a "booby-trap" as we called them back then-now IED. NVA/VC oft times wired 152/137MM arty shells along roads/trails. Look at the pics from 'Nam-many GIs riding atop APCs. Good reason for it. Most preferred to be "sniper bait" as opposed to burning alive...

I wish we could have a vehicle "impervious" to IED/RPG fire. However, with advent of new Thermobaric round for RPG? I doubt we could do it.

The threat of sudden, violent death/dismemberment surely weighs on our troops. Just as it did to those of us who served in VN and our fathers/grandfathers before us. The injuries from such explosions are traumatic to survivors and demoralizing to those around them. Amputations. Prolonged rehab. Frequent trips to the VA. Prosthetic devices. All bode ill for the young GI...

Can such be prevented by "upgrading armor?" Time will tell...

14 posted on 05/06/2004 5:01:43 AM PDT by donozark (I have benefited unfairly from the Bush tax cuts and rebounding economy. I feel SOO guilty!)
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To: FlashBack
ROAD-BOUND ON THE LETHAL NON-LINEAR BATTLEFIELD: HOW THE ENEMY ESCAPES AND U.S. TROOPS ARE KILLED

There are some nuggets in here interspersed with the M113 sales pitches.

15 posted on 05/06/2004 5:02:44 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: MediaMole
To answer your questions:

Yes.

Yes.

No.

To date, Stryker have taken hits from IEDs and RPGs that would have disabled or destroyed an APC. One Stryker has been lost to RPG fire with no loss of life.

16 posted on 05/06/2004 5:43:07 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (Another day, another DU troll.)
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To: Vetvoice
Are the 700 upgraded M113A2-3 protected from mines IEDs and RPGs? Anything less than complete perfect protect would be unacceptable to many.
17 posted on 05/06/2004 5:59:08 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: Vetvoice
Very true. I don't recall any LFTE being performed on up-armored humvees. Strykers suck like Monica at a personal development session with the president, but at least they have undergone LFTE. This means the soldiers driving and fighting on them know what the Stryker's problems are.
18 posted on 05/06/2004 6:09:26 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (The words "nose candy" and the name Ted Rall belong in the same sentence.)
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To: MediaMole
Aren't M113s succeptable to .50 cal fire?

No more succeptable than a Stryker, probably more resistant when fueled. Far more resistant than any configuration of Hummer

Aren't M113s just as or more vulnerable to RPGs as Strykers?

Late issue M113s should be more resistant to RPG than basic Stryker though I am not privy to test data and probably could not discuss it if I were. The 113 is a tough little outfit.

Is the maintenance infrastructure in place to deal with putting hundreds of miles a week on tracked vehicles?

This would require effort but IMHO a doable task. Consider the rapid destruciton of Hummers and look at the maintenance assets in Kuait plus the track maintenance assets already on hand and the task is not so overwhelming.

19 posted on 05/06/2004 6:35:40 AM PDT by Lion Den Dan
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To: Vetvoice
Colin Quinn said something the other night on his show that is probably appropriate to this - it was along the lines that we should have went in as an occupying force, key word being force, we should have made it clear who was in charge, treated it like an old west town out of control and we go in like one of the big name marshals. Instead we acted like a bunch of ACLU lawyers armed with 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' and now we have the situations we have.

Driving around in humvees doesn't exactly project the air of an occupying force. They know these things can be easily taken out, and they aren't afraid of them.

20 posted on 05/06/2004 6:52:06 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
I'm in.

What's got me miffed: Why stick to roads when the enemy can easily rig them, and why stick to roads when the enemy doesn't?
(Self answering: because the vehicle in use can't go offroading.)
21 posted on 05/06/2004 10:03:19 AM PDT by Darksheare (A lesson in all of this- Something about hiring better help that doesn't stand around &watch you die)
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To: donozark; All
people keep getting it wrong on the up-armored HUMVEE. The extra armor is designed to make the passengers less vulnerable to small arms fire below the .50 cal range and to give the crew a chance to survive if it drives over a mine.

The special built HUMVEEs of this type do that job very well, and have the apgraded suspenion, and drivetrain to handle the extra weight.

The standard HUMVEEs that are being modified by the troops do not have the upgraded suspension and drivetrain packages and are breaking down more frequently because of it.

Neither is intended to protect against an RPG, or even a heavy caliber, high-velocity bullet in the .50 range.

Many seem to think that just because they do not provide the complete protection of a tank, they are worthless. The troops understand what can and cannot be protected against--they just don't want to be vulnerable to every yahoo with an AK that can stick his head out a doorway or window and empty a clip in their direction, or who is smart enough to jury rig an IED without blowing himself up.

