UPDATED 26 June 2010

U.S. ARMY WHEELED VEHICLE DISASTER: HUMMER, FMTV and Stryker Trucks: they're not suitable for COMBAT--what can YOU do about it?

WARNING: the "Small Wars Manual," published in 1940 by the United States marine corps, cautions:

"Every detachment representing a tempting target will be harassed or attacked. The population will be honeycombed with hostile sympathizers."

CAUSE:

EAST TIMOR, 1999
Packing the troops in like sardines?

IRAQ 2003-Today
EXCLUSIVE!

U.S. ARMY REPORT: Anatomy of an Iraqi Command-Detonated Land Mine (current BS buzz word: "IED") Ambush

WHERE ARE THE SANDBAGS?

WHERE ARE THE GUNSHIELDS?

WHY ARE THEY IN UNARMORED, RUBBER-TIRED TRUCKS AND NOT TRACKED ARMORED VEHICLES?

WHY IS THIS VEHICLE IN GREEN CAMOUFLAGE AND NOT DESERT TAN?

ANYONE READING FM 55-30?

EFFECT:


THIS IS NOT A GAME. THE WHEELED U.S. ARMY MADNESS IS HORRIBLY KILLING AND MAIMING AMERICA'S SOLDIERS. Army officials are LYING to the American Congress and the American people. These deaths are PREVENTABLE and the result of U.S. Army incompetence that refuses to admit wheeled vehicles are not suitable for combat. Army laziness not to sand bag and paint helicopters and ground vehicles in the proper camouflage color.

HUMVEE WARNED VULNERABLE IN 1989: Click on photo to see in full size to view!



The 1st TSG (A) has been warning the marine corps and Army for over a decade to stop the driving around in a wheeled truck stupidity. Young 2LT Mike Sparks wrote an article in the November 1989 U.S. Naval Institute PROCEEDINGS magazine to do something about Humvee vulnerability 4 YEARS before the Somalia debacle (see pictures of the article above).

Plain text of his article:

www.combatreform.org/vehiclecombat.htm

We also had the experience of thousands of Vietnam combat vets to not become a road-bound truck dependent force. Instead, post-Vietnam with no one shooting at us we fantasized of WW2 style linear battlefields where there would be safe "rear" areas for the Pvt. Jessica Lynch underclass to drive around in unarmored, unarmed trucks and for the "studs" to hitch a ride then fight on foot mano-e-mano. We tried to get industry to take action as the January 7, 1994 letter to Stewart & Stevenson, makers of the FMTV series of trucks shows below:

Now years later after over 1, 800 dead and 20, 000 wounded the Army/marines STILL want to drive around in vulnerable wheeled trucks. They must have a death wish--for OTHERS of lesser rank.

"Just a few weeks before he was scheduled to leave Iraq, Army SPC. Arron R. Clark of Chico was killed by a remote-control bomb, the Pentagon reported. The 20-year-old Soldier was ready to come home, said his mother, Lyne Clark. 'He wanted out of Iraq so bad. All he was seeing was dead Soldiers.' Clark was killed Friday in Baghdad as he was riding through the city in a three-vehicle convoy. Clark's childhood dream was to become an elite Airborne Ranger, and he had just been accepted to the training school and was planning to attend when he came back from Iraq, his mother said. Clark had been in Iraq since March, his mother told the San Francisco Chronicle. 'He kept telling me how bad it was over there.' Lynne Clark said her son received a General Equivalency Diploma early so he could leave Chico High School to enlist in the army. After entering the army in 2001, Clark was assigned to a signal battalion in Darmstadt, Germany, where he specialized in detection and decontamination of biological warfare agents. He was part of the first invasion wave of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Clark's aunt, Robin Clark, said he always wanted his family to be proud of him. 'He knew if he didn't get out of Chico, he wasn't going to get anywhere,' Robin Clark said. 'He wanted to make something of himself.'

www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/12/09/state1754EST0128.DT

I HAVE NEWS FOR EVERYONE.

SPC CLARK WAS "SOMEONE" WHETHER HE BECAME A "RANGER" OR NOT; HE WAS A HUMAN BEING MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE.

AN AMERICAN. A HERO.

SPC CLARK WAS A SOLDIER.

AND HE EARNED HIS "RIGHT" TO WEAR HIS BLACK BERET IN SPADES.

Now in memory of this hero its time for us--THE LIVING---to live UP to the heroes who have gone before us and make our Army ALL THAT IT NEEDS TO BE.

Its going to take courage to face the truth.

THE WHEELED ARMY IS A FAILURE.

SPC CLARK DIED BECAUSE WE FAILED HIM--by sending him to combat in a wheeled truck.

IF THE ARMY PERSISTS WITH ITS CURRENT FANTASY OF CHEAPO RUBBER-TIRED WHEELED VEHICLES WITH COMPUTERS FOR MICROMANAGEMENT, MORE MEN WILL DIE AND BE MAIMED HORRIBLY.

Its time to wake up and grow up. Ranger tabs don't stop bullets. Nor do callous rationalizations that our casualties are "ok" because HMMWVs are trucks not combat vehicles (circular illogic). When in COMBAT ride in COMBAT vehicles. 1-800-OBVIOUS to those not clouded by egotism. The 360 degree, non-linear battlefield of today doesn't allow us topick and chose where combat will or will not take place. Everyone had better be able to fight and survive, and this means TRACKED not wheeled vehicles.

Wheeled vehicles be they Stryker, HMMWVs or FMTV trucks are not combat vehicles. Wheeled vehicles are 28% less space/weight efficient than tracked vehicles. You frankly cannot make wheeled vehicles RPG-proof because their wheels have to turn to steer and they can never be as armor protected as tracked vehicles. Sending our men into combat in anything less than a RPG-resistant light tracked AFV is letting heroes like SPC Clark down and its time this wheeled madness be stopped in America's Army. Its going to take Congress and the American people to save our Soldiers because the Army is fullof weak co-dependant people who are too proud and arrogant to admit their dreamof a lazy Army rolling on rubber tire wheels evading breaking a sweat by computer mental gymnasics to create linear safe and front lines that do not exist is a miserable failure. The Army continues to "spin" how their wheeled vehicles and computers have succeeded as the enemy "votes" otherwise with RPGs, IEDs and AK47s. Its interesting how the Army "spins" away our dead and mangled men by citing how heroic they are to excuse away their incompetence, which if corrected would result in living instead of dead heroes. Able bodied men and women with all their limbs to enjoy the rest of their lives.

NON-LINEAR BATTLEFIELD EVERYONE IS POSSIBLE COMBATANT IN ANY DIRECTION +

AKM AUTOMATIC WEAPONS +

RPGS +

LAND MINES FROM SIDES AND BELOW +

AMERICANS DRIVING AROUND IN VULNERABLE, WHEELED VEHICLES =

>>>>>>>>>>TRAGEDY AND DISASTER<<<<<<<<<<<<

The mondern non-linear battlefield has enemies that can come from any direction--there are no "safe" "rear" areas. The WWII paradigm that we can resupply the "front" lines in cheapo trucks is over. Everyone in COMBAT needs to ride in tracks including resupply. We can do this. We have thousands of the greatest tracked AFV of all time, ever made in our possession sitting in storage awaiting its call to rescue us from our lazy slacker stupidity: the M113 Gavin.

WHEN YOU LOOK WEAK BECAUSE YOU ARE WEAK RIDING ON WHEELS, THE ENEMY ATTACKS YOU.

The world's leading researcher on combat psychology, LTC Dave Grossman (On Killing) weighs in on our weak appearance/condition in Iraq driving around in uncamouflaged, unsandbagged, wheeled HMMWV, FMTV and Stryker trucks:

"Yep, I also discuss these factors in the book also, and you are absolutely correct. Here is the section from the book on this:

The Shalit Factors: Means, Motive, and Opportunity

Although somewhat obvious, such factors as, 'Will I do the enemy any harm by killing this poor slob, and will I be able to get away with it without getting killed myself?' should not be overlooked as critical factors in the potential killer's decision to engage in a specific killing circumstance. Given an opportunity to kill and time to think about it, a Soldier in combat becomes very much like a the killer in a classical murder mystery, in that he makes a rational assessment of his 'means, motive, and opportunity'. Israeli military psychologist Ben Shalit has developed a model of 'target attractiveness' revolving around the nature of the victim, which have been modified slightly and incorporated into our overall model of the killing enabling factors.

Shalit takes into consideration:

-The relevance and effectiveness of available strategies for killing the victim (i.e. the means and opportunity).

-The relevance of the victim and the payoff of killing in terms of the killer's gain and the enemy's loss (i.e. the motive).

Relevance of Available Strategies: Means and Opportunity

'Man taxes his ingenuity to be able to kill without running the risk of being killed.'

---Ardant du Picq

Tactical and technological advantages increase the effectiveness of the combat strategies available to the Soldier. Or, as one Soldier put it, 'You want to make damn sure you don't get your own ass shot off while you are hosing the enemy.' ...

IRAQI TRAGEDY LIST

1, 800 Americans DEAD, 20, 000 wounded as of July 17, 2005

www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties/

75% of all our dead by Land mines and small-arms fire attacks (numbers growing daily) and vehicle accidents...

How many would be alive today if instead of driving around in unarmored BS HMMWV and FMTV trucks they were in M113 Gavins?

Potentially over 1, 000 people alive instead of dead from land mines if they had been in M113 Gavins with RPG and roadside bomb resistant applique' armor.

Another 2 Soldiers alive if instead of wasting money on Stryker armored cars we had fitted belly armor kits to M113s.

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam

www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence"

Basically 63 people would be alive today if we had upgraded M113s and used them more extensively than HMMWVs, FMTVs and other unarmored trucks in Iraq.

How many of the 49 people who died in vehicle accidents could have lived had they gotten adequate sleep?

How many would be alive today and not how many would not be without limbs if they were in up-armored M113 Gavins or simply had GUNSHIELDS?

O, how many of these folks were/are "worthy" of wearing a BLACK BERET?

EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE OF THEM.

AND THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON DUTY IN HARM'S WAY NOW.

Land Mines/Roadside/Car Bombs: "Improvised Explosive Devices" 50% of all combat deaths or 1/4 of all deaths in Iraq and growing...

www.geocities.com/militaryincompetence/americaniraqwarcasualties.htm

EXCERPTS:

1. Sapper Luke Allsopp 24
33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), North London, England
Killed in attack on British vehicles in southern Iraq on March 23, 2003

2. LCPL Andrew Julian Aviles 18
4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th marine division, Tampa, Florida
Killed on April 7, 2003, in central Iraq when an enemy artillery round struck his amphibious assault vehicle

3. SGT. Michael Paul Barrera 26
3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Von Ormy, Texas
Killed when his M1 tank was hit with an improvised explosive device in Baqubah, Iraq, on October 28, 2003

4. SGT Gregory A. Belanger 24
325th Military Intelligence Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves , Narragansett, Rhode Island
Died of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle on August 27, 2003, in Al Hallia, Iraq

5. SPC Joel L. Bertoldie 20
4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division , Independence, Missouri
Killed when an explosive device was detonated underneath the military vehicle he was driving in Fallujah, Iraq on July 18, 2003

6. CPL Mark A. Bibby 25
422nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Watha, North Carolina
Killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated near a convoy he was traveling in to a water treatment facility in Baghdad, Iraq on July 21, 2003

7. CSM James D. Blankenbecler 40
1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment , Alexandria, Virginia
Killed when the convoy he was in was attacked with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades in Samarra, Iraq, on October 1, 2003

8. SGT Trevor A. Blumberg 22
1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Canton, Michigan
Killed when two improvised explosive devices struck his vehicle while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, on September 14, 2003

9. PFC Timmy R. Brown Jr. 21
519th Military Intelligence Battalion, 525th Military Intelligence Brigade , Conway, Pennsylvania
Killed when his convoy struck an improvised explosive device in the vicinity of Taji, Iraq on August 12, 2003

10. 2LT Todd J. Bryant 23
1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division Riverside, California
Killed when an improvised explosive device exploded while he was on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, on October 31, 2003

11. CPT Joshua T. Byers 29
Headquarters Troop, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, Nevada
Killed when his convoy hit an explosive device east of Baghdad, Iraq on July 23, 2003

12. SGT Charles T. Caldwell 38
115th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, North Providence, Rhode Island
Killed when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device on September 1, 2003, on a supply route south of Baghdad, Iraq

13. SSG Joseph Camara, 40
115th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, New Bedford, Massachusetts Killed when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device on September 1, 2003, on a supply route south of Baghdad, Iraq

14. SPC Isaac Campoy 21
3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Douglas, Arizona
Killed when his M1 tank was hit with an improvised explosive device in Baqubah, Iraq, on October 28, 2003

15. SPC Andrew F. Chris 25
3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, California
Killed when his vehicle passed by an vehicle loaded with explosives that detonated on June 26, 2003, in southwest Baghdad. Chris was serving on Task Force 20, the special operations unit hunting for Saddam Hussein and other fugitive Iraqi leaders

16. 2LT Benjamin J. Colgan 30
2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Kent, Washington
Died from injuries suffered when he was struck with an improvised explosive device while responding to a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 1, 2003

17. SGT Timothy M. Conneway, 22
3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Enterprise, Alabama
Wounded when an explosive device detonated and struck the vehicle on June 26, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq, he died of wounds on June 28

18. SSG Christopher E. Cutchall, 30
Delta Troop, 4th Cavalry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania
Killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated as his vehicle passed by while traveling in a convoy west of Baghdad, Iraq, on September 29, 2003

19. Spc. Darryl T. Dent, 21
547th Transportation Company, Army National Guard, Washington, D.C.
Killed when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle in a convoy near Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on August 26, 2003

20. Pvt. Michael J. Deutsch, 21
1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division Dubuque, Iowa
Killed when his M113 Armored Personnel Carrier hit a landmine in Baghdad, Iraq on July 31, 2003

QUESTION: if his M113 Gavin had been fitted with Belly Armor Kit / Cage No. 80212, P/N 4240277 would he have died? If the Army was not wasting $9+ BILLION on Stryker armored cars maybe belly armor kits could have been purchased and fitted to all M113s?

