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Deadly price paid for Humvee armor used to protect soldiers
Dayton Daily News ^ | 11 June 2006 | Russell Carollo, Mike Wagner

Posted on 06/19/2006 5:01:27 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4

Sgt. Rene Knox Jr. of New Orleans was driving a heavily armored Humvee on a blackened dirt road near Balad, Iraq, when the vehicle rolled down an embankment and into a canal — killing Knox, two other soldiers and a serviceman trying to rescue them.

Three days later, Sgt. Timothy R. Osbey and Spc. Joseph A. Rahaim, National Guardsmen from Magnolia, Miss., drowned under nearly identical circumstances when their Humvee rolled over into a canal.

Twelve days later, Sgt. Julio E. Negron and Spc. Lizbeth Robles of Fort Carson, Colo., were killed and two others were injured after their armored Humvee hit the rear of another vehicle, throwing the two soldiers from the Humvee as it spun and then rolled twice.

None of the deaths was linked to combat.

The accidents are among 14 Humvee rollovers worldwide that killed nine soldiers and injured 18 in a 30-day period last year. In at least 13 of those accidents, the military Humvees were equipped with some additional armor intended to protect soldiers from injury, and nine of the vehicles were heavily armored with thousands of pounds of added weight.

"If there were two or three of these kinds of accidents (in the United States) on the same kind of vehicle because of a rollover, they would recall them all," said Debbie Newhouse of Glendale, Ariz., whose 21-year-old son, Nicholas Eugene Wilson, was killed in a rollover accident 11 days after the fatal crash involving Negron and Robles. "What the hell is the Army doing? What are they putting our kids into?"

Since the start of the war, Congress and the Army have spent tens of millions of dollars on armor for the Humvee fleet in Iraq. That armor — much of it installed on the M1114 Humvee built at the Armor Holdings plant in West Chester Twp. in Butler County — has shielded soldiers from harm.

But a six-month Dayton Daily News examination found that the protection has come at a deadly price. The heavy armor has made the vehicle more difficult to control and more likely to roll over, especially when operated in the harsh conditions in Iraq that include night missions, primitive roads and unforgiving terrain.

A Daily News analysis of the Army's ground accident database, which includes records through November 2005, found that 60 of the 85 soldiers who died in Humvee accidents in Iraq — or 70 percent — were killed when the vehicle rolled. Of the 337 injuries, 149 occurred in rollovers.

"The whole thing is a formula for disaster," said Scott Badenoch, a former Delphi vehicle dynamics expert in Dayton who is working with the military to design a lighter-armored vehicle to replace the Humvee. "I believe the up-armoring has caused more deaths than it has saved."

Ron Hoffman, senior research physicist at the Aerospace and Mechanics Division of the University of Dayton's Research Institute, believes the armor provides a necessary shield against roadside bombs, hand-propelled rockets, machine-gun fire and improvised explosive devices.

"These IEDs they're facing in Iraq are potent," he said. "If I was over there ... I would opt for the armor."

Still, Hoffman agreed that there have been consequences.

"You are shifting the center of gravity in the vehicle," he said. "With the threat they're facing over in Iraq, I can see the dilemma: We put more armor on to protect our soldiers and destabilize the vehicle."

The Daily News examination found that serious accidents involving the heavily armored M1114 Humvee — the workhorse of the Humvee fleet in Iraq — have increased steadily as the war has progressed, and accidents in the M1114 were much more likely to be rollovers than those in other Humvee models.

Of the 38 soldiers who died in accidents involving the M1114 worldwide since the beginning of the Iraq war, 34 were killed in rollovers. Of the 64 soldiers killed in other types of Humvees during that period, 36 died in rollover accidents.

The Army makes up about 75 percent of the military personnel in Iraq. Similar data from the other service branches were not available.

The total number of rollover accidents involving armored Humvees is likely much higher.

The M1114 is not the only type of armored Humvee, but the Army database does not specifically identify older models retrofitted with armor, though a handful were identified in narrative versions of reports. In addition, not all Humvee rollovers are counted in accident statistics.

On April 3, 2003, Washington Post syndicated newspaper columnist Michael Kelly and Staff Sgt. Wilbert Davis of Alaska were killed when the lightly armored Humvee they were riding in rolled over into a canal.

"They said it happened a lot, and that was sort of a surprising thing," said Kelly's widow, Madelyn Kelly.