As for M113's they can be fitted with reactive armor kits to defeat RPGs, and there are other cheap add-ons that can reduce their vulnerability as well.
22 posted on 05/06/2004 12:04:51 PM PDT by PsyOp (Citizenship ought to be reserved for those who carry arms. Aristotle.)
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To: PsyOp

23 posted on 05/06/2004 1:25:46 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Sorry, this site is temporarily unavailable!
The web site you are trying to access has exceeded its allocated data transfer.


I'll check back again later....
24 posted on 05/06/2004 8:40:19 PM PDT by FlashBack (USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA...USA..USA...USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
I don't know about your agenda but I am a 100% service connected veteran of the Vietnam War. I have no stock or other interest in any of these companies nor am I as jaded as you. I can still think.

I think that trying to make an armored vehicle out of a light truck like the humvee is stupid. I worked with M113s in Vietnam before the three block upgrades and they had a gasoline engine back then that would not pull the sheets off the bed. But a few sandbags on the floor protected from mines and if you tripped one you had to change a track - not go to a bunch of funerals.
25 posted on 05/06/2004 9:12:08 PM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Future Snake Eater
You'll naver make it in Special Forces by shooting off your mouth before you look for answers. All of our M113A3s in Iraq have reactive armor, sometimes called applique armor, that stops .50 caliber bullets.

A slow M113 (45 mph) will still be running while the rubber tired humvee and Stryker burns for hours with those rubber tires on fire.

The only cure I know to stop RPGs is to kill the guy with the launcher. Getting an RPG hit on an M113 costs us $400,000 on an M113 and $3.3 Million on a Stryker. However, getting a 90 degree hit on an M113 is just a lucky shot. Anything less is deflected away.

BTW kid, I worked with M113s in Vietnam before the three block upgrades. Back then they had a gasoline engine that would not pull the sheets off the bed and the troops always lined the floors with sandbags to protect against mines. They did a good job for a cheap price. Once we learend to put gunshields on the mounting rings, we got protecton for the gunner.
26 posted on 05/06/2004 9:22:27 PM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Vetvoice
The walls of every 113 I've ever seen are at least half the thickness of a Bradley, and I've had Bradley Master Gunners tell me that the M2 most likely would not survive an RPG. If a Bradley couldn't take it, then I highly doubt a 113 could. Bradleys also have reactive armor, and it can also stop .50-cal rounds, however, RPGs have just a little more bang for their buck, so to speak, and thost same Master Gunners were talking about the newer reactive armor-plated M2s (the Operation Desert Storm models with the original armor and brackets for adding reactive armor plates).

Now, obviously, you are correct about killing the guy first, and in any vehicle, 113 or Bradley, with thermals, our guys have the advantage, but look at the environment in which they're fighting. It's not the jungle, it's not the open desert, it's in the middle of a city. Add that level of complexity to the fact that we're trying to kill these terrorist scumbags while simultaneously trying to win the heats and minds of the populace. Our guys don't have the freedom to kill anything that moves, unfortunately.

When it comes down to it, our best weapon is the fact that theirs suck. The past several conflicts we've had, RPGs have shown to be infested with duds and their operators can't shoot for sh*t. Once they lose the element of surprise, they're ours. I'm just worried about when they're able to hit us the first time. Unless they're in an M1, the armor of any vehicle in the Army can't come close to guaranteeing the occupants will be all right.

27 posted on 05/07/2004 3:27:11 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Oh boy, I can't wait to eat that monkey!"--Abe Simpson)
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To: Jonah Hex
To date, Stryker have taken hits from IEDs and RPGs that would have disabled or destroyed an APC. One Stryker has been lost to RPG fire with no loss of life.

Something that has shocked the experts. Of course a little bit of luck was involved with that, but it is very encouraging...especially since I'll be riding around in the suckers...

28 posted on 05/07/2004 3:29:58 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Oh boy, I can't wait to eat that monkey!"--Abe Simpson)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Freepmail sent to you. Meanwhile, stay safe, keep your head down, and watch over your buddies....
29 posted on 05/07/2004 4:18:47 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (Another day, another DU troll.)
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To: Vetvoice
I am a 100% service connected veteran of the Vietnam War.

Thank you for your service to our country.

I have no stock or other interest in any of these companies

I have no financial interest in General Dynamics Land Systems or United Defense. I am interested in their products and how those products do or don't get to the troops.

nor am I as jaded as you.

Perhaps you haven't been listening to the "tracks vs. wheels" debate as long as I have.

I think that trying to make an armored vehicle out of a light truck like the humvee is stupid.

I think "stupid" is too harsh. Many armored vehicles are based on trucks. We probably both agree that a purpose-built wheeled armored vehicle with a V-shaped, blast deflecting hull would be better than the M1114.