M113 Gavin BELLY ARMOR that could be fitted that has not been fitted to Gavins in Iraq:

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam

www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence"

21. PFC Analaura Esparza Gutierrez 21
4th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Houston, Texas
Killed when the convoy she was in was attacked with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades in Tikrit, Iraq, on October 1, 2003

22. PVT Jonathan I. Falaniko 20
70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division Pago Pago, American Samoa
Killed when a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device detonated near the Al Khadra Police Station in downtown Baghdad on October 27, 2003

23. PVT Joseph R. Guerrera, 20
2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Dunn, North Carolina
Killed when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 26, 2003

24. SSG Terry W. Hemingway, 39
1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Willingboro, New Jersey
Killed in action April 10, 2003, in Iraq, when a car exploded next to his vehicle

25. SSG Jamie L. Huggins, 26
2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Hume, Missouri
Killed when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device while on patrol on October 26, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq

26. SPC Eric R. Hull, 23
307th Military Police Company, Army Reserves , Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Died of injuries received when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while returning from the Baghdad airport on August 18, 2003

27. 1LT Joshua C. Hurley, 24
326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Virginia
Died from injuries suffered when his Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device, in Mosul, Iraq, on November 1, 2003

28. SPC Maurice J. Johnson, 21
C Company, 501st Signal Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Levittown, Pennsylvania
Died from injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device struck his Humvee in Mosul, Iraq, on November 1, 2003

29. SSG Paul J. Johnson, 29
1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Calumet, Michigan
Killed when the vehicle he was riding in on a mounted patrol was hit by an improvised explosive device and later came under small-arms fire in Fallujah, Iraq, on October 20, 2003

30. CPT David Jones, 29
1st Battalion, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, Louth, Lincolnshire, England
Killed in a bomb attack on a British military ambulance in Basra, Iraq on August 14, 2003

31. SPC Spencer T. Karol, 20
165th Military Intelligence Battalion, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, Woodruff, Arizona
Killed when a command detonated device exploded, overturning his vehicle while on a mission to observe enemy activity in Ramadi, Iraq, on October 6, 2003

32. SPC Chad L. Keith, 21
2nd Brigade, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Batesville, Indiana
Killed while he was on mounted patrol and his vehicle drove past an object that exploded on the roadside on July 7, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq

33. MAJ Hieronim Kupczyk N/A
1st Brigade, Multinational Division Central-South, Poland
Killed when a convoy of four Polish military vehicles was shelled near al Mussabiyah, Iraq, on November 6, 2003

34. SPC William J. Maher III, 35
1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Yardley, Pennsylvania
Killed when an improvised explosive device was dropped from an overpass onto his convoy as it traveled through Baghdad's Al Rashid district on July 28, 2003

35. SGT Francisco Martinez, 28
82nd Soldier Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Humacao, Puerto Rico
Killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated next to a military convoy in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 4, 2003

36. CPL Jesus Martin Antonio Medellin, 21
3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Fort Worth, Texas
Killed on April 7 in central Iraq when an enemy artillery round struck his amphibious assault vehicle

37. SSG Frederick L. Miller Jr., 27
Troop K, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Hagerstown, Indiana
Killed when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while on a security patrol in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on September 20, 2003

38. SPC Rafael L. Navea, 34
2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 212th Field Artillery Brigade, III Corps, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Killed when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device on August 27, 2003, in Fallujah, Iraq

39. PFC Branden F. Oberleitner, 20
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Worthington, Ohio
Killed when his patrol received grenade fire on June 5, 2003, in Fallujah, Iraq

40. SPC James E. Powell, 26
1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Radcliff, Kentucky
Killed when his M2/A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an anti-tank mine northwest of Baji, Iraq, on October 12, 2003

41. PFC Kerry D. Scott, 21
1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Mount Vernon, Washington
Killed on October 6, 2003, when his combat patrol convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Iskandariyah, Iraq

42. PFC Jeremiah D. Smith, 25
1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Odessa, Missouri
Killed when his vehicle hit unexploded ordnance while escorting heavy equipment transporters on May 26, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq

43. CPT John R. Teal, 31
2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Killed when the convoy he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device in Baqubah, Iraq, on October 23, 2003

44. MAJ Matthew Titchener, 32
150 Provost Company, Royal Military Police, Southport, Merseyside, England
Killed during an attack by gunmen on a British military ambulance in Basra, Iraq on August 23, 2003

45. 2LT Richard Torres, 25
1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Clarksville, Tennessee
Killed when his convoy, while on combat patrol, was struck by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 6, 2003

46. Warrant Officer Colin Wall, 34
150 Provost Company, Royal Military Police, County Durham, England
Killed during an attack by gunmen on a British military ambulance in Basra, Iraq on August 23, 2003

47. SPC Donald L. Wheeler, 22
"C" Battery, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, Concord, Michigan
Killed when his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire on October 13, 2003 in Balad, Iraq

48. SGT Steven W. White, 29
4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Lawton, Oklahoma
Died of injuries he received when his M113 armored personnel carrier hit an antitank mine in Tikrit, Iraq, on August 13, 2003

QUESTION: if his M113 Gavin had been fitted with Belly Armor Kit / Cage No. 80212, P/N 4240277 would he have died? If the Army was not wasting $9+ BILLION on Stryker armored cars maybe belly armor kits could have been purchased and fitted to all M113s?

M113 Gavin BELLY ARMOR that could be fitted that has not been fitted to Gavins in Iraq:

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam

www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence"

49. SPC Michael L. Williams, 46
105th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, Buffalo, New York
Killed when his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device near Baghdad, Iraq, on October 17, 2003

50. SGT Taft V. Williams, 29
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, New Orleans, Louisiana
Killed when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device on August 12, 2003, near Ramadi, Iraq

51. PFC Stephen E. Wyatt, 19
"C" Battery, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, Kilgore, Texas
Killed when his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire on October 13, 2003 in Balad, Iraq

Rocket-Propelled Grenades: 17/437 = 3.89%

Unarmored vehicle deaths: 16
Armored vehicle deaths: 1

1. CPL Evan Asa Ashcraft, 24
1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division West Hills, California
Killed when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during an ambush of a military convoy north of Hawd in northern Iraq on July 24, 2003

2. Fusilier Russell Beeston, 26
52nd Lowland Regiment (Volunteers), Territorial Army Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Died when his convoy was attacked by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades near Amarah, Iraq, on August 27, 2003

3. 1LT David R. Bernstein, 24
1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Killed when his patrol was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Taza, Iraq, on October 18, 2003

4. SGT Jacob L. Butler, 24
1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division Wellsville, Kansas
Killed in action April 1, 2003, in Samawah, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle

5. PFC Jonathan M. Cheatham, 19
489th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve Camden, Arkansas
Killed when the convoy he was riding in was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades in Baghdad, Iraq on July 26, 2003

6. SPC Brett T. Christian, 27
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, North Royalton, Ohio
Killed when the convoy he was in was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades in Mosul, Iraq on July 23, 2003

7. SPC Jon P. Fettig, 30
957th Engineer Company, Army National Guard Dickinson, North Dakota
Killed when the truck he was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade near Ramadi, Iraq on July 22, 2003

8. SGT Justin W. Garvey, 23
1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Townsend, Massachusetts
Killed when his vehicle was ambushed and struck by rocket-propelled grenades while on patrol in Tallifar, Iraq on July 20, 2003

9. PFC John D. Hart, 20
1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Bedford, Massachusetts
Killed when his patrol was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Taza, Iraq, on October 18, 2003

10. SPC Justin W. Hebert, 20
319th Field Artillery, 173rd Airborne Brigade Arlington, Washington
Killed when his vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Kirkuk, Iraq on August 1, 2003

11. SGT Jason D. Jordan, 24
1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Elba, Alabama
Killed when his vehicle was ambushed and struck by rocket-propelled grenades while on patrol in Tallifar, Iraq on July 20, 2003

12. SSG Kevin C. Kimmerly, 31
4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment North Creek, New York
Killed when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, on September 15, 2003

13. SSG Mark A. Lawton, 41
244th Engineer Battalion, Army Reserves Hayden, Colorado
Killed when his convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade on August 29, 2003, north of As Suaydat, Iraq

14. SPC Paul T. Nakamura, 21
437th Medical Company Santa Fe Springs, California
Killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit a U.S. military ambulance south of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 19, 2003

15. SPC James H. Pirtle, 18
2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division La Mesa, New Mexico
Killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Assadah, Iraq, on October 4, 2003

QUESTION: would he have died had he been behind a gunshield? Or even if his top hatch opened forward like Russian armored vehicles do?

16. PVT Sean A. Silva, 23
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Roseville, California
Killed when his unit was ambushed while on patrol by individuals using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, Iraq, on October 9, 2003

17. CPL Tomas Sotelo Jr., 20
Headquarters Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment Houston, Texas
Killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle while traveling in a convoy in Baghdad, Iraq,on June 27, 2003

SOMALIA, 1993.

"Blackhawk Down!"

HMMWVs burning. 5-ton trucks torched by RPGs. Men dead. Men trapped miles away that cannot be reached. After a desperate relief mission led by tracked armored vehicles reaches the trapped Rangers/Delta operators, the U.S. pulls out shortly thereafter from Somalia under the direction of cowardly liberal President Clinton. 18 men died to end clan violence only for weak willed politicians to cut their losses in popularity with the voters and end the mission. But that's not the total story---the real story is that 10 years after "BHD", the U.S. Army still has not supplied the 75th Ranger Regiment with M113A3 type light tracked AFVs nor even added gunshields to their HMMWVs or gunshields to their shoulder weapons!!!


The Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher because its a lightweight and re-usable launcher enemy third world countries factor in explosive firepower effects into their infantry tactics giving them local superiority over U.S. infantry which over-relies on small arms fire bullet "garden hose" effects and has no RPG equivalent for local fire superiority

Even worse, the entire U.S. Army is getting clobbered TODAY in Iraq by RPGs, small-arms fire, and command detonated landmines (mis-identified as "Improvised Explosive Devices or "IEDs") riding around in unarmored HMMWV and FMTV trucks. Note how easily rubber tires burn. The Stryker armored car has 8 air-filled rubber tires.

Simple common sense things like sandbagging your vehicles are not being done in Iraq.

Photographic proof (photo above):

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20031114/i/r2556915053.jpg

We know for a FACT that the Army is not even sandbagging its vehicles as we have photographic and witnessess as proof of this dereliction of duty and incompetence.

FM 55-30, ARMY MOTOR TRANSPORT UNITS AND OPERATIONS is the Bible for hardening vehicles: www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/toc.htm

Specifically checkout Appendix O at the Reimer Library:

www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/appo.htm

In case the Army web page on vehicle hardening suddenly "disappears" its copied here: www.combatreform.org/fm5530.htm. We've also included it in its entirety on this web page.

