Skip to comments.Afghanistan War: Hobbyists' Toy Truck Saves 6 Soldiers' Lives
Posted on 08/04/2011 1:10:50 PM PDT by skyman
Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden is on duty in Afghanistan now after tours with the Army in Iraq. He has traveled with standard-issue equipment -- weapons, helmet, uniform, boots and so forth -- plus a radio-controlled model truck his brother sent.
The truck is not a toy to him. He says it just saved six soldiers' lives.
"We cannot thank you enough," said Sgt. Fessenden in an email from the front that his brother Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., shared with ABC News.
The little truck was used by the troops to run ahead of them on patrols and look for roadside bombs. Fessenden has had it since 2007, when Ernie and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him.
Last week, it paid off.
Read the rest at the Link Here
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
The markup on this $100 toy would probably be 5000% once all appropriate bribes and kickbacks are paid.
Okay, so how does one reach the stateside brother and throw a little cash his way to get a few more of these into soldiers hands?
What a great story!
DIY EOD ping
"when Ernie and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him."
I made the store name int a link to the hobby shop, and you can email the store owner Kevin Guy at email@example.com
This story may prompt Traxxas to produce—if they haven’t already—a factory version of the Guy’s video mounted vehicle that consumers can buy and send to war zones.
You could buy one and then ship it to the troops.
anysoldier.com - look for a combat unit in a remote area.
From the article: Traxxis had successfully found four IEDs prior to the big bang...
“We do mounted patrols, in trucks, and dismounted by foot,” he wrote. “The funny thing is the Traxxis does faster speeds than the trucks we are operating in under the governing speed limit... so the traxxis actually keeps up with us and is able to advance past us and give us eyes on target before we get there.”
“Is it a toy?” he wrote. “Yeah it is...is it fun... absolutely... but the guys here take the truck very seriously when out on [a] mission.”
I tried to get my recently former company, General Dynamics, to approach the Army with numerous similar ideas. When it was obvious to me that the Army would dump the tank and Stryker in favor of smaller solutions, I wrote several proposals, but believe me, GD wasnt interested. A marketing guy told me, I dont want to rain on your parade, but the Army tells us what they want and we tell them how much it will cost. GD land systems recently lost all their major contracts to upstart younger companies.
One problem is, everybody wants a solution that survives in any threat environment. You dont need nuclear hardness and ECM robustness when youre dealing rag-wearing men. Our companies and our military need to develop an entrepreneurial gene.
What? And allow the troops to have non-Army tested and approved equipment?
Amazing story - thanks for posting.
Cool stuff (( ping )).
Your comment reminded me of this old poem, which allegedly goes back to 1861. I kept a copy of it on my office wall at Wright Field back in the 1950s.
- - - - -
Among the Washington telegraphic dispatches of this morning is the following :
"Why the forward movement is delayed.
"Army officers declare that it is impossible to make a decided forward movement until more wagons have arrived. By the fifteenth of July, the builders have contracted to furnish one thousand, and it is claimed that to march with a less number is simply out of the question."
Seventy-seven days have elapsed since the nation sprang to arms at its chieftain's call, and yet those immortal geniuses whose sublime military plans we are forbidden to scrutinize are waiting for the wagon. This suggests a new version of the old song:
WAIT FOR THE WAGONS.
Chorus of Chieftains :
New-York, July 1, 1861. e. F.
Love to read about good things happening, this was great!
Thanks to you both for the ping and post.
Thanks, I could tell you stories!
Army brass is way too political to be effective.
First thing that occured to me. The $500 toy car.
The corruption is not all on Wall Street, Public Employee Unions, and bureaucracies which exploit and abuse automatic base budgeting increases. I have seen it for 50 years at all levels.
But it goes beyond that. The armed forces themselves deserve a lot of the blame. They treat hammers and toilet seats the same as flying machines, foolproof and 200 times what they should cost. Remember the $500 hammers and the $5000 toilet seats?
The model described here probably replaces "official" models which costs the tax payers $500,000 apiece because --- well, just because. Simple drones that should cost the same as an ultralight end up costing $2 Million.
One would think that the company making this car would be perfectly willing to sell them in quantity at the wholesale price, when destined for battle zones. And the exposure those models would get would spur civilian purchases at the local hobby shops. Everybody wins.
Everything Hobby Rochester, MN 507-285-1166. OPEN Mon-Fri: 11 - 7pm. Sat: 11 - 5pm ... For more info stop in the store and talk with Kevin or Mark! ...