But a few sandbags on the floor protected from mines and if you tripped one you had to change a track - not go to a bunch of funerals.

I wasn't in Vietnam, but I have seen a lot of pictures of M113's with the crew riding on top because they preferred being shot to being blown up. Sandbags on the floor are a good idea, but don't completely solve the problem.

One question that doesn't get addressed much is why we have M113's parked in Kuwait and Iraq in the first place, instead of in daily use.

30 posted on 05/07/2004 6:18:58 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Cool pics.

I sometimes wonder where people are getting their information all this stuff... Now I remember. Hollywood.
31 posted on 05/07/2004 8:40:07 AM PDT by PsyOp (A people of corrupted morals is not capable of liberty. - Clauswitz, On War, 1832.)
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To: Vetvoice
I am suspicious of the reference to "Plexiglas", a brand name for acrylic. Acrylic doesn't do anything. I'm sure the vehicle must use some type of polycarbonate, which is much stronger and a variation of it is used for making "bullet proof"glass.
32 posted on 05/07/2004 8:46:02 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Jonah Hex
Have you seen this story on Jake? It claims he got a Purple Heart in Strykers a month and a half ago and got killed a few ago in a Stryker!

That's a pretty bad rap on the Strykers that have had no deaths...I left the URL for you...

'I Didn't Lose A Friend, I Lost A Brother'

April 29, 2004

By Kevin Reece


Video : KOMO 4 NEWS
Jake Herring, who joined the Army in 2001 with teammates from his Lake Washington High School football team, was killed Tuesday in a grenade attack near Mosul, Iraq.


http://www.komotv.com/news/story.asp?ID=31000


KIRKLAND - "We just felt that it was something that needed to be done. We wanted to serve our country. Just do whatever we could to help out."

That's how a close friend of 21-year-old Jake Herring described their joint decision to join the Army back in 2001 long before the attacks of September 11th. They were among several members of the Lake Washington High School football team that year who made the same decision when they graduated.

Jake Herring died April 27th in a grenade attack near Mosul, Iraq.

"He didn't want any attention. He was a soldier. He was there to do his job and he was gonna stay until his job was done," said friend and fellow soldier Dan Gillison. Gillison was a paratrooper who landed in Northern Iraq. He was also the quarterback at Lake Washington High in 2001. Herring was the starting center.

Herring became a member of the Stryker Brigade from Ft. Lewis. According to his friends he was wounded in a roadside attack just a month and a half ago and received the Purple Heart. He returned to duty and was on patrol west of Mosul when he was attacked. Three other soldiers were wounded and survived.

33 posted on 05/08/2004 1:50:06 AM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Future Snake Eater
I have never suggested that an M113A3 would repel an RPG. As you say, I don't know of anything thta will.

In the same vein it is inconceivable to me that CAS General Eric Shinseki would agree to the Stryker in 2000 when he KNEW the Soviets got murdered in Afghanistan by the Mujahideen using the same RPG weapon. General Dynamics just gave themselves a raise and Strykers now cost us $3.3 million bucks each and are less survivable than a M113.

General Dynamics is not even looking for a solution to the RPG problem. They are content to run up the price of the program by raising the price of each Stryker by a 1/2 million bucks per year and just sell us more if their product is blown up by an RPG. Don't they have a role to play here?
34 posted on 05/08/2004 1:58:45 AM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
The 700 M113s in Kuwait now are, according to the manager of our propositioning station there, "The best of the rest" left over from the Gulf War." They were picked out of the ones going home because they did not need as much depot-level maintenance.

They are still in Kuwait because no general officer wants to be the first to go get them and say, "Shinseki can have his wheeled armor - give me the 700 M113s."

There is no other reason they are no in the fight.
35 posted on 05/08/2004 2:08:48 AM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: SoCal Pubbie
The specifications for the $400 million "up-armoring" program are online and they specify Plexiglas. If there is a better product out there they need a better salesman because the company building the "up-armored" humvees stated Plexiglas specifically.
36 posted on 05/08/2004 2:11:22 AM PDT by Vetvoice
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To: Vetvoice; blanknoone; archy; Voice in your head
They've been sitting there since '91?

That may have something to do with senior commanders lack of enthusiasm for trying to use them.

I think we do not have one vehicle that does everything we want it to do while we fight the Three Block War. There are missions M113A1's could do fairly well, like roadblocks and mechanized patrol of known hostile neighborhoods, but other missions such as convoy escort and presence patrols in more or less friendly neighborhoods M113A1's aren't the best vehicle for the job.

We need vehicles to fight the convoy battles.