Since adding sandbags to Army vehicles increases Soldiers' survivability and is in an Army doctrinal reference manual, there is no excuse. Painting dark green helicopters and ground vehicles light gray or tan if they drive/fly during the daytime is not being done, either. The status quo is somehow smugly thought of as being "adequate" as ones and twos of our men are getting killed by command detonated land mines, RPGs and small arms fire attacks each day. The Army is NOT doing ALL it can to win the fight and protect Soldiers' lives and anyone saying otherwise is incorrect.

The U.S. Army doesn't even teach its Soldiers to sandbag their vehicles as an annual CTT Level 1 task. Its high time we learn from these combat experiences on the non-linear battlefield; fathom that that soft-skin rubber tired wheeled vehicles are unsuitable and to supply EVERY Army unit with M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles as the baseline vehicle. Not pathetic HMMWV, FMTV and Stryker wheeled trucks.

Photos of the 1993 Somalia firefight and aftermath:

Army lying: says it can only provide more wheeled trucks when THOUSANDS of M113 Gavin TRACKS are available, a lesson in desperation 101

December 14, 2003

Unfit For Combat: Humvees need armor to give them a fighting chance

By Craig Gordon, Washington Bureau

Washington - American troops are dying in Iraq and suffering amputations and other massive injuries while they confront the Iraqi insurgency in Humvees not designed to withstand frontline combat.

These lighter Humvees and other military vehicles have become the target of choice for anti-U.S. guerrillas. Shrapnel from a roadside bomb, or even a simple AK-47 rifle round, can slice through the unarmored vehicles - some of which have little more than vinyl fabric for their roofs and doors, troops who know them say.

"We're kind of sitting ducks in the vehicles we have," said Lt. Col. Vincent Montera, commander of the Long Island-based 310th Military Police Battalion, which has crisscrossed the Iraqi countryside for months in those "soft-top" models.

But the Army does not expect the full complement of a more heavily armored version, designed to withstand armor-piercing bullets and land mines, to arrive in Iraq until the summer of 2005. The Pentagon failed to move them into Iraq in significant numbers because war planners had seriously underestimated how violent the newly liberated nation would be.

Just one in eight of all Humvees in Iraq are of this more heavily armored variety.

Many in Congress say that 18 months is too long to wait and question why assembly lines at the sole production plant for the heavier models aren't yet running around the clock.

In the eyes of Alma Hart of Massachusetts, her son, John, might have come home after an Oct. 18 ambush if his unit had been driving the armored models that day. "My son could be alive if he'd had this equipment," she said. "The recruiter didn't tell us this stuff when we let our son sign up."

To 26-year-old 1st Lt. Jonathan Pruden of Georgia, not having an armored Humvee meant an attack July 1 cost him five inches of bone in his right leg and a left leg at risk of amputation, he believes. "It would have made a huge difference, probably saved my legs," Pruden said.

Montera doesn't expect to get any of the armored models for his unit before his troops come home in the spring, so he's doing what he can to make his soft-sided ones safer. The 310th has been stuffing sandbags onto the floors and hanging flak vests on the doors to add something, anything, for added protection.

"It isn't much," Montera said, "but every little precaution just might save one of my Soldiers' lives."

The shortage of armored Humvees - and the risks for units like Montera's without them - are just the latest example of what critics say was war planning through rose-colored glasses, based on overly optimistic predictions of how U.S. forces would be greeted after the invasion.

Some U.S. military officials have told Congress they simply did not foresee that there would be such a long and bloody period of insurgency that would require U.S. troops to be patrolling Iraq from behind armor plating.

"It's true. We do not have as many up-armored Humvees as we would like to have in Iraq," the Army vice chief of staff at the time, Gen. John Keane, told a congressional committee in September. "To be honest with you, we just did not expect this level of violence ... that we are currently dealing with. That's the straight answer."

At the war's end May 1, the Army saw the need for just 235 of the armored Humvees for all of Iraq.

Today, the Army's need has grown more than tenfold. The Army is trying to rush 3,200 of the armored models into the country and already has met about half that goal.

Added a second Army official last week: "The main phase of battle, to get rid of the Iraqi army, you're talking tanks, Bradleys, the fighting vehicles. The phase we're in now, the stability and support operations, we have an enemy that's adapted and that is targeting our lighter vehicles. No reason to expect we'd need 3,000-plus armored Humvees. How could we have known?"

Some congressional critics scoff at that assessment and say the Pentagon should have done a better job preparing for this contingency. "Our troops are dying because their vehicles are obviously vulnerable," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). "It's shameful that [Defense] Department officials didn't accelerate production of armored Humvees long before now." Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said, "The initial perception - once the shooting stops, everyone will embrace us as liberators and it's going to be great- I think that colored all the planning for what units you need and how long to keep them there."

U.S. Central Command doesn't keep a breakdown of Humvee casualties, but at least 70 troops have been killed in vehicle attacks since major combat ended May 1.

Standard, non-armored Humvees never were meant to see frontline combat. They were introduced in the mid-1980s as an updated version of the Jeep, but with bodies of thin aluminum and fiberglass. Some older models like Montera's have soft-sided roofs and doors, and others, like the popular "turtleback" model, have a hard roof and machine-gun turret.

"The standard Humvees don't really have any protection at all. They're not designed with protection in mind. They're designed to move forces on the battlefield," said Maj. Tim Baxter of the Army's up-armored Humvee program.

The deadly 1993 raid in Somalia led to a Humvee with better armor protection. But with a price tag of about $150,000, they never were designed for wide use throughout the military. Iraq has turned that requirement on its head as vehicles never intended to see frontline combat can find themselves under attack on almost any road or street.

In addition, armored Humvees were parceled out mainly to active-duty units before the war - yet National Guard and reserve troops are being thrust into a more active role in patrolling the countryside. The Army Reserve -of which the 310th MP battalion is a part - said it has no armored Humvees in its normal peacetime stocks.

Even Montera's 300-strong battalion, which includes about 100 Long Islanders, didn't expect to spend this much time traversing Iraq's dangerous roads.

The 310th's specialty is guarding enemy prisoners of war, a task that generally keeps it in one location, but that job changed even before Montera's troops reached Iraq. Instead, they are helping re-establish Iraq's civilian prison system, which took Montera's troops to six cities from their home base in Diwaniya.

In logging all those miles, the 310th and its roughly 80 Humvees have taken their share of fire. Sgt. George Avalos was returning from Baghdad Sept. 9 when a pair of roadside bombs went off next to his convoy. One Soldier, traveling in a non-armored vehicle with no door, received minor injuries. Avalos believes a bigger, closer bomb would have done much greater damage. "The incident was a reality check on our vulnerability driving along these roads," Avalos, a Hicksville resident who works in the unit's motor pool, wrote in an e-mail. "Non-armored vehicles are useless in this or any hostile environment."

That's how Alma and Brian Hart of Bedford, Mass., feel about the attack that killed their son, Pfc. John Hart, 20, a paratrooper with the 173rd Infantry Brigade, who died outside Kirkuk. John Hart and another Soldier were shot in a non-armored Humvee that came under rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire while searching for the culprits behind a rocket attack at a nearby base.

John Hart was shot in the neck while returning fire, and his mother believes, based on conversations with fellow Soldiers, a metal gun plate found on armored models - but not on the standard ones - might have made a difference that day. John Hart himself expressed worries about the lack of armored Humvees in his unit in a call home a week before he died.

"They were really concerned that things had heated up quite a bit. They were being trained for a particular mission, and they didn't have the right equipment. 'For one thing, we don't have any armor on our Humvees. I'm standing out there exposed,'" Brian Hart recalled his son saying.

Now Brian Hart has taken up the case, trying to figure out ways to press Congress and the Pentagon to get armored Humvees into Iraq as fast as possible.

"I know it would not bring John back ... but he's got friends over there that are riding in the same gun slot in the same patrols, and I owe it to them to address the issue," said Brian Hart.

Right now, the only source of new armored Humvees will be the production line, because the Army already has diverted existing stocks that it can afford to send, including about 350 on the way, Army officials said. The Army's sole contractor for putting the armor plating on the standard Humvee chassis, Armor Holdings Inc., is hiring 150 workers at its Ohio plant but won't go to round-the-clock shifts until February. Peak production won't come until April, when the company hopes to make 220 armored Humvees a month. Officials from Armor Holdings and the Army defend the pace of production, already on the rise from a rate of 60 armored Humvees a month last summer.

"Between now and April, it's a mistake to ask us to move faster than we are because I don't think we can maintain the quality," said Bob Mecredy, president of the company's aerospace and defense group. "You don't want a round going through because you built a poor-quality vehicle."

That answer has not satisfied critics on both the Republican and Democratic sides in Congress, who have told the Army to find ways to speed up that mid-2005 deadline. "Unacceptable," said Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Army is exploring using armor kits that can be bolted onto existing vehicles and hopes to produce 13,000 kits for Humvees, troop and tank transports in all.

In Iraq, Montera is already a step ahead of them. His unit's job is changing again, back to a focus on enemy prisoners of war in southern Iraq that he hopes will keep his troops off the roads and closer to base.

Still, he has explored getting large sheets of heavy metal to bolt onto his existing trucks, anything to give his troops a better chance of surviving an attack if one should come.

"My concern is my Soldiers, and at almost every staff meeting, I bring it up and try to think of ways to keep my Soldiers safe, by reinforcing the door and reinforcing the floor," Montera said. "If I had those up-armored, I'd feel a hell of a lot better."

Article from 1998 U.S. Army Infantry magazine: remember Somalia? Army has no excuse: SASO violence from years ago showed HMMWV trucks are inadequate

Platoon Under Fire: Mogadishu, October 1993

When are we going to take war seriously?

Now after a best-selling book and a movie, you would think we would realize that vulnerable vehicles should be fixed as much as possible and better, more protected light tracked armored vehicles like the M113A3 Gavin better utilized.

KOREA, 1969

Consider what happens when your rubber-tired wheeled vehicle isn't properly armed, armored or able to go cross-country:

"In regard to the incident on October 18, 1969, as mentioned in "The Second Korean Conflict," the four 7th Infantry Division Soldiers killed were in a 3/4-ton utility vehicle, not a jeep. They were members of "C" Company, 1/32nd Infantry ("Queens Own"). I was a Staff Sergeant serving with the Battalion Headquarters Company Reconnaissance Platoon in the 1/32 at the time. C/1/32 was providing garrison personnel for Guard Post Turner, the westernmost of two such guard posts in that sector inside the DMZ. There were usually 18 men in each guard post. Just after dawn on the 18th, a pair of gun jeeps from the 1/32nd Headquarters Company Reconnaissance platoon escorted all but one of the vehicles, a 5/4-ton truck, back and advised that they would return at 1030 hours to pick up the last vehicle, what was involved in mess maintenance. At about 0830, the truck left the guard post unescorted. The driver and a staff sergeant in the cab were armed with .45 ACPs and the two Soldiers in the back had M14s.

Evidence found afterward (footprints and cigarette butts) indicated that the ambushers had set up there before dawn and may have been watching the gun jeeps, and escorted vehicles come and go for some days. Without the gun jeeps to contend with, they fired more than 100 .32-caliber PPSh submachine-gun rounds into the vehicle from 15 to 20 feet and at least two grenades, one on which landed in the bed of the truck. All four Soldiers seem to have died in the first assault. All four tires were flat, the windshield and driver's side window had been shot out and the engine holed.

Charlie Company personnel radioed an alarm and stayed in the guard post until Recon gun jeeps arrived and secured the area. A patrol in the area north of Turner tried unsuccessfully to intercept the ambushers."

Michael John Ruffley
Carbondale, IL

War is an extreme activity and things we get away with in peacetime that are foolish will get our men killed in shooting wars. Other Armies know this, we do not. If we are going to use soft-skin vehicles as troop transports, DON'T. Get 11 ton M113A3s that weigh the exactly the same as 22,000 pound trucks and use them: that's right they CAN BE AIRDROPPED, "There isn't enough airlift" and other lies will not stand. The M113 was DESIGNED to be an air-droppable AFV. The combat-proven, tracked, M113 will not go up in flames from a single burst of enemy small arms fire. "Light-itis" kills, for it preaches that we can walk wherever you go when the truth is that the men are going to get trucked at some point, where they could get &**%d by enemy fire. Just like the Paratroopers and marines and other lightfighters do when at NTC, 29 Palms or in Middle Eastern combat.

