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  • Defending Freedom In A Second-Hand Car

    Yesterday, an Army General penned an op-ed about why the Army needs a new combat vehicle. Most Americans would be shocked to learn that many soldiers serving in the U.S. Army today are riding around in vehicles built in the 1980s based on technology from the 1970s.

    While the rest of us are used to a fast-paced, information-accessible real-time culture of i-Phones, Blue Ray, portable video games, tablets to read books, and GPS in our cars, Army soldiers are stuck in the era of Atari.

    “The State of the U.S. Military,” a chart book released yesterday by the Heritage Foundation, draws attention to an issue that should be of immediate concern to Washington even though the military warranted only a paragraph of time and attention in the President’s state of the union address last night.

    The old age and debilitated condition of many of the Army’s ground combat vehicles and helicopters is simply unacceptable when the nation is asking its soldiers and their families to wage two wars overseas…the longest war in the history of America’s all-volunteer force.

    For example, M113 personnel carrier vehicles and UH-1 Huey helicopters were introduced in the 1960s, and the Army’s Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles are largely based on technology from the 1980s. The advanced age of these Army platforms, which is compounded by wartime wear and tear, is exposing soldiers to unacceptable levels of risk in combat.

    U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Vane explains why the Army needs a new ground combat vehicle now. The maintenance costs for old vehicles are becoming unsustainable and these vehicles have little potential for technological improvement. These older systems simply fail to meet the long-term demands of land warfare and new, next-generation vehicles and networks must be purchased. The same problems apply equally to aging helicopters.

    In short, the Army is running out of effective band-aids. America’s “soldiers need a vehicle that can meet the demands of modern war.” Currently, “no vehicle in today’s inventory offers the needed combination of capabilities: an MRAP’s soldier protection from improvised explosive device blasts, the Bradley’s tactical mobility, and the Stryker’s operational mobility” says the Army.

    Last night, the President stated that our men and women in uniform must have the resources they need in war. To truly make good on these commitments, the Obama Administration’s defense budget must prioritize overdue military modernization.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Defending Freedom In A Second-Hand Car

    1. Pingback: Defending Freedom In A Second-Hand Car | The Foundry: Conservative … « Run your car with Water

    2. Old Msgt says:

      Do note that the Army, besides being divided into track vs. wheeled advocates, is also divided into cliques pushing different products. Google the "reset" and modification contracts affecting the M113 if you doubt its value. There is NOTHING in terms of weapons, armor, and sensor suites that a modified 113 can't carry that GCV can, including modern armors. It is perfectly practical to V-hull the 113 (whose aluminum hull has unlimited useful life), armor it so there is no comparison to the light 'Nam era versions (stock hull serves as a platform for any level/type armor desired for the mission) repower it as many nations have done (including HED options!) , fit it with Soucy band tracks for enhanced performance (as did Canada), fit modern adaptive and comforable suspension while getting rid of the torsion bars to allow more belly armor, and fit it with ALL the FCS and related sensors (which are hull-agnostic) for C4ISR goodness. That can happen much more quickly than a new GCV, doesn't conflict with a new GCV, and captures the many billions of dollars and decades worth of equipment and training invested in the most successful armored vehicle in history.

      Proven tech isn't "shocking", any more than that the B-52 (which are older than all their aircrew) is still serving. Get serious about the ongoing M113A3 upgrade and finish the fleet for a start, then drop in a C4ISR kit. A reset vehicle is COMPLETELY overhauled and equivalent to a NEW machine. "Second-hand car" analogies are market-speak directed at the tech-illiterate.

      BTW, the vanilla M113 is far more mobile than Stryker, MRAP, or any other of the (often well executed) police trucks available. That's why countries who use them often fit much more powerful weapons than is US practice. The 113 is C-130 mobile, and decades ago was cruising through terrain of comparable difficulty to Marja in Afghanistan.


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