Though the vehicle was not under attack and there was no direct enemy fire at the time of the accident, the military initially termed the two deaths as combat losses and has not included them in accident statistics.

"The Humvee wasn't originally designed to carry all the extra weight," said U.S. Rep. David Hobson, R-Springfield, who has closely monitored the armoring of the Humvee as a senior member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. "I think this vehicle probably has too many add-ons to it, too much weight to it.

"We need to lighten it and strengthen some of the parts on it, but we also need to train the drivers to understand the problems."

The Army Combat Readiness Center in Alabama, which provided the Daily News with the accident database, confirmed many of the newspaper's statistical findings.

The Daily News made numerous attempts during the past two months to get comment from other branches of the Army, including a request made in Iraq to interview an Army Humvee expert stationed there. Reporters sent to Army officials a written summary of the newspaper's findings and written questions about Humvee rollovers.

Although there was no direct response to the questions, an Army spokesman faxed documents to the newspaper that say rollovers are common in Iraq.

"Speed, road conditions, tire damage and sudden evasive actions are the routine causes," the documents say. "Several accidents have also occurred when the vehicle weight has collapsed the roadside, and the vehicle landed in water."

A June 2006 fact sheet from the Army outlines a number of safety programs initiated by the service, including "a gunner's restraint system, an improved seat restraint belt, single movement combat locks, internal vehicle communications and a fire suppression system for the crew and cargo compartments."

The Army "aggressively launched a series of multi-discipline efforts to reduce rollovers," the fact sheet says.

Humvees weren't designed for battle

Originally designed to ferry troops and equipment, the first High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or Humvees, were delivered to the Army in 1985. They replaced the Jeep, some types of pickup trucks and other utility vehicles.

The Humvee was built with an extra wide wheel base — nearly six feet, or about a third wider than a Jeep Cherokee — that made it better able to carry heavy loads but also more difficult to maneuver on the narrow, primitive roads it would encounter later in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This was not designed to be a combat vehicle," said Gary Caille, program manager for a Georgia Tech Research Institute project studying ways to create new military vehicles. "It was designed to carry people as a utility vehicle and not necessarily be in a battle situation."

Eight years after the first Humvees were delivered, the deaths of 18 Army Rangers in a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, the subject of the movie Black Hawk Down, prompted a drive to armor the Humvee in order to better protect it in combat.

"The feeling was after Somalia they needed to do it quickly," said Craig Mac Nab of AM General. His company supplies the engines and chassis — which includes the frame, suspension, wheels and steering mechanism — for the M1114 Humvees that are up-armored in Butler County.

The first armored Humvees were standard models retrofitted with armor kits, and the military deployed them in a combat environment in small numbers in the Balkans.

Accidents soon followed.

On March 13, 1998, U.S. Army Lt. John Nail was sitting in the right front seat of an older model Humvee that had been retrofitted with armor and sent to Bosnia the previous month. At about 30 miles per hour the vehicle began swerving, he said. Witnesses reported that the vehicle fishtailed, then the driver braked suddenly, causing the Humvee to pitch forward slightly before slamming into a house.

The impact sent bricks raining down on Nail and the other soldiers in the Humvee, which had no hard top. Two of the occupants were Norwegian soldiers, who typically wear only berets to cover their heads when riding in vehicles.

"I broke my skull in four different places, front, back and both sides — broke my ribs, three or four of them, and crushed my right shoulder. And I broke my left shoulder," said Kjartan Haugen, the Norwegian army private who was driving the Humvee.

Nail, who had graduated from West Point two years earlier, suffered a severe concussion. He said the Army blamed him for allowing Haugen to drive, but he believes the accident was caused by the weight of the vehicle.

"It was weighted incorrectly," said Nail, who now lives in Nashville, Tenn. "If you drove it, if you over-corrected like a car, you'd swerve. You're going to fishtail or roll or something.

"You couldn't even open the doors. That's how heavy they are. Unbelievably heavy. I'm sure they would stop a bullet."

Mac Nab, the AM General spokesman, acknowledged that retrofitting older model Humvees with armor kits, which weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds, can cause problems. But he said some of those problems were solved when the Army began using a Humvee built from the ground up to hold armor — the M1114 factory-armored Humvee. The M1114 was built with a stronger engine, slightly larger tires and a new Expanded Capacity Vehicle chassis.