If at some point, we are going to ride in trucks, the time has come to face the realities of combat and get them ready to survive some enemy fire and fight back. What is most disturbing is I know a young LT who wrote an article warning about this in the November 1989 edition of U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings that was ignored and now 18 men are dead and the U.S. has suffered a major foreign policy set back (again--remember Beirut truck bombing that killed 241 sleeping, lax security marines that caused the U.S. to pull out from Lebanon, now a considered "untouchable" terrorist hell-hole?).

That was me.

U.S. ARMY VEHICLE INCOMPETENCE IS A POST-VIETNAM PHENOMENA

All of our reformer brain-storming, is healthy and wise; its what professionals do to get the best minds on the problem (BMOTP). However, let's digress into current Army reality for a few seconds, a reality that may be alien to you as you may have lived in a get-the-job-done era and always had more rank behind you or you may just be a common-sense civilian. Look at this now from company-level and below.

1. Current DoD/U.S. Army Bureaucracy won't let you save your own life

Right now, I have a friend in Iraq who cannot do shit to his FMTV and HMMWV trucks, because the Army thinks these trucks are going to somehow survive Iraq in their peacetime BS unarmored, unarmed condition. These trucks have to remain in a virginal peacetime, bean-counter, non-warrior state DESPITE WHAT FM 55-30, APPENDIX O says. If armor kits or weapons mounts are going to be used its going to have to be "store bought" and Army approved thru the bureaucracy, an on the "radar screen" budget item to Congress (so it wont fuking happen, Army has other funding "priorities"). So our men are driving HMMWV and FMTV trucks to their deaths and maimings. Now there is a middle ground; TACOM could get off its ass and get its experts working with troops IN THE FIELD to get "approved" improvised armoring and gun mount kits etc. but that ain't happenin, either.

This is why we vigorously propose we send up-armored or even as-is M113 Gavins to Iraq RIGHT NOW so some bureaucrat CAN'T DENY OUR TROOPS ARMOR PROTECTION--ITS BUILT IN. Look at the M113A3 it has the bolts to accept RPG resistant applique' armor but THE ARMY WILL NOT BUY IT. Lesson Learned. Don't count on the Army buying you what you need unless you already go it.

Let's explain now the rank/file side of the story.

2. The troops themselves are often lazy and ignorant-they don't know "what right looks like"

Somewhere after Vietnam and the reality of bullets hitting your body and shredding it faded away, we in the USMC and the Army had a massive turn-over of personnel, with the Vietnam vets who knew better from hard experience leaving the service. We also had the Reagen build-up and the HMMWV was one of the "big ticket" items bought in quantity. The "store bought" mentality took effect that to do something "right" we had to have it made that way. The mentality then drifted into "if we can't do it 'store bought' WE WON'T DO IT AT ALL". Example, so you know we're not BSing you:

JRTC 2000. Army 20th Airborne Combat Engineers are attached to our M1/M2 Company Team, we give them M113A3 Gavins, they learn in just a few days how to use em, kick ass. It was either that or they don't "play" with us since they have no armored vehicles. We learn they have a rifle launched grappling hook device I happen to have experimented with, too in case we needed to do our own breaching. These things in TRAINING are shot by using a full power 5.56mm blank cartridge at about $1 a pop. Of course the supply system is fuked up and doesn't work yadda yadda. No full power store-bought blanks. What you do is take 3 x regular 5.56mm blanks and open them up and make one full power blank using your leatherman's pliers to shoot the grappling hook. That's what the maker of the Launched Grappling Hook told me to do, I've done it dozens of times and even taught all my men how to do it (infantry, grunts).

The active duty combat engineers WOULD NOT DO IT.

It was "beneath" them.

With a welfare recipient's attitude of "If it ain't supplied to me, I ain't struggling to make somethin" they refused to employ the rifle-launched grappling hooks during our JRTC rotation.

Thus...........

AN ENTIRE COLUMN OF 50+ VEHICLES WAS STOPPED REPEATEDLY ALONG ROADS/TRAILS AS ENGINEERS HAND TOSSED AND RECOVERED AND HAND TOSSED AND RECOVERED, AND HAND TOSSED AND RECOVERED A GRAPPLING HOOK WITH A ROPE TO BREACH.

We stood still for hours as the engineers played "grappling hook rodeo".

Had an enemy attacked us....

3. The HMMWV laziness took effect in the early 1980s

During the '80s the unarmored wheeled HMMWV became the main troop carrier instead of the tracked armored M113 Gavin. Why?

Because it LOOKED NEW, was "new".

During Vietnam, almost everyone that wanted to live rode in a M113. The light tracked AFV was the "standard" set for troop transport over the lethal battlefield. Then the "bar" was lowered with the HMMWV as a quasi-combat vehicle.

Ignorant non-professionals easily buy into the "new is better" mentality. However, when the "new" thing is LESS CAPABLE than the "old" thing, what you get is LESS CAPABLE.

As the threat of death in combat faded from the Army's consciousness, the HMMWV began to be used as a combat vehicle when its not....its a truck. No one was shooting at us to show us otherwise....In peacetime, priorities are conformity and rigidity to look good; with "new" equipment awash in the hubris of American technological "superiority" why should we improve on it with field expedients? Its already "great" etc etc ad nauseum. Anything from Vietnam "sucked, we lost that war" (Did we? ask Thailand). The HMMWV is a no brainer, requires actually no maintenance---PMCS is just a time waster/schedule filler--if it doesn't crank and you can't jump it, you turn it in to a mechanic, end of your responsibilities. Easier than a M113 Gavin which you are expected to have to keep running, change tracks (which I've never had to do after 10 years of hard use of neglected M113s)...other skill sets that keep you victorious and alive in COMBAT...

So here you have this pressure from the Army to "leave everything alone" and do less or better yet DO NOTHING---show up on time, keep mouth shut, don't go out on town and get in trouble etc. and the HMMWV arrives------------awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww transportation without any need from the operator to give a damn or sweat or be tactical. All in a quest for "perfect administrative efficiency" (look good on paper forget about FUNCTION IN WAR). The advent of computers have made everything even worse. Now every damn piece of paper has to be proof read ad nauseum 'til its a doctor's thesis. All convenient time wasters to keep the masses occupied and brain-dead to not question the garrison status quo created by the non-warrior pushy assholes who run the Army. The non-tactical, non-thinking status quo that is killing and maiming our people in Iraq.

Fast forward to today, 2005.

"Sand bag my HMMWV?"

"Where's the procedure?"

"Where's the FM or TM showing me how?"

"Hey! Is this AUTHORIZED??? I don't think we should do it, we might get in trouble...."

God forbid someone actually does harden and modify their HMMWV trucks and a TACOM nazi sees you...heads will roll....yours!

Before we get some smart ass writing us. Take some fukin MRE boxes 550 cord them to the HMMWV troops seats to act as a "wall" . Stack your sandbags so you have a wall/parapet to defeat small arms fire and sidewards exploding roadside bombs, o I have to be PC, "IEDS". Amazing what you can do when you try. Sandbags are not limited to just floor protection. Look at the diagrams in FM 55-30.

4. Combat the final reality check? Maybe not.

So what we are seeing in Iraq is enemy firepower killing and maiming our men repudiating our peacetime bullshit. However, rather than waking up and changing our Army qualitatively, Bush Administration politicians are speeding up our retreat by saying we only have to hang on 'til next June. In other words we can remain in our BS status quo of technotactical ineptitude---all we have to do is hang on til June, 7-8 months from now.

We have bad news, at the current casualty rate (Black November isn't even over yet!) we have 2,000 KIA and 20,000 WIA now, in 7-8 months we will have 700-800 more dead and 2500 wounded and maimed. Total Iraq dead will be 3000 and 40,000 wounded by then. An entire Brigade's worth of troops DEAD. Tombstones. Another 10 brigades ruined for life and certainly not likely to make the Army a "career". In other words, AN ENTIRE DIVISION destroyed by Iraq, out of an Army with only 10 active duty divisions. 1/10th of the entire Army destroyed by Iraq is the future if we keep on our current course.

What will likely happen is just like after Somalia when troops in rubber-tired trucks got their asses kicked in a non-linear, urban battlefield, the Army will go back to what it was doing before and cover their asses by using the deaths and maimings of our men to divert attention from their incompetence that caused these needless tragedies by talking about their "valor and unselfishness". If you give a crap about our dead and wounded you will take ACTION to insure we kick the enemy's ass by improving and fixing the status quo.

Reading "Taming the Land Mine" by Peter Schiff, you realize Rhodesia/South Africa have already experienced how land mines can devestate small utility trucks like Land Rovers and HMMWVs. Their first response was to STOP DRIVING SMALL TRUCKS and use only larger trucks that can be heavily sand-bagged until they could develop "V" hull shaped armored vehicles (it took YEARS, we don't have YEARS in Iraq). We should do the same in Iraq until up-armored M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs can be delivered:

1. Park and DO NOT DRIVE any unarmored HMMWV or civilian truck/car; do not offer enemy a target to attack

2. Close cab doors on FMTV trucks and create sandbag/MRE case filled with dirt/sand wall. Open top ring cover even if you don't have machine gun ring mount and post a Soldier with a light, medium or heavy machine gun to provide 360 security and immediate return fire capabilities. Even if its just a Soldier with a M16 rifle/M4 carbine have EVERY FMTV truck showing an armed sentry in the cab. Enter/exit from this top circular opening out the back truck bed. When driving under an overpass, throw old flak jackets around the circle cover over the hole until you pass the danger area. Place sandbags around the fuel tank. Place watercans and sandbags on floor. The water will dissipate the heat and shock wave of an explosion as the Rhodesians/South Africans found out. They suggest putting water in the tires via a schrade valve.

EVERY VEHICLE IN EVERY CONVOY WITH AN OBVIOUS ARMED SENTRY. Let enemy know we will fight back from EVERY vehicle.

3. Lead FMTV truck does not carry troops or cargo; just driver and sentry/gunner. Truck bed is full of dirt to absorb blast.

4. Paint ALL vehicles TAN, to include the absurd dark green helicopters that are now regularly shot down because they are easy to spot, track and fire at during the blue-sky day time. CARC Tan paint can be brushed on if you wear protective clothing/respirator: Tan 686 33446 NSN 8010-01-276-3638 1 Qt Can

5. Request war-tock/in-storage M113A3 or M113A2 Gavin light tracked AFVs: this is your own life. Don't be a weak co-dependant afraid of "making waves". If you are DEAD you will not have an Army "career", you'll be DEAD. Use the following National Stock Numbers (NSNs) and request through your chain of command these life-saving vehicles:

M113A2: 2350-01-068-4077
M113A3: 2350-01-219-7577

The M113A3 Gavin is the better vehicle with spall liners, external fuel tanks and a much more powerful engine. However, the as-is M113A2 Gavin is far more protective and mobile than the up-armored HMMWV truck will ever be.

1. Arm EVERY Soft-skin vehicle, NOW! EVERY VEHICLE MUST BE A "GUN TRUCK"

The enemy in Iraq deliberately attacks our weakest vehicles without armament and armor protection. Yet for 7 years we've denied our light forces a light tank for assault firepower:

"Within this evolutionary climate, fiscal realities and the aging of existing systems have resulted in a significant gap in our forced/early entry capabilities. The deactivation of the 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor, coupled with the termination of the Armored Gun System (AGS), has created a critical need for enhanced direct fire assault support and anti-armor capabilities for forced/early entry forces".

Official U.S. Army ACTD web site statement

Three of our light divisions, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault are in Afghanistan/Iraq today without ANY light tank fire support.

More demonstration of the half-assed U.S. military in action: "rediscovering" gun trucks

In WWII, we armed almost every one of our vehicles--like the British SAS and LRDG gun jeeps because we knew in war, vehicles get shot at. In Vietnam, after enough men died we got serious about self-preservation and hardened and ARMED our trucks. Here are pictures from the U. S. Amy transportation museum:



More pics of Vietnam Gun-trucks:

www.yumodel.co.yu/takmicenje/bruce/guntruck.htm
http://groups.msn.com/VietnamGuntrucks/unknownguntrucks.msnw

[NOTE: Why settle for a M113 hull? We must remember that in Vietnam, every working M113 Gavin was being used, so when they needed an armored box, M113 hulls were slapped on top as the transportation museum pics show. Today, its a different situation, we don't have to settle for just M113 hulls, we have thousands of fully functioning war-stock M113 Gavins that could be up-armored, gunshielded and up-engined very quickly and sent to Iraq to save men's lives and beat the enemy.]

