Skip to comments.Commanders plead for armor..
Posted on 11/15/2004 9:47:05 AM PST by crushelits
Commanders have requested to nearly double the number of armored utility vehicles in Iraq to 8,000, in yet another shift in equipment needs to keep pace with an insurgency that continues to strike troops.
Acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee told of the newest requisition during a recent hourlong interview with The Washington Times.
It is the commanders' job in the field to devise the tactics to defeat an enemy made up of foreign terrorists, Saddam Hussein loyalists and criminals freed by the fallen dictator.
Back at the Pentagon, it has been Mr. Brownlee's job to make sure they have the guns, ammunition and equipment.
Perhaps in Army history there has never been a war whose character changed so quickly and required a whole new set of tactics and equipment -- within weeks.
"Suddenly, a different ballgame," Mr. Brownlee said.
U.S. war planners never foresaw that the fall of Baghdad would spawn a new enemy able to attack soldiers and Marines no matter their battlefield position. Rear-line support troops became just as vulnerable as front-line ones.
That meant the Army suddenly had a need for armored Humvee utility vehicles, armored trucks, more body armor and huge shipments of spare parts.
The problem became so acute by December that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then the top commander in Iraq, sent an urgent letter to the Army saying, "I cannot continue to support sustained combat operations with [readiness] rates this low." Soldiers were being killed by the score by roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devises (IEDs), that ripped through a Humvee's thin plating.
(Excerpt) Read more at insider.washingtontimes.com ...
I can attest to the importance of armored Humvees first-hand. Had my husband not been in an armored Humvee the day an IED exploded under his vehicle, I would be a widow right now.
The old Humvees, most of which already survived the first Gulf War, should have been replaced a long time ago.
We need uparmored Humvees, and we need armored HEMMTS for fuel and cargo deliveries. The only other option is to assign a section of Bradleys or tanks to each CSS element to provide security. You used to be able to do that when you had four maneuver companies in a battalion, but when the Army switched to only 3, it got near impossible.
All humvees should have a kelvar shell. And the underside should be most heavily armored.
There are 25,000,000 enemies coming at us one at a time.
The HMMWV was never intended to carry armor. Stop trying to make it something it isn't. Instead, look to inexpensive armored cars as an alternative, such as the South African Ratel 20 or similar (or the Alabama Slammer).
The HMMWV was always intended as a heavier (and more stable) Jeep.
With a title like this that hints that requests from our troops in Iraq are being routinely ignored by the Pentagon, it sounds like the headline writer was recycled from the NYSlimes or Washington Compost.
Why do newspapers insist on using alarmist headlines like this. It's stupid. "Requesting" and "pleading" imply two different things, with the latter sounding more desperate. Maybe that's the intention.
The HMMWV was designed during the height of the cold war, as a fast personnel mover capable of traversing the European battlefield. The assumption was that it would function in an armor-battle environment, where anything likely to hit it would erase it completely, armored or not (hence the designers didn't worry much about it). It was never intended to function as a convoy protector, or as an up-armored patrol vehicle (that's what the bradley was supposed to be for). I expect that somewhere in the next generation of military vehicles, there will be designs for the kind of environment we are seeing now (chaotic, no central points of resistance that can be easily avoided, more diverse terrain).
It's pretty clear that heavy armor and air power is the way to defeat these terrorists.
More Bradleys and more heavily armored Strykers would allow the military to attrit the terrorist's numbers at a fast enough rate that they would be gone in a few months. The Fallujah battles show that heavy armor with close air support (and infantry protecting the vehicles as needbe) is the way to win.
Afghanistan and Iraq and Fallujah have shown that air power has been underestimated to date.
The Abrams are not the best for urban environments and are too costly to operate so I think there are enough there already.
The sad thing is that the armour is available as I understand it. About 4000 upgraded M113's of various variants are sitting doing nothing. In fact some are in Kuwait just next door but when an American commander in Iraq requested them he was refused.
Lots of nice pics and info on performance/upgrades here. http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m113.htm
DHB Industries (symb. DHB) is up 14% today !
God bless you and your family for your service.
Never was a different ballgame, just a bunch of liberal designers trying to invent a kinder gentler form of war. Surprise, it didn't work, just like the gunny's said. Now they can reinvent the tank and congratulate themselves on how smart they are.
I was in the mountains (N.C.) on a road trip...we saw three new armored humvees....destined for Iraq. Its on the way.
When they send em, make sure they add a upgraded jack for changing the tires. That new armor weighs a ton, and the jacks they supply with the old version just doesn't cut it. We use two to do the job. And they are breaking fast. Sometimes its the little things they forget about.
There was a version half-done by a Depot unit over in Iraq. The basics are a 5-ton (old-style) chassis and engine cowl, with a M113 hull minus the powerpack mounted on it. The 5-ton cowl fits nearly perfectly into the space for the 113's engine. Anyway, the depot guys got the hull on the chassis, and had gotten as far as fitting the front windscreens, and cutting openings for the side windows, when they were ordered to desist. There were some good pics floating around for a while.
How does request become plead?
I agree. And, the 113's can carry a lot of firepower. Plus they are quick, can nearly turn in their own length. With the motors turned up, they can exceed 50 mph fully loaded.
I'm sure they'll have the new jacks. God speed and God bless! :)
I agreee. We need the right vehicle, whatever it is. Built in IED jammer/kevlar/think armor underside or better.
Spend 30 billion. I dont care. Not worth 500+ dead americans due to IEDS
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.