The special chassis are produced at the AM General plant near South Bend, Ind., and the armor is installed at the Armor Holdings plant. The wheelbase and other design features are virtually identical to the older model Humvees, and experts said that although the new features increase the vehicle's load-carrying capacity, they do not negate the tendency for the heavier vehicle to roll.

"It doesn't help on the rollover problem," said Ralph Bicknell, a former Marine whose company creates designs for military and civilian vehicles and equipment.

Even before adding hundreds of pounds of weight from soldiers and their equipment, the M1114 weighs 9,800 pounds, or about 4,000 pounds more than the standard Army M1097 Humvee and about 2,000 pounds more than Humvees retrofitted with armor. By comparison, the 2006 Hummer H1, one of the heaviest SUVs on the road, has a curb weight of 7,847 pounds.

The M1114 was first deployed in significant — but still relatively small — numbers overseas in Kosovo. It didn't take long for the heavier Humvees to begin rolling over.

On June 1, 2001, Sgt. William Carter of Westerville, Ohio, was driving an M1114 Humvee in the village of Novo Selo, Kosovo, when the right wheels of the vehicle dropped over the edge of the road, scraping the edge of a retraining wall for about 50 feet before it rolled and fell 12 feet, eventually coming to rest on its roof.

Spc. James Sakofsky, 24, was killed, and Carter was seriously injured.

The Army blamed Carter.

"They insinuated it was his driving, so that's why he's felt guilt all these years, thinking that he's the one who caused this young man's death," said Carter's mother, Wanda Carter, adding that the Army never told her son the M1114 had a tendency to roll over.

Less than nine hours after that accident, an M1114 went off the shoulder of a road in Kosovo, rolling two or three times and ejecting passengers along the way. Five people were injured, one listed as permanently disabled.

An Army report says: "The weight of the 1114 and the slope of the hill carried the vehicle over the shoulder."

Three days later, another M1114 was traveling on a narrow trail when the road gave way, and the vehicle rolled and came to rest on its roof. One soldier suffered minor injuries.

On June 6, 2002, a little more than a year after Sakofsky died and nine months before the invasion of Iraq, an M1114 carrying 24-year-old Pfc. Matthew R. Little was crossing a stream at Fort Hood, Texas, when the vehicle began to skid and then rolled, coming to rest on its side. Little was killed, and four others were injured.

"If you put extra weight on top of this vehicle, you can affect its center of gravity," said Christopher Foss, armor and artillery editor for Jane's Armour and Artillery and author of several books on armored vehicles. "That vehicle wasn't designed per se to be fitted with armor."

Accidents all too common in Iraq

Thousands of Humvees poured into Iraq with the March 2003 invasion by the United States. The rough terrain, primitive roads and other strains on both soldiers and vehicles made Humvee accidents common.

Of the 177 Army Humvee accidents worldwide in all of 2003, 110 occurred in Iraq, including 24 of the 29 fatalities.

On June 6, 2003, Sgt. Travis L. Burkhardt, 26, a military policeman from Edina, Mo., was riding in one of the first M1114s to arrive in Iraq, escorting civilian employees to locations in Baghdad. Just before 1:30 p.m., his Humvee hit a piece of concrete, causing the vehicle to flip end over end. Burkhardt and two other soldiers were ejected from the vehicle.

Burkhardt, who joined the Army in 1995, was killed in the crash, and Army records show the other two soldiers suffered "substantial" injuries. Burkhardt's family said that when a soldier called to notify them of the death, he suggested that the heavy armor may have been responsible.

"He did mention to me that the up-armored ones were really it's not uncommon for them to roll over," said the soldier's father, David Burkhardt of Wyaconda, Mo.

Less than three months later, on Aug. 30, 2003, Sgt. Sean Kelly Cataudella, 28, of Tucson, Ariz., who enlisted in the Army out of high school, was driving one of the newly arrived M1114s on a narrow road at night in Iraq. In a series of events that would repeat itself over and over again during the war, the Humvee slid off the road and into a canal, landing upside-down submerged in mud.

Cataudella drowned. The gunner, who Cataudella had helped pull out of the gun turret just before the vehicle crashed into the water, was unconscious and not breathing, but was later revived.

"I asked the same questions of the Army you are asking: Could the armor and the added weight have caused this?" said Sal Cataudella, Sean's father. "You get the same answers."