These "Lessons Learned" were institutionalized in Army Field Manuals like FM 55-30, ARMY MOTOR TRANSPORT UNITS AND OPERATIONS which is the Army's "Bible" for hardening vehicles. However, the U.S. Army is a sleepless, brain-dead culture where professional reading and thought about the modern battlefield neither takes place or is encouraged enough so when folks go to places like Afghanistan and Iraq they know what to do.

www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/toc.htm

Specifically checkout Appendix O at the Reimer Library.

www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/appo.htm

[In case the Army web page on vehicle hardening suddenly "disappears" its copied here: www.combatreform.org/fm5530.htm or scroll down this page where we've reprinted it]

We know for a FACT that the Army is not even sandbagging its vehicles as we have photographic and witnessess as proof of this dereliction of duty and incompetence. Most of our HMMWVs today are bare of any armament at all. The new M197 low-cost mount depicted above bolts a pedestal to the rear area of the soft-top HMMWV to fit either a M60/M240B MMG or a M249 LMG organic to just about every unit in the U.S. Army. If the enemy sees a weapon-armed vehicle, often he will leave it alone and seek a more vulnerable target that can't fire back. Think about it. Its your life. Is following Army rigamarole going to be there to save your life when the bullets are flying at you and your men?

The M197 mount and M6 Pedestal are available from:

Ramo Manufacturing Inc.
412 Space Park S
Nashville, TN 37211-8104
(615) 832-6700


Weapons mounts for the FMTV: no excuse not to have them

As you can see above, the FMTV has a MG mount kit for its cab that can be on ALL VARIANTS! Get these for your trucks! Some of these trucks need MK-19 40mm belt-fed autogrenade launchers on them not just 7.62mm MMGs and .50 cal HMGs.

When you get your MGs mounted, you will see that the metal ammo can sits on a tray to feed the gun. Try Ranger Rick Tscherne's suggestion on pg.25 of his Ranger Digest III, and weld two ammo cans together to double your 7.62 ammo supply to 400 ready rounds instead of the one box of 200, since in a firefight you do not have time to duck down and reload. This technique may even work for .50 caliber ammo cans.

Ranger Rick Tscherne's Books Inc.
11 Poppy Lane
West Grove, PA 19390

IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY:

SF Soldiers in Desert Storm found a "way" to pedestal mount a .50 caliber M2 Heavy Machine Gun onto a Toyota pick-up truck:

BETTER WEAPONRY:

ASP-30mm autocannon

M242 Bushmaster 25mm autocannon

Why are we not arming our trucks with autocannon so we're not outgunned on the next non-linear battlefield? The ASP-30mm fires the same 30mm round that the AH-64 shoots with devastating explosive effect and a flatter trajectory via a higher muzzle velocity than the slow MK-19 40mm grenade launcher. It fires without so much concussion and blast signature that troops nearby have to take cover. The M242 25mm is the same powerful autocannon used in the M2 BFV and can punch through enemy armored vehicles. Either weapon would be a good upgrade to U.S. Army Cavalry units stuck with the HMMWV truck as a platform, though the 25-30mm autocannon would be best employed on a light tracked future scout cavalry system or upgraded M113A3 Gavin using a one-man turret or remote weapons station.

2. Add Belly Wheels or buy MATTRACKS

Image courtesy of CG² Inc. http://www.cg2.com..Thanks Tricia Garcia!

The HMMWV and all wheeled vehicles in general are notorious for getting stuck in soft mud since their belly can bottom out on the ground if its wheels sink. What we need is a set of belly wheels/rollers that are there to prevent the belly from sticking, like the Russian BRDM Scout cars have.

If you are going into combat and you are not going to internally load HMMWVs into CH-47Ds, then replace all 4 vulnerable tires/air-filled wheels with MATTRACKS.

mattracks.com

These are special track sets that bolt on in the place of the wheels. These will not go flat if bullets hit them, and provide x-country mobility to get away from the roads in the first place to avoid ambushes. While their rubber tracks are vulnerable still to being burned up in a fire, this could be solved by making the tracks out of kevlar for military use. ALL U.S. Army Light Divisions with "D" Company TOW ATGM and HMG MK-19/.50 cal hard-top HMMWVs with armor suffer from reduced mobility when using air-filled tires, and should replace their wheels with MATTRACKS. We must as an Army not become road bound or else suffer the consequences of what the enemy did to us in the Korean war or more recently in Somalia.

In fact, we believe that had the HMMWVs in Somalia October 3, 1993 had MATTRACKS on they would not have been left burning and destroyed that day in the fight for Task Force Ranger.

The heavily armored HMMWVs now entering service and the upcoming LOSAT HMMWV need MATTRACKS for x-xountry and adverse weather mobility.

An "ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure".

3. Centerline seats kits

Notice these Republic of China (ROC) Paratroops are in a SOFT top HMMWV yet are FULLY armed---a .50 cal HMG in right front seat, a rearward facing Medium Machine Gun----why can't we be similarly well armed and ready?

Canadian peacekeepers ready to repel vehicular ambush, are we?

Notice these Canadian Army Soldiers are ready-to-return-fire and are sandbagged to protect against mines/small arms fire. One sand bag stops a small arms round. The side wall of sandbags will stop roadside bombs or "IEDs". Now look at this American truck column from Iraq:


Lightfighters looking "sexy" like gunslingers: no sand bags, no gunshields, no weapons mount on the HMMWV...

HOW MANY U.S. ARMY SOLDIERS HAVE TO DIE BEFORE WE WAKE THE HELL UP HERE?

We have the techniques to do this for our trucks outlined in FM 55-30 and FM 90-5 Jungle Operations, we just have to do it. Every Light unit that goes to NTC/JRTC should have to sandbag at least one truck before convoying anywhere as a METL task to insure they know how to do it, and understand the importance.

The FMTV and HMMWV should have centerline troop seat kits so the troops face outboards for better vigilance and instant return fire capability. The atrocious truck tailgate on the 5-ton that has to be unscrewed needs to be replaced with a quick release so troops can "de-bus" instantly. Again, another example of not thinking about and for war.

Since its likely hardening trucks will be ignored, FM 55-30 APPENDIX O is reprinted below in its entirety:


RDL
Homepage

Table of
Contents

Document
Information

Download
Instructions


APPENDIX O

VEHICLE HARDENING

As the nature of conflict changes, so does the threat to logistics units. War and certain other operations--especially peacekeeping or peacemaking--place renewed emphasis on convoy security and reinforce lessons learned in Vietnam. Current threats include the use of command-detonated and pressure-sensitive mines placed on, above, or along the shoulders of roads traveled by military vehicles and the ambushing of convoys and harassment with sniper fire. These methods of disrupting military operations are highly effective, cheap, require limited time and labor, are easy to coordinate, and can be accomplished by an unsophisticated enemy. To counter these threats, motor transport units may be provided with security forces and supporting arms firepower. Also, special vehicle-hardening techniques using sandbags and other improvised material have proved successful in protecting convoy personnel, equipment, and cargo. This appendix describes these techniques. Although effective, vehicle-hardening techniques must be tailored to fit the specific environment in which the motor transport units are operating.

 

O-1. HARDENED VEHICLES. A hardened vehicle is made less vulnerable to the effects of explosives and small arms fire by adding sandbags, armor plating, ballistic glass, and other protective devices. Hardening may make certain vehicle components and cargo less vulnerable. Its primary purpose, however, is to protect the truck's occupants. The protection afforded is significant and often means the difference between injury and death.

The vehicle hardening techniques described here include locally fabricated (improvised) armor kits and sandbags. When an enemy threat exists, consider the following factors in determining the method and extent of vehicle hardening:

  • Flexibility. Harden vehicles to provide the degree of protection required while maintaining maximum flexibility in vehicle use. Harden the cargo beds of vehicles carrying troops with sandbags. Beds of vehicles carrying cargo are not normally hardened (depending on the cargo).
  • Weight. All vehicle hardening adds weight to the vehicle. One effect of added weight is to reduce proportionally the amount of cargo that can be carried. Another potential effect is added vehicle maintenance and durability problems. Consider the vehicle's payload capacity when deciding the extent of hardening.
  • Availability. If it is necessary or desirable to fabricate armor kits, consider the availability of suitable materials and the time needed to complete the project.
  • Types of roads. To some extent, the roads traveled by motor transport unit vehicles can affect the protection required. Hardtop roads, for example, generally present less hazard from mines than dirt roads. However, do not discount the possibility of ambush along any route. Consult the S2 for the most current information on the situation.
  • Maintenance. Vehicle hardening normally increases the amount of vehicle maintenance needed and can cause mechanical or structural damage. The sandbags themselves, when used to harden vehicles, also require periodic removal and replacement. If too much weight is added to the vehicle, it may reduce the vehicle's mobility and operational capabilities.

During Vietnam, the Army had three nonremovable armor kits for hardening 1/4-, 2 1/2-, and 5-ton trucks. These kits were later deleted from the inventory. Although no kits are currently available through the Army's supply system, several projects are under way to develop armor plating for use in hostile environments.

O-2. SANDBAGS. Sandbags are effective in reducing the effects of blasts, preventing fire from reaching the driver, and providing protection from small arms fire and fragmentation. Sandbags are usually readily available and do not permanently impair the flexibility of vehicles. Sandbags can easily be added or removed from the vehicle as the situation dictates. One drawback to using sandbags is that their weight limits the vehicle's capability to haul cargo.

All vehicles must be properly maintained according to the operator's -10 TM. Use the procedures below to prepare vehicles for convoy operations.

a. Cab. Experience shows that using sandbags to harden vehicle cabs for protection against mine blasts saves lives (Figure O-1). Normally, the cabs of all vehicles subject to detonating mines are hardened. Certain cautions, however, must always be observed. Sandbags should be placed so that they--

  • Do not restrict the movement of foot pedals, levers, or controls.
  • Do not interfere with the normal functions performed by the driver.
  • Do not restrict driver vision.

To reduce the sandblast effect when a mine is detonated near the vehicle, various materials may be placed on top of the floorboard sandbags (such as rubber mats, light metal plates, plywood, or scraps of runway membrane material). Wetting down the sandbags is also effective but contributes to deterioration of the metal.

To properly prepare the vehicle cab, double-stack sandbags under the passenger seat and on the cab floor. Stack the sandbags two high under the driver's seat; in some vehicles this may not be possible. Remove the tools from the BII storage compartment and place them inside the bed. Place sandbags in the storage compartment to give the driver required protection. As an added precaution, place a heavy rubber or fiber mat over the sandbags. This reduces danger from fragments (such as stones, sand, and metal parts from the vehicle).

NOTES:
1. If the tools remain in the BII storage compartment and the vehicle detonates a mine, the tools may become secondary projectiles that can injure the driver. Also, if sandbags cannot be placed under the passenger seat because batteries are located there, then stack the sandbags on the seat. Never place sandbags directly on the batteries.
2. The cab of a 5-ton M923 cargo truck needs about 14 to 20 sandbags, while a 2 1/2-ton truck requires about 12 to 18 sandbags.


Figure O-1. Proper placement of sandbags in the cab

Attach to the doors locally fabricated 1/4- to 1/2-inch-high hardened, removable armor plates. (Use hooks to attach the steel plates to the window slots). Cover side windows and the front windshield with wire mesh to protect personnel from rocks and grenades. The convoy commander will decide whether to have windshields removed, lowered, or left in place. If the windshield interferes with the use of weapons and blackout operations and must be lowered, place a single layer of sandbags under the windshield, lower the windshield onto the bags, place a second layer of sandbags over the windshield, and then cover both with canvas (Figure O-2). Placing sandbags under the windshield ensures that--

  • Constant vibrations of the vehicle do not damage the windshield.
  • Sand is not blown into the driver's face.
  • Glass will not shatter and injure the driver and passenger.

NOTE: Leaving the windshield in place protects against heavy and driving rain, incoming grenades, and decapitation of personnel from wire stretched across the road.

b. Cargo Bed. Depending on the type of load, the cargo bed may or may not be hardened. For example, if troops are being transported, the bed needs to be hardened with a double layer of sandbags. The bags also need to be properly fitted to the contours of the vehicle. Stack the bags five high around the sides of the vehicle to add protection. To hold the sandbags in place, construct a support structure and place it inside the bed of the vehicle. This structure can be made by using four-by-fours on the corners and two-by-sixes in between (Figure O-3).