We need vehicles to patrol more or less friendly neighborhoods, maintain presence, give the locals warm and fuzzies that the situation is well in hand. M1114's and Mad Maxmobiles probably don't do this as well as standard HMMWV's.

We need vehicles to enter known hostile neighborhoods, let the locals know we can go where we please and challenge them to do something about it. Up Armored M113A1's can do this, but heavy infantry carriers built from modified tanks would do better.

We need vehicles to transport dismounted forces from their base to their AO. Strykers do that. Probably an armored 5-Ton could do that job, cheaper.

Bean counters and loggy toads hate diversity in vehicle fleets, but we don't have a vehicle that does it all and I doubt such a vehicle exists.

37 posted on 05/08/2004 4:22:57 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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To: Vetvoice
Where in the article does it say he died in a Stryker? The only reference I saw was to a grenade attack with no mention of the vehicle. An SBCT contains a helluva lot more rolling stock than Strykers.

Also, I never said nobody has died in a Stryker. For the record, we lost three soldiers in a Stryker accident when it rolled over into a canal after an embankment collapsed, shortly after they moved into the AOR.

38 posted on 05/08/2004 5:28:01 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (Another day, another DU troll.)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Our Bradleys survived countless hits from RPGs during the combat phase of OIF. The only thing that punctured a Bradley was a T-72 and that did not destroy the vehicle. I am unaware of any M113s getting hit, probably because they tend to be towards the rear of any formation. Fortunately, nobody needed to be the guinea pig to see if their M113 would withstand the hit.

The threat is not explosives that destroy our vehicle, but rather explosives that spray shrapnel into the bodies of soldiers. Just because the vehicle is destroyed does not mean that the soldiers will be killed. And, just because the vehicle survives does not mean that the soldiers will.

1st AD had soldiers killed when they were crossing a bridge with soldiers moving along side an armored vehicle. I have no idea what LT came up with that idiotic idea. Some goon fired an RPG, which hit the vehicle, and the blast killed every soldier walking on that side of the vehicle. Stupid. The vehicle survived; the soldiers didn't.

Most IEDs that are hidden in an urban environment will probably destroy a vehicle, if detonated underneath it, but the real danger is that they were being placed at head and chest level, so that the blast would go through the open door/open window/open hatch of a vehicle and kill anyone inside. An IED placed under a vehicle will destroy the vehicle, but only wound the crew. I had a soldier wounded by a buried IED, made from an anti-tank mine. He was in an M998 HMMWV, which is about as little protection as one can get. The M998 MHHWV was destroyed, but the soldier suffered only injuries to his ankles (because you can't sandbag under the foot pedals, which is where the blast came through). Had Haji been a little smarter and placed that IED at head or chest level, all 5 soldiers in that vehicle would be dead.

No matter how much armor one has, you still need to stick your head out of the vehicle and look around. So, even an M1 isn't totally safe. It is no safer than a Bradley - the only difference is that the M1 can survive more of a blast. But, to a guy sticking his head out of either vehicle, the threat of small arms fire and well-placed IEDs is the same. If given a choice, I would take the Bradley, because it guzzles less fuel, it is smaller and more maneuverable and, most importantly, it can transport up to 7 of the Army's most dangerous weapons in the back - infantrymen.
39 posted on 05/08/2004 5:57:17 AM PDT by Voice in your head ("The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage." - Thucydides)
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To: Darksheare
The only casualties in my platoon were wounded because they drove off a road and hit a buried IED/mine. We eventually operated by the Balkans rule - stay on the paved surfaces, because the visible threat is easier to deal with than the invisible threat. There were no further casualties.
40 posted on 05/08/2004 6:03:33 AM PDT by Voice in your head ("The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage." - Thucydides)
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To: Vetvoice
Can you cite a url?
41 posted on 05/08/2004 7:44:30 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Voice in your head
No matter how much armor one has, you still need to stick your head out of the vehicle and look around.

Exactly what never thrilled me about being a possible Bradley Commander and what currently does not thrill me about being a Stryker Commander.

Thanks for the first-hand insights. The closest I've come to being in combat with Bradleys was at Ft. Pickett being chased by OPFOR M-1s. It surprises me that they're so survivable against RPGs. What version of M2 were you on?

42 posted on 05/08/2004 7:50:12 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Oh boy, I can't wait to eat that monkey!"--Abe Simpson)
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To: Future Snake Eater
M2A2 w/ODS. I saw no other type of Bradley in Iraq, though I would assume that 4th ID has their M2A3 Bradleys rolling around Tikrit.
43 posted on 05/08/2004 7:00:27 PM PDT by Voice in your head ("The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage." - Thucydides)
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To: fourdeuce82d
ping
44 posted on 07/20/2004 11:49:00 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)
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