By early 2004, the Army had relatively few M1114 Humvees in Iraq. While more arrived during the year, the number of orders soared after Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the Tennessee National Guard asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a question during a televised meeting with soldiers in Kuwait in December 2004.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Wilson asked.

Wilson's question sparked a national debate that reached the U.S. Congress.

That same month, the Army requested 100 more M1114s a month from the Armor Holdings plant in Butler County, company spokesman Michael Fox said.

Weight, water and darkness increase danger

On level, paved roads driven at reasonable speeds with few sudden turns, the up-armored Humvee's tendency to roll may never have been exposed.

But in Iraq, missions often require driving at night on unfamiliar roads and at speeds that test the vehicle's ability to stay upright, especially when forced to make sudden turns while further weighted down with soldiers and equipment.

In at least 13 serious accidents since the start of the Iraq war, vehicles rolled into canals or other waterways, killing 22 soldiers. At least nine of these rollovers involved Humvees with factory or retrofitted armor and a 10th was a lightly armored M1025 Humvee, which weighs nearly 1,000 pounds more than the standard Humvee.

"Guys had rolled over into irrigation canals because these roads in-between are so old," said Badenoch, the vehicle design expert who studied Humvee accidents in Iraq. "They would go out there in some big up-armored Humvee loaded to the gills, the road would give out.

"They would be trapped. They couldn't get out. They couldn't move from seat to seat. The doors would get stuck."

On Aug. 12, 2004, under circumstances nearly identical to those described by Badenoch, two members of the Arkansas National Guard nearly drowned when their Humvee, an older model that had been retrofitted with armor, turned on what the Army described as a "narrow, unimproved road" adjacent to an irrigation canal in Baghdad.

"The weight of the up-armored vehicle caused the edge of the roadway to crumble, causing (the) vehicle to slide down the embankment toward the irrigation canal," an Army report says.

The Humvee slid about six feet, striking a steel culvert and sending the vehicle rolling before it came to rest in about five feet of water. The soldiers, underwater for more than five minutes, were rescued and survived.

Three months later, Spc. Daniel James McConnell wasn't so lucky.

Just before midnight on Nov. 16, 2004, McConnell, 27, of Duluth, Minn., was riding in a Humvee headed down what the Army described as a "secondary unimproved road" alongside a streambed near a power plant in Kirkuk. The Humvee was also an older model retrofitted with armor and packed with additional weight — in this case at least eight soldiers and their equipment.

Using night-vision goggles, the driver of the Humvee followed alongside the stream for a while, then turned onto an aqueduct. Twenty feet later, the Humvee rolled on its right side, fell 19 1/2 feet and landed on its top in the streambed.

Two soldiers remained in the Humvee suspended upside-down. Three fell into five feet of water. Two more were pinned in the cargo area and another was pinned underneath the vehicle.

McConnell was crushed to death, while at least seven other soldiers were injured.

In several other accidents involving waterways, and in a number of accidents on dry land as well, the missions were at night. Unable to clearly spot uneven terrain in time, soldiers sometimes had to make abrupt turns, the kind that can send a top-heavy vehicle tumbling.

At 9:15 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2003, Cpl. Gary B. Coleman of Pikeville, Ky., was following a suspicious-looking white truck in Balad when his Humvee flipped over and landed on its top in a canal. Coleman was pinned in the vehicle and drowned before rescuers could save him.

"They didn't use lights on the Humvee that night because they are a target from insurgents," said Coleman's mother, Janie Johnson. "It was dark. There were no lights or nothing. They just had night-vision goggles."

Gunner is most vulnerable

When Humvees do roll, the most vulnerable passenger is the gunner, the soldier who operates the weapon mounted in the vehicle's top.

Gunners were killed in at least 27 of the 93 fatal Humvee accidents since 2001.

Sgt. Kenneth J. Schall of Fort Riley, Kan., was manning the gun atop an M1114 near Yusafiyah, Iraq, when a civilian vehicle struck the right front portion of his Humvee, sending it rolling in a large cloud of dust and decapitating the 22-year-old soldier as he was thrown from the vehicle.

The accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. on May 22, 2005.

A little more than five hours later, Sgt. John B. Ogburn III, a 45-year-old National Guardsman from Oregon, was manning the gun atop an M1114 near Kirkuk when the Humvee's brakes locked as the driver changed lanes. The Humvee skidded and eventually rolled over and crushed Ogburn.