NOTE: Caution must be taken to ensure that the sandbags do not exceed the allowable weight of the vehicle bed. Double stacking the sandbags increases the possibility of exceeding the vehicle's payload capacity. The mission, coupled with the enemy threat, must determine the extent of hardening (single- or double- layer sandbags). The bottom line is to ensure soldier safety.


Figure O-2. Proper placement of sandbags under the windshield


Figure O-3. Support structure for the bed of the truck


Figure O-3. Support structure for the bed of the truck (continued)

It takes about 226 sandbags (dry, weighing about 40 pounds each) to prepare the bed of a 5-ton, M923 cargo truck. Distribution is as follows: 86 on the floor bed (single layer); 5 high on each side (50 per side = 100 bags); 20 in the front; and 20 in the rear of the bed (Figure O-4).


Figure O-4. Sandbagged 5-ton M923 cargo truck

c. Fuel Tanks. Protective plating around the fuel tank will lessen the damage to the fuel tank. It will also help to ensure that the fuel tank is not pierced, thus immobilizing the vehicle. This protective measure is especially critical when a vehicle is caught in the kill zone of an ambush. An alternative solution to this problem is to hook up a 5-gallon can of fuel in a safe location for use as an auxiliary fuel tank. This will allow the vehicle to travel a safe distance outside the kill zone if all the fuel is drained from a damaged fuel tank.

NOTES:
1. A 5-ton M923 cargo truck requires about five sandbags to provide top protection. Consider placing protective plating around the sides and bottom of the fuel tank to increase protection.
2. Older vehicles in the Army inventory may still be operating on MOGAS. If a tank filled with MOGAS is ruptured, the fuel may ignite and seriously burn operating personnel.
3. When putting sandbags or protective plating on or around the fuel tank, ensure that the hanger straps of the fuel tank do not crack or break.

O-3. TARPAULINS AND CAB TOPS. There are advantages and disadvantages to using canvas truck tops or tarpaulins, and these should be assessed. Advantages to keeping cargo covered include:

  • Ensures that goods are not damaged by prevailing weather conditions.
  • Denies intelligence information to the enemy concerning the type of cargo being transported.

Major disadvantages to installing truck tops or tarpaulins include:

  • Required removal for loading and unloading operations.
  • Interference with the driver's vision and assistant driver's ability to fire to the rear.

O-4. MAINTENANCE OF HARDENED VEHICLES. Hardening vehicles with armor plating places abnormal stresses on the vehicle that can result in early component failure. It is common for engine mounts, cab mount bushings, and bolts to loosen. For this reason, they should be checked, tightened, and replaced regularly. In the past the vehicle deadline rate for hardened vehicles was up to 20 percent greater than for nonhardened vehicles.

Sandbags become torn or punctured in day-to-day use. They also collect and hold water, causing metal surfaces to rust. Added maintenance is required to keep the sandbags in good condition and to prevent rust. Sandbags should be checked periodically and removed or replaced. When the sandbags are removed, the vehicle metal should be cleaned, painted (if necessary), and allowed to dry before the sandbags are replaced. Empty sandbags and ties should always be kept in the vehicle.

NOTE: When sandbags get wet, their weight increases significantly, thus putting added stress on the vehicle.

O-5. FUTURE HARDENING MATERIALS. The hardening materials described in this appendix are those currently available. Lighter, more durable materials are being developed, so the problems now associated with vehicle hardening may be alleviated in the future. Improvements will include: ballistic glass, redesigned seats, ceramic-faced composite steel doors, and armored deflective shields on the undercarriage of the vehicle (on wheel wells and under the cab).

O-6. GUN TRUCKS. Logistical convoys cannot always depend on military police support or added firepower. To provide more firepower for a convoy, units developed the gun truck. The purposes of a hardened gun truck are to--

  • Provide a base-of-fire.
  • Help counter enemy attacks.
  • Increase survivability of the convoy.

The gun truck is equipped with a crew-served weapons system, preferably in a protective position. In Vietnam this principle worked well and provided convoys a means of self-defense.

Deploy the gun truck in the convoy where it can best provide the needed firepower. If adequate communications assets are available, they should be located with the gun truck and the convoy commander. This enables the convoy commander to call the gun truck forward when needed. (A predesignated signal is required to bring the gun truck forward and inform the crew-served weapon system personnel of the enemy location.) If communications assets are not adequate, pyrotechnics may be used to signal the gun truck to move forward.

The gun truck should not be pulled up right on top of the enemy location. The crew-served weapons on the gun truck can cover a significant distance. Therefore, the vehicle should be situated where it has a clear field of fire to engage the enemy with the maximum effective range of the weapon. If necessary and if available, multiple gun trucks can be used. When using multiple gun trucks in a convoy, overlapping fields of fire greatly increases the convoy's chance of survival.

NOTES:
1. Based on availability, types of weapon systems, and size of the convoy, the placement and number of gun trucks may vary. With company-size and larger convoys, a minimum of two gun trucks should be used to provide overlapping fire. One gun truck for every eight vehicles in the convoy is recommended.
2. Consider using the MK19 or M203 to penetrate prepared defensive positions since small arms fire may not be capable of destroying enemy positions.

Figure O-5 is an example of the gun truck used in Vietnam. It shows the armor plating used for the windshield and doors of the vehicle. It also depicts the layout of the weapon systems mounted on the vehicle with identified firing ports and specific areas of responsibility.


Figure O-5. Gun truck used in Vietnam

Figure O-6 shows how M2 machine guns were mounted on the gun truck using locally fabricated materials.

O-7. BALLISTIC TEST RESULTS. It is critical that the most protective material available be used to harden a vehicle. Ballistic tests show that sand is about twice as effective as clay in hardening vehicles. At a maximum velocity of 3,250 feet per second at a range of zero feet, it takes about .6 feet of sand and 1.2 feet of clay to stop a 5.56-mm round. At a maximum velocity of 2,750 feet per second, it takes about .9 feet of sand or 1.7 feet of clay to stop a 7.62-mm round. Finally, at the maximum velocity, it takes about 1.4 feet of sand or 2.6 feet of clay to stop a 50-caliber round. Using the most protective substance could mean the difference between life and death for our most precious resource--our Soldiers.

Table O-1, shows the results of mine tests conducted using a variety of C4 explosive charges. It offers insight to the devastating effects and damage that mines can cause.


Figure O-6. M2 machine gun mounted on gun truck

O-8. CAMOUFLAGE AND CONCEALMENT. Camouflage and concealment techniques can be used to make it more difficult for the enemy to spot the convoy. The type of cargo being transported can be disguised or concealed by a tarpaulin. Other effective measures include the following:

  • Camouflaging or covering shiny surfaces before convoy departure.
  • Painting vehicles in a pattern to blend in with the terrain and break the outline.
  • Training operators to look for other means of concealment to break the outline of the vehicle.
  • Covering vehicle bumper markings. The vehicle bumper markings can provide a great deal of intelligence information to the enemy.

Table O-1. Mine test table

Table O-1. Mine test table (continued)

O-9. MINES AND BOOBY TRAPS. Forces engaging in ambush frequently use mines and booby traps. Command-detonated mines are often used to initiate an ambush. Mines may also be planted along the shoulder of the road to harass and interdict. A booby trap system may be used against personnel and equipment. Convoys have employed the following guidelines to effectively limit damage from mines:

  • Track the vehicle in front.
  • Avoid driving on the shoulder of the road.
  • Whenever possible, do not run over foreign objects on the road.
  • Avoid potholes and fresh earth on the road.
  • Watch local national traffic and the reactions of people on foot (they will often give away the location of any mines or booby traps).
  • When possible, arrange for the engineers to sweep the road ahead before the convoy moves over it.
  • Use a 2 1/2-ton or larger truck as the lead vehicle instead of a HMMWV. Hard vehicles such as tanks are useful in exploding small mines in front of the convoy.
  • Harden vehicles.

- Use water in vehicle tires when there is a threat of mines exploding under the tires.
- Increase ground clearance distance between the point of explosion and the vehicle, if possible.

  • Use the following personal safety measures:

- Wear protective equipment.
- Use safety belts. Ensure seat belts are tight; otherwise, whiplash may occur during an explosion. Also, fasten the seat belt as low as possible on the stomach. - Use correct posture. Keep the backbone straight and supported by a backrest (to better absorb shock) and place feet flat on the floor.

  • Slow the vehicle's speed to reduce the potential of accidents. Adjust the speed based on the situation.
  • Disperse vehicles and maintain intervals.

NOTE: In Somalia, around Mogadishu, the Army experienced command-detonated mines of 30, 50, and 60 pounds. These devices were placed in one of the many potholes in the road and wired for command-detonation. To avoid such obstacles and/or minimize damage, implement the above techniques.

Some indicators that have proven effective in identifying the location of potential mines are--

  • Damaged vehicles.
  • Signs of digging, holes in the road, potholes, concrete removal, or puddles.
  • Boxes along the roadside.
  • Wires on the road surface.
  • Evidence of vegetation disturbance.
  • Disturbances in previous tire tracks.
  • Differences in plant growth, such as wilting or dead foliage.
  • Irregularities in color or texture of the ground.
  • Signs warning local populace.

The enemy is likely to place mines on--

  • Frequently used roadways leading to and from construction sites.
  • Brush and other traffic obstructions placed on roadways.
  • Bridge bypasses.
  • Obvious turnarounds and shoulders.

SPECIAL TIP!

Protective materials that are lighter than sand bags like kevlar are expensive$. However the Army has in the past bought some kevlar materials.

Red River Arsenal has some old M113 Gavin "TOW CAP" armor kevlar 8' x 10' blankets that can be used to line vehicle floors and sides in a lighter form than sandbags:

"MAINSTREAM" ARMY ACCEPTANCE OF VEHICLE HARDENING SELF-HELP?

YES (+)

Some evidence that PARTS OF the U.S. Army does indeed have the spirit, ingenuity, and ability to adapt to circumstances. Note the hypocrisy that Butler is allowed to armor HMMWVs but the reservists from Missouri are not.

www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=5467

Ingenuity, elbow grease improves Humvee protection

By Spc. Chad D. Wilkerson

Capt. Darryl M. Butler, facility engineer for the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade, Task Force 1st Armored Division, inspects a new Modified Protection for un-Armored Humvees kit, or MPAH, before it is lowered onto a Humvee. Butler, the kits designer, personally oversees the installation of each kit. Spc. Chad D. Wilkerson

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, Dec. 3, 2003) Ingenuity and improvisation have been hallmarks of the U.S. Army since its inception. Whether it is making something faster, easier, deadlier or safer, Soldiers always find a way to improve upon what they are issued.

An improvising reservist has been using his engineering skills to help provide better protection to Soldiers riding around Iraq in unarmored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles.

Capt. Darryl M. Butler, a facility engineer for Task Force 1st Armored Divisions 354th Civil Affairs Brigade, an Army Reserve unit from Riverdale, Md., is the type of Soldier who is never satisfied with equipment that is simply adequate.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee in his civilian job, Butler refers to himself as an engineer through-and-through.

Butlers outlook: if he believes that he can come up with a project that will allow his fellow Soldiers to accomplish their mission quicker, safer or more effectively, it is his duty to do so.

Currently, Butler is working with a growing team of Iraqi engineers, including metal workers, sprayers and welders, piecing together his new brainchild: the Modified Protection for un-Armored Humvees.

More than 900 pounds of steel in a 25-piece kit make up what has been dubbed The Butler Mobile, a custom, modular armor plating system designed to be an addition to soft-top Humvees.

The kit includes door pieces, floor plates and a bolt-on fortress for the rear and roof, all of which put a layer of heavy steel between Soldiers and whatever the enemy throws at them, Butler said.

The entire project, Butler said, fits right into the scheme of what civil affairs Soldiers are trying to accomplish in Iraq. Protecting Soldiers while they are traveling to and from their mission locations boosts mission effectiveness and their confidence. And, employing Iraqis to help contributes to improvement of life and economic growth in the area.

With all that Butler has accomplished, with dozens of kits installed and hundreds on order, he is still looking at possible ways to improve upon his improvements.

There are munitions that the MPAH is still susceptible to, Butler said. We are ready and willing to beef the kit up even more, if need be.

The bottom line for Butler is not recognition from his command or adoration from his peers, he said. Although he has received an Army Commendation Medal for his efforts, Butler stands firm that he and his team are in the business of saving lives and getting Soldiers home safely.

This was done out of necessity, Butler said. With the number of Coalition vehicles hit by improvised explosive devices, we had the opportunity to do something to prevent Soldiers from being hurt and/or killed, and this thing does work.

(Editors note: Spc. Chad. D Wilkerson is assigned to the 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

NO! (-)

Army denying Soldier's right to protect themselves

This violates FM 55-30 Appendix O which says you can do this.

FM 55-30, ARMY MOTOR TRANSPORT UNITS AND OPERATIONS is the Army's "Bible" for hardening vehicles: www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/toc.htm specifically: checkout Appendix O at the Reimer Library: www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/appo.htm

The military wants you to stay-in-your-lane, eat a feces sandwhich and like it.

Again, why we say supply them light tracked M113 Gavin AFVs so ***holes cannot deny them armor protection.

That Pentagon spokesman is a liar, the Army isn;'t doing feces to protect these men, even when the up-armored HMMWV/kits arrive in 2005 they will not stop RPGs.

Hypocrisy and callous disregard for Soldier's lives is what this is. MISSION and PEOPLE FIRST. 1st TSG (A) editorial comments in [ ] brackets.

www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/7523317.htm

Posted on Thu, Dec. 18, 2003

AP Exclusive: Army questioning Soldiers' plan to armor vehicles

DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Fearing roadside bombs and sniper bullets, the members of the Army Reserves' 428th Transportation Co. turned to a local steel fabricator to fashion extra armor for their 5-ton trucks and Humvees before beginning their journey to Iraq earlier this month.

But their armor might not make it into the war, because the Soldiers didn't get Pentagon "approval" for their homemade protection.

The Army, which is still developing its own add-on armor kits for vehicles, doesn't typically allow any equipment that is not Army-tested-and-approved [like Stryker?], Maj. Gary Tallman, a Pentagon spokesman [liar] for Army weapons and technology issues, said Thursday.

"It's important that other units out there that are getting ready to mobilize understand that we are doing things" to protect them, Tallman said, "but there's policy you have to consider before you go out on your own try to do something." {EDITOR: typical lying bureaucratic bullshit]

The possibility that Soldiers could be denied extra protection because of an Army policy has outraged some of the friends and neighbors who tried to help the Missouri reserve unit.

"I think it's the stupidest thing I ever heard of," said Virgil Kirkweg, owner of the Jefferson City steel company that rushed to meet the local reserve unit's armor request. "I just hope the government is not dumb enough to make them go out there without something that's going to protect them somewhat."

The 72 vehicles operated by the 428th Transportation Co. aren't designed for battle and so have thin metal floorboards and, in some cases, a canvas covering for doors. But Iraqi guerrilla groups have been targeting all types of military vehicles with homemade bombs and small-caliber weapons.

E-mails from Soldiers already deployed in Iraq urged the Missouri reservists to get extra armor if possible, said 1st Sgt. Tim Beydler of the Jefferson City-based transportation unit. So the Soldiers approached a local funeral home director active in community affairs, who paid the roughly $4,000 tab for 13,000 pounds of one-quarter inch steel. Industrial Enterprises Inc. donated the fabricating work, valued at nearly another $4,000, so the steel could be fitted under vehicle floorboards and on the inside of doors.

The Soldiers drove off in convoy Dec. 12 for Fort Riley, Kan., planning to fasten the specially made steel to their vehicles when they got to Iraq.

"We're doing what we can to protect our Soldiers. That's the bottom line," Beydler said last week while news of the donated steel was being praised locally as an example of grass-roots support for the troops. "It not only boosts morale of the Soldiers, but also of the Soldiers' family members, who know their Soldiers will be afforded some extra protection."

Fort Riley spokeswoman Deb Skidmore said Thursday that the Army reserve unit will be allowed to take their steel with them to Iraq, but she said Central Command will decide later whether the troops will be "allowed" to use it.

The Army's concern, Tallman said, is that "unapproved" steel-plating could somehow cripple the vehicles or cause them not to perform the way they were designed. For example, a Humvee armor kit recently tested at the Army's Aberdeen (Md.) Proving Ground was so heavy that it caused the vehicle to break, he said.

Tallman and spokesmen at several Army bases said they were unaware of any other units trying to craft their own armor before leaving for Iraq. But Tallman said the Army had discouraged several families of individual Soldiers from trying to obtain their own bulletproof vests, citing the same reason for Army "testing" of equipment.

Kirkweg said the Missouri Soldiers didn't have time to wait weeks, months or years for the Army to test and approve a steel-plating project that he could complete in three days. Among those deploying with the transportation unit was Kirkweg's neighbor, a mother of a 5-month-old child.

"We thought this is a very important project here - we're talking about possibility of saving people's lives," he said. "So without hesitation we went ahead and proceeded with the thing."

http://www.fayettevillenc.com/story.php?Template=war&Story=6086747

Dec 29, 10:14 PM EST
Democrat Urges Homemade Armor in Iraq

By DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee urged the Army's top civilian official Monday to seriously consider allowing an Army Reserve unit to outfit its vehicles with homemade armor while serving in Iraq.

Army policy generally prohibits troops from using equipment that has not been tested and approved by the military.

But fearing roadside bombs and snipers, the 428th Transportation Company turned to local businessmen to fund and fabricate special steel plates for their five-ton trucks and Humvees, which have thin metal floorboards and, in some cases, a canvas covering for doors.

The Army has made no decision yet on whether the soldiers will be allowed to use the armor.

Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the House Armed Services Committee's senior Democrat, sent a letter Monday urging Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee to encourage the Army to "give every consideration to the efforts of the 428th."

"The Army should commend the Soldiers of the 428th Transportation Company for their innovation and old fashioned American ingenuity," Skelton wrote.

Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said policy prohibits the Army from commenting on letters between congressmen and senior Army leaders. But Smith added the Army has asked the steel fabricator to submit a sample of the armor for testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Brownlee told the Senate Armed Services Committee in November that the Army was examining ways to add armor to vehicles, but he said it could take until summer 2005 to have armor on all the Humvees in Iraq.

A spokeswoman at Fort Riley, Kan., where the Missouri-based troops are preparing to depart for Iraq, said the unit will be able to take the steel with them, but that the Central Command will decide later whether it can be used.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

MAYBE: Soldier armors own HMMWV, saves his own life in Iraq

www.thewgalchannel.com/news/2711175/detail.html

Iraqi Explosion Injures Local Soldier

POSTED: 12:39 PM EST December 17, 2003
UPDATED: 6:26 PM EST December 17, 2003

A Lancaster County Soldier serving in Iraq was wounded by a roadside bomb.

Sgt. Jordon Ketner, (pictured, left) 20, is with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The Manheim Township graduate was riding in a Humvee near Falluja Sunday when a blast from a roadside bomb sent shrapnel into his legs and chest. Fortunately, he was wearing a flack jacket, so his chest was protected. The blast shattered his ankle and melted his boots into the Humvee floor.

Ketner had worried that the Humvee would not be enough protection in the event of an explosion, so he had recently asked some Iraqis to help make it safer.

"Jordon had just asked some Iraqis to put some sheet metal on, and they were helping. He was worried about its safety, the way it was made. They put some sheet metal on the doors and the sides, bolted it on, and that saved his life," said Sandy Katner, Jordon's mother.

He underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

MAYBE NOT: Armored Door fails to save CPT Blanco's life in Iraq.

From a Soldier in Iraq who could not save CPT Blanco after he was hit in the face by an exploding Iraqi command-detonated land mine. His HMMWV truck had an improvised steel door but it wasn't made with face protection:

"I am sending two pix, one of a HMMWV with steel plate mods done right, and the other is our HMMWV. If we'd had the right pattern, CPT Blanco might be alive. The problem is no standardization in the Haji contacting and no oversight for all of the patterns. I think it is an honest attempt to do the right thing but in a "check the block" frame of mind. Also included is the last picture of CPT Blanco, if you want to advertise the atrocity"

MAYBE GOOD ENOUGH

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

WHO PAID FOR THE ARMY'S MISTAKE: CPT BLANCO

DoD SPIN:

http://www.dod.mil/releases/2003/nr20031230-0823.html

United States Department of Defense
News Release On the web: var a = self.location document.writeln('' + a
+ '');http://www.dod.mil/releases/2003/nr20031230-0823.html Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131
Public contact: http://www.dod.mil/faq/comment.html or +1 (703) 428- 0711

No. 992-03
IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 30, 2003

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco, 28, of Texas, was killed on Dec. 28, in Qaryat Ash Shababi, Iraq. Blanco was conducting a support mission when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle. Blanco was assigned to 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.

This incident is under investigation.

GROUND TRUTH FROM IRAQ:

Forwarded Message:
Subj: Tragedy
Date: 12/30/2003 1:02:29 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear all,

I am writing now from Kuwait, awaiting the final orders whether to proceed home or back to Iraq. I am tentatively escorting home the body of my XXXXXXXXXXXXX friend, Captain Ernesto Blanco, who was killed before my eyes in XXXXXXXXXXXX, Iraq, on Sunday, 28 December 2003 at 1245 HRS, approximately 3 hours after my last email to you.

We were returning from a "routine" vehicle recovery mission when an IED went off right next to his Humvee. He took the force of the blast in his face. He had lost so much blood there was nothing we could do, though we sped as quickly as possible to the Medical Detachment at the nearest base camp. He was still hanging on, but soon thereafter the docs were performing CPR. After about 30 minutes, it was over.

What makes me angry is we saw the little Haji bastards who did it; they couldn't have been older than 10. They were 400 meters away and running right to left at an oblique, and so they escaped. Our rounds missed them. Old enough to pull the trigger, old enough to pay the price, I say, but they got away to do it again some other day.

Ernie Blanco was an upstanding Christian man, one of the best officers I have ever had the privelidge of working with. He was a friend I could confide in "off line." He will be sorely missed.

His roommate, CPT XXXXXXX, is also enroute to Kuwait, possibly to take over for me and so I would then return to FOB XXXXXXX. I am praying that I would still be given the honor and privelidge of taking him home. God's Will Be Done.

XXXXXXXX

Subj: Re: Preventing Future Tragedies
Date: 12/30/2003 9:21:34 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
To: XXXXXXXXXXX
Sent from the Internet (Details)

We have contracted for steel hardening of the HMMWVs. CPT Blanco was hit in the face, above the armor plating. The rest of his body was unscathed. There is only so much one can do. We are still trying to contract for the LMTV armor, but it is in the works. Depending on how long I am home, I'll give you a call.


The real tragedy in all this is we don't have to be driving and making desperation mods to HMMWVs at all--thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs are sitting in storage with 1.5" thich hulls, metal road wheels and steel tracks with rubber pads.

The U.S. Army is self-destructing.

The wheeled rubber-tired truck or armored car-with-a-computer madness to steer weak, All Volunteer Force (AVF) co-dependants around a map graphic linear battlefield fantasy that doesn't exist is a miserable failure in the physical world we live in populated by RPGs, land mines and an "AK47" in every third world household. So while our men are getting killed and maimed in wheeled vehicles that can never adequately protect them, the Army tries to bribe them with $10,000 re-enlistment bonuses to stay in Iraq for one more year. If you are DEAD you can't spend it. However, if these monies were instead pooled together, say the money that would have been given to 8 Soldiers ($80,000) a M113A3 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) sitting in storage could be supplied with RPG-resistant armor, underbelly countermine armor and gunshields to enable these same 8 Soldiers to fight alert, and heads-out to prevail in 360 non-linear combat, so they can return home ALIVE and intact.

Tragically, current Army leaders refuse to do what's right to accomplish the mission and save their men; they have bought into the discredited sociologists Tofflerian world-view that anything that is physical is no longer important; all that matters is that we slap a computer in to do mental gymnastics to create a virtual, WWII-style linear battlefield that does not exist, where everybody stays in their inferior social position in the Army, relying on higher headquarters to micromanage them and save them when they beg for outside fire support when overwhelmed by enemy AK47s, RPGs and IEDs. A homogenized, one-size-fits-all, "medium" weight Army on hope-to-pinch-pennies-wheels too light to fight and too heavy to fly, restricted to easily ambushed roads/trails. The Army's Generals can then brag that they have been such "visionaries" bringing in a mythical "new age" of warfare; a "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) where local units are physically weak and unable to take initiative like the science fiction movie, "Demolition Man". Providing ALL Army units with 22,000 pound light tracked M113A3 Gavin AFVs instead of impotent rubber-tired 22,000 pound FMTV-type trucks would provide local units physical, armored/air/ amphibious/cross-country mobility, firepower and supply superiority to take the fight to the enemy anywhere in the world using small-unit initiative, imagination and daring. The IDF has up-armored M113 light tracked AFVs and doesn't lose a man a day like we are in Iraq....