"My fear for him was the roadside bombs and enemy fire," said Nancy Fontana, whose son, Spc. Anthony Cometa of Henderson, Nev., was killed after he was ejected from the gun turret as his up-armored Humvee rolled over. "I never thought this would happen, just some kind of accident."

Cometa, who joined the Nevada National Guard to earn money for college and volunteered to be a gunner while in training, died on June 15, 2005, one day after his 21st birthday.

"There needs to be some kind of prevention to protect the boys riding around in these Humvees," Fontana said.

Gunners are doubly vulnerable in rollover accidents because their perch above other passengers not only makes it easier for them to be pinned under the rolling vehicle, it also makes them susceptible to being ejected as the vehicle rolls.

Ray and Debbie Newhouse said their son, Nicholas Eugene Wilson, 21, loved being a gunner, and never spoke to them about a rollover problem before he went on a March 11, 2005, mission to search for roadside bombs just outside of Ramadi.

The Humvee ran off the shoulder of the dirt road and flipped into a canal, breaking off the entire gun turret and pinning Wilson beneath it. His fellow soldiers dove in to try to save him.

"It was pure, thick mud. They just kept yelling his name," Debbie Newhouse said. "But they couldn't get him out."

The Army issued written reprimands to several soldiers in Wilson's unit, including the commanding officer, for failing to conduct rollover drills.

"These vehicles are not safe, period," said Ray Newhouse. "The military has to get something better. They have to get a better vehicle or they are going to keep losing our kids like this."

On Dec. 1, 2004, Sgt. David M. Fisher was the gunner on an M1114 factory-armored Humvee in Iraq that was making a standard maneuver on flat, level highway: a slight turn to avoid explosives that could be dropped from the overpass above. The Humvee skidded and then rolled, landing on its side.

"Because of the weight of the vehicle and the upgraded suspension system, the vehicle responds much differently than the lighter (Humvees)," says an Army report on the accident.

That same day, another gunner was killed in a Humvee rollover in Afghanistan.

A military report on the accident that killed Fisher says, "By design, no restraining capability exists in the gunner station."

"My son flew out of the Humvee," said Fisher's mother, Vicki DiMura of Watervliet, N.Y. "It was always one of our questions from the beginning: Why the gunner has no type of (safety belt)."

Driver error often cited in rollover accidents

Despite growing evidence that the weight of the armor made it easier for Humvees to roll, Army accident records rarely identify the vehicle's weight as a cause or major contributing factor. Errors by drivers, however, are frequently identified.

Of the 80 rollovers involving the M1114 Humvee, "equipment improperly designed" or "inadequate manufacture" was cited as a factor only three times.

In 59 of those 80 rollovers, however, the Army cited one or more soldiers for a "mistake." Failure to stay alert, the most common mistake, was cited in 16 of the accidents, excessive speed in nine cases and improper steering in seven other cases.

In records from the May 2005 rollover that killed Ogburn, the Army identified "abrupt control-steering response" as a cause and also noted that a soldier was "unlicensed." The Humvee swerved to avoid an Iraqi civilian dump truck before overturning and crushing Ogburn, who was the gunner.

Ogburn, a National Guardsman who worked as a grocery store manager and a prison guard in Oregon, told his family before he went to Iraq that the Army was well aware of the rollover problem, said his sister, Kathy Blackmon of Longview, Wash. During rollover drills, his unit would practice pulling the gunner out of the turret, she said.

"If they don't know those things are so top-heavy and so given to roll, why do they practice pulling the gunner?" she asked.

Blackmon said her brother told her that Iraqi civilians were aware of the Humvees tendency to roll and sometimes swerved in front of the vehicles just to cause a rollover.

"The Iraqi civilians were deliberately causing the Humvees to swerve because then they'd roll over," she said.

The Army identified soldier mistakes as well in rollovers involving older Humvees retrofitted with armor.

On May 3, 2004, Sgt. Gregory L. Wahl, Lt. Christopher J. Kenny, Sgt. Marvin R. Sprayberry and Pfc. Lyndon A. Marcus were dispatched to help repair a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Iraq. The four soldiers rode in a lightly armored M1025 Humvee that did not have the heavy factory-installed armor or the stronger chassis, but instead was retrofitted with so-called "add-on armor."

North of the village of Hasan al Husayn, they were traveling along a canal bank when they became separated from the others in the convoy. Soon, other soldiers spotted the vehicle submerged in about 7 feet water and resting on its rooftop in the canal.

"We jumped out, dropped our gear and jumped into the water," one soldier said in a written statement. "We tried to open the doors, but they would not move."

The soldier said he tried to pull the vehicle out with his Humvee, but the chain wasn't long enough. Later, he said, a Bradley arrived and pulled the Humvee halfway out.

"We began to remove the bodies," he said.

All four died.

A report sent to Wahl's widow, Maricela Wahl of Brentwood, N.Y., said the Army found that Lt. Kenny "allowed himself to be separated from his patrol, which caused the seriousness of this accident." None of the 10 findings and recommendations in the Army report mentioned the weight of the vehicle as a factor.

"The canal did not give way," the report found. The same report, however, included a statement from a soldier who said his vehicle got stuck shortly before the accident "because it bottomed out along the side of the canal."

A separate Army report found four separate "mistakes" by the soldiers, including misjudging the clearance.

"I never got the real story," Maricela Wahl said. "They wouldn't tell me anything."

Leonard Wahl said his son, who joined the active-duty Army about 1995, was concerned about the weight of the armored Humvees. His son rode in an up-armored Humvee in Kosovo until early 2004, and had only been in Iraq about three months when the accident occurred.

"Gregory was telling me they were too heavy," Wahl said. "If you're adding weight on that ... it must be a lot of weight it wasn't designed for in the beginning."

Five other Humvee rollover accidents occurred that month — including two that were fatal. At least three of the six accidents involved lightly armored M1025 Humvees and a fourth involved a factory-armored M1114 Humvee.

"We're putting all this armor. It's a lot of armor, and it's heavy on a vehicle it wasn't designed to be on," said Caille, the Georgia Tech Research Institute program manager. "And then we're looking surprised when it doesn't function that way."

Families not always told accident cause

The Wahls and other families said they were never officially told that the heavy armor could have contributed to accidents. Some families said they were mistakenly led to believe their loved ones died in combat.

Leonard Wahl said an Army casualty officer came to his house and strongly indicated that his son died in combat — a misconception that was spread to the other families when one of the soldiers killed in the accident was awarded a Purple Heart.

"He said they were under attack," Wahl said.

David Burkhardt said he, too, was confused about how his son died, especially after the military posthumously awarded him a Bronze Star. The citation says Burkhardt "gave the ultimate sacrifice while participating in combat operations."

Those exact words are written on the Bronze Star citation for Spec. Charles E. Bush of Buffalo, N.Y., who also was awarded a Purple Heart for "wounds received in action 19 December 2003."

A Department of Defense press release says Bush was killed when "his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device."

Records from the Army Combat Readiness Center tell a different story: The driver of the Humvee was passing a civilian vehicle when he swerved to avoid an oncoming civilian vehicle, hit a cut in the road and lost control. The Humvee rolled twice, killing Bush, who was the gunner.

A separate report from the Army Criminal Investigation Command says Bush died in an "accidental rollover."

"I was led to believe that he ran over an improvised bomb," said Bush's uncle, Melvin Bush.

Burkhardt said an Army bereavement officer first told him a rocket-propelled grenade hit his son's vehicle, and he still is trying to get answers.

"I just want to know what happened, particularly why he received a Bronze Star," Burkhardt said. "I still have not gotten a clear account of events surrounding my son's death."

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; US: Indiana; US: Ohio; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: humvee; iraq; miltech; oif; uparmoredhumvee; wheeledarmor
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Remember al the bitiching and pissing and moaning about our troops not having enough armored vehicles? Well, now they got 'em, and the whiners still aren't happy.
1 posted on 06/19/2006 5:01:31 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

I have heard Dem Congressweinies STILL griping about not enough uparmored Humvees just last week.

2 posted on 06/19/2006 5:08:08 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: saganite; Reactionary; Publius6961; theDentist; Eagles Talon IV; TankerKC; NEMDF
Armor on Iraq Humvees Is Linked to Deadly Rollovers
3 posted on 06/19/2006 5:10:07 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Its never a perfect world.

But the problem isn't having or not having armor; its the fact that people are trying to kill you. Thats the problem.

Until that problem is solved, I think I would risk having the armor, and just drive a little more carefully. You can control how you drive, you can't so easily control when the next ambush is coming.

4 posted on 06/19/2006 5:17:17 PM PDT by marron
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Reminds me, I plan to read Catch 22 this summer.

5 posted on 06/19/2006 5:18:43 PM PDT by sully777 (wWBBD: What would Brian Boitano do?)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
"Hmmm...Gee, with the added armor there is a greater chance of my HumVee rolling over. Well, that settles it. I'll just take the armor off and let RPG's crash right through the body. No wait..."
6 posted on 06/19/2006 5:26:33 PM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Well, now they got 'em, and the whiners still aren't happy.

Even if our troops have shields on their equipment like on "Star Trek Enterprise" some people would still be bitching.

7 posted on 06/19/2006 5:27:01 PM PDT by Popman ("What I was doing wasn't living, it was dying. I really think God had better plans for me.")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

8 posted on 06/19/2006 5:29:12 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Remember al the bitiching and pissing and moaning about our troops not having enough armored vehicles? Well, now they got 'em, and the whiners still aren't happy.

Drove my chevy to the levy, but the levy was gone.

They called for DHS ,then FEMA got drowned when the levy busted. We need a leader who'll lay down the law. What's Newt doing these days.

9 posted on 06/19/2006 5:35:53 PM PDT by Calusa (Looks like all we got for Fitzmas was a beat-up scooter)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Have been over here for eight months now fixing vehicles, and the last couple of months doing armor upgrades like...
"...A June 2006 fact sheet from the Army outlines a number of safety programs initiated by the service, including "a gunner's restraint system, an improved seat restraint belt, single movement combat locks, internal vehicle communications and a fire suppression system for the crew and cargo compartments."
Funny, everyday when the boys drop them off for these kits and additional armor, I hear now of them worrying about rolling over
10 posted on 06/19/2006 5:39:09 PM PDT by MrCalm
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To: AndrewC

beat me to it.
I was amazed about the Norway guys who don't wear helmets too....

11 posted on 06/19/2006 5:39:14 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: AndrewC

"The law of unintended consequences strikes again."

EXACTLY ... this "pimp my ride" attitude has kept them from getting the REAL armor they need. HumVee's were never designed for this use.

If they need armored vehicles, get them to them - not an expensive overgrown jeep.

12 posted on 06/19/2006 5:39:49 PM PDT by RS ("I took the drugs because I liked them and I found excuses to take them, so I'm not weaseling.")
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To: Popman
Even if our troops have shields on their equipment like on "Star Trek Enterprise" some people would still be bitching.

Yes, they'd be bitching about the miniature anti-matter/nuclear reactor under the hood.

13 posted on 06/19/2006 5:43:07 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000
Yes, they'd be bitching about the miniature anti-matter/nuclear reactor under the hood.

Keep it quiet. Haliburton corp is working on it.

14 posted on 06/19/2006 6:00:15 PM PDT by Popman ("What I was doing wasn't living, it was dying. I really think God had better plans for me.")
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To: RS
If they need armored vehicles, get them to them - not an expensive overgrown jeep.

Exactly! This is the idiocy that hamstrings a military!

Can you imagine if OSHA had any say in it?

15 posted on 06/19/2006 6:08:59 PM PDT by Gondring (If "Conservatives" now want to "conserve" our Constitution away, then I must be a Preservative!)
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To: RS

16 posted on 06/19/2006 6:09:40 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Any word on the price ( including the double-undercoating ) ?

17 posted on 06/19/2006 6:30:28 PM PDT by RS ("I took the drugs because I liked them and I found excuses to take them, so I'm not weaseling.")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Leaflet the triangle of death, check all coming out for ID and take their weapons, then firebomb the area.

18 posted on 06/19/2006 6:52:05 PM PDT by jeremiah (How much did we get for that rope?)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
I have a friend of a friend who is in IED disposal. They drive one of those beasts and it has saved their bacon at least three times. Two IED's directly under the vehicle and a 7.62 round splatted on the windshield dead center the drivers forehead. They walked away from all three and the vehicle only had minor damage.
19 posted on 06/19/2006 6:58:33 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Not only is this a nice stock to own,it saves lives in the meantime. They are growing because of orders to hopefully eliminate the humvee that is out there now.

20 posted on 06/19/2006 7:07:34 PM PDT by oust the louse
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