We certainly can't have that!

This is why its time the American people and the Soldiers of the Army itself work through the Congress to take back control of the Army which belongs to them---NOT the senior officers who are on ego trips and waiting for high-paid jobs after retirement from corrupt contractors building crap equipment for our troops like General Dynamics Land Systems and their borrowed Canadian Stryker armored car/deathtrap design.

If you REALLY care about our troops dying and being maimed in combat, contact your Congressman/Senator and insist that up-armored M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs be sent immediately to replace ALL unarmored HMMWV and FMTV trucks in Iraq:

Contact Congress

Day Late & Dollar Short: Army re-discovers sandbagging vehicles for recruit training: WHO IS GOING TO INSURE TROOPS IN IRAQ SAND BAG THEIR VEHICLES? How long before this training is stopped and forgotten?

USATODAY.com - Army updates training (about time, too late for 500 KIA)

www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-06-army-training_x.htm

Posted 1/5/2004 11:48 PM Updated 1/6/2004 5:21 AM

Army updates training By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - The Army is overhauling its basic training to help recruits survive the particular dangers of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PIC: A U.S. Soldier patrols a street Dec. 24 near Samarra, Iraq. By Mario Tama, Getty Images

The changes add or beef up instruction on skills that include traveling in convoys and fighting in cities. (Related story: Army to forbid some to leave)The program begins this month and will be in use at all basic training installations by spring. The changes are some of the biggest since the Vietnam War, says Col. William Gallagher, who commands the basic combat training brigade at Fort Benning in Georgia. He is in the group that devised the new instruction. The military made similar changes to basic training during the Vietnam War. Starting in the 1960s, recruits were taught how to avoid booby traps and how to search villages where Viet Cong guerrillas might be hiding.

Army basic training, a rite of passage for generations of Soldiers, is designed to transform civilians into fighters by teaching them to march, shoot rifles and kill the enemy. Every recruit attends basic training for a minimum of nine weeks. "When Soldiers arrive in Baghdad and get off the planes and into Humvees, they are immediately thrust into combat operations," Gallagher says. "They have to go in with a mind-set that they will engage and kill the enemy on their first day in country."

Among the changes the Army is making:

• More weapons training. Recruits will be taught to fire weapons other than the M-16, the standard rifle for foot Soldiers. New troops will learn how to fire other weapons commonly found in the U.S. arsenal, including a variety of machine guns.

• New training on how to identify and counter remote-controlled bombs known as IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. Those bombs have killed dozens of Soldiers in Iraq and are a weapon of choice for guerrilla fighters.

• Convoy tactics. For the first time, recruits will ride in convoys and face simulated ambushes. They will learn how to place sandbags inside vehicles to protect against bombs, grenades and machine guns.

• Urban combat. Soldiers will learn tactics for fighting enemies who blend in with civilians.

• Increased first-aid training. Officials say it is important for all Soldiers to have better lifesaving skills, because troops are traveling in smaller groups and can be ambushed without a medic or doctor nearby.

The changes added lessons will not lengthen basic training, but recruits will drill more on Sundays, which has been traditionally a light training day. The last major change in basic training was in 1997, when the Army began teaching values such as courage and honesty. It came after a scandal at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where drill sergeants forced female trainees to have sex with them. Sgt. 1st Class Donovan Manley, a Fort Benning drill sergeant, says the new program will make a big difference in preparing young Soldiers for guerrilla warfare."We don't have the luxury of time right now. We graduate Soldiers, and a short time later they are deploying," he says. "This will save lives."

From strategypage.com:

Easy Stick Add-On Armor?

February 3, 2004: When American troops in Iraq first encountered ambushes and roadside bombs, they realized that their unarmored trucks and hummers were particularly vulnerable. While many rushed to attach armor plates to the vehicles, some of the reserve troops who were cops back home knew of better solutions. At least two firms were selling light weight bulletproof composites that could be quickly attacked to police cars (doors, hood and so on). One type, Aztik 100, consisted of light weight, bendable panels. One side had glue on it, protected by paper that was peeled away when you wanted to attach a panel to a police car, or hummer, door or hood. Another product, RhinoPak, quickly developed a set of rigid lightweight bulletproof panels built to fit right on a hummer, including the top. Bullet proof glass is also provided for the windshield. The composite armor will stop a heavy machine-gun bullet (.50 caliber or 14.5mm. These panels would also stop most fragments from a bomb exploding nearby. As a result of recent reforms, units had money, and authority, available to get these armor kits, and many did.

AZTIK 100

www.armorsystemsint.com/aztik100.htm

As a Leader in the application of ceramic and inorganic polymer materials, Armor Systems International has developed Aztik 100(tm).

Aztik 100(tm) is a lightweight, semi-flexible composite protective armor system unique to the market. It is capable of withstanding armor piercing rounds up to the common NATO 7.62 AP round. this modifiable armor can stop a 0.50 caliber armor piercing bullet at 40 feet.

The Aztik 100(tm) Peel & Stick Armoring System(c) quickly applies to any smooth curved or flat surface within a military, law enforcement or private vehicle or aircraft for instant threat protection. This revolutionary patent pending armoring system incorporates a unique construction of multi-layer fabrics and adhesives that provides threat protection against NIJ STD-0108.01 Level II, IIA, III, IIIA and IV and has passed Ballistic tests for multi-hit capability. Aztik 100's(tm) integration of low weight and Ballistic characteristics makes it the armor of choice in personnel protection.

For more information on Aztik 100(tm), Aztik 200 Marine(tm) or Aztik Spall Liner(tm), contact Armor Systems International toll free (866) 993-5181.

110 Columbia Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
phone: (360) 993-5181
toll free: (866) 993-5181
fax: (360) 737-0743 info@armorsystemsint.com
www.armorsystemsint.com

******************

www.labock.com/english/sv_pak_hmmwv.htm

Portable Armor Kits : RhinoPAK(tm) for the HMMWV

Labock Technologies has developed a Portable Armor Kit for the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), also known as "Humvee" and "Hummer". With the RhinoPAK for the HMMWV we are able to offer a field deployable and low cost up-armoring solution for large military fleets.

The durability and reusability of the armor panels brings even more value to this product since it can be moved to new vehicles once the original carrier of the kit has to be decommissioned.

With armies performing U.N. peacekeeping missions or deployed abroad in dangerous regions fighting off terrorism in its nests, it is clear the need of countries to protect their troops against high level threats anywhere and at any moment notice. Once the threat disapears or the vehicles are called off from the theater of operations, the portable armor kits can be quickly removed and stored for future use.

Headquarters
Labock Technologies, Inc.
1495 North Park Drive
Weston 33326 FL

Tel #: (954) 335-3535
Fax #: (954) 335 3525

4. Hard Body Armor

All Soldiers riding in ANY vehicle should be wearing head and HARD body armor. Their BDUs should be the aircrew type made of nomex for fire protection.

Interceptor (hard) Body Armor -IBA

IBA = OTV + SAPI plates

Manufacturer details
www.pointblankarmor.com/interceptor.asp

Wear details
www.geocities.com/ecotat/ibaindex.htm

Retail purchase details

1. SAPI plates

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam?M5COPY.ctx=26683&M5.ctx=3609

POINT BLANK(r) ARMOR GAMMA PLUS LEVEL III+ TACTICAL ARMOR PLATE

Meets all ballistic requirements for the SAPI and approved by the U.S. Army. Plate inserts in vest carrier pocket. Multi-hit capability NIJ Certified Level III+. Defeats 7.62 X 54mm, 5.56mm X 45mm, M855, and M80 ball and 7.62 NATO 148 grain.

SPECS:

Thickness: 1.0"
5.2lbs
10X12"
NSN 8470-01-504-2133.

Shipping Weight: 5.50 lb / 2.49 kg

Description - Item No. Our Price Stock Qty
GAMMA+ III ARMOR PLATE - PBV2133 $550.00

2. OTV

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam?M5COPY.ctx=26684&M5.ctx=3609

POINT BLANK(r) ARMOR INTERCEPTOR(r) OTV OUTER TACTICAL VEST COMPLETE ARMOR SYSTEM

Protection on the Battlefield and Beyond. Standard issue for the U.S.M.C. and U.S. Army and adopted by the USAF.

STANDARD FEATURES:

Hydration System Compatible
Compatible with MOLLE, ALICE systems
Modular Configuration
Exceeds NIJ Level IIIA 9mm
Defeats 2, 4, 16 and 64 Grain Fragmentation
Front and Back Plate Pockets

Interceptor OTV System comes with Collar/Yoke, Throat & Groin Protection.

National Stock Numbers

X-Small: # 8470-01-465-1863
Small: # 8470-01-465-1864
Medium: # 8470-01-465-1866
Large: # 8470-01-465-1867
X-Large: # 8470-01-465-1868

COLORS:

Woodland
Desert 3 Color Camo
Coyote Tan.

Standard Sizes: X-Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.

Shipping Weight: 10.00 lb / 4.54 kg

Description - Item No. Our Price Stock Qty
INTERCEPTOR OTV VEST,WC, XS - PBV9010101 $799.00

Interceptor: Protection on the Battlefield & Beyond!

The lightest, most technologically advanced protective system ever issued to the Armed Forces of the U.S.! Click here for full product description.

Developed to exceed rigorous standards set by the U.S. military, the benefit of this high performance, lightweight solution means increased capability in survivability and maneuverability.

Standard Features:

Hydration system compatible

Compatible with MOLLE, ALICE and other load-bearing systems

Modular configuration with removable yoke/collar, throat and groin protection allows the user to tailor the battle equipment to the specific threats

Exceeds NIJ Level IIIA 9mm protection

2, 4, 16 and 64 grain fragmentation protection provided by Aramid, Fusion or

Beast ballistic systems

Compatible with riot or ballistic helmet

National Stock Numbers

X-Small: # 8470-01-465-1863
Small: # 8470-01-465-1864
Medium: # 8470-01-465-1866
Large: # 8470-01-465-1867
X-Large: # 8470-01-465-1868

Options & Accessories

Modified outershell
Load-bearing vest with compatible pouches
Hard armor plates

Standard Colors

Woodland Camo, 3-color desert, tan

Standard Sizes

X-Small, Medium, Large and X-Large

ISAPO = Carrier + SAPI plates

If the Army refuses to supply you with Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) with hard plates to stop bullets get ISAPO; Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest---a nylon carrier that goes over the PASGT soft kevlar vest that holds the same IBA plates:

Interim Small Arms Protective Overvest (ISAPO)

Overview:

The ISAPO is an expedient solution to achieve a modular small arms protection upgrade to the fielded Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) fragmentation protective armored vest (commonly referred to as the flak jacket). The ISAPO is worn over the PASGT Vest to provide front and back protection against small arms and flechette threats.

Description:

It is compatible with the fielded ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) protective clothing and individual equipment.

Description: Worn over the PASGT vest.

Component Materials:

Carrier-1000 denier nylon Quarpel treated camouflage material.

Plates- Ceramic composite.

Color: Woodland and Desert Camouflage patterns.

Weight: 16 lbs. PASGT/ISAPO System Weight: 25.1 lbs. (size medium)

Size: Unsized

Basis of Issue: One (1) per ground Soldier

Price:

$330.00 (Unit Cost) Carrier + plates (2 each)

NSN:

Woodland camouflage carrier w/ 2 plates - MCN: 8470-01-F01-0279

Carrier, Desert camouflage - NSN: 8470-01-432-3155

Carrier, Woodland camouflage - NSN: 8470-01-432-4010

Plate - NSN: 8470-01-432-3156

Status: ISAPO was Type Classified in March 1996 with the intention of a one-time procurement of 5000 overvests for Army contingency purposes. The ISAPO will be available for use until the full solution (Interceptor Body Armor) is fielded in FY00. ISAPO will be available in Woodland and Desert camouflage patterns. The 5000 ISAPO one-time procurement was conducted by U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command (SSCOM). Estimated ISAPO unit cost is $330.00.

The U.S. Army ISAPO is made up of the following highlighted items:

2 PA-575 plates
1 PS-950 carrier

R. David Sparks is their point-of-contact on this program. He can be reached at david@protectmat.com or (305) 820-4270, ext. 211.

Scott J. McMichael, Director New Program Development
Protective Materials Company'
a Division of The Protective Group, Inc.
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
(305) 820-4270, ext. 214

5. Practice sandbagging and add underbody amor

3 layers of sandbags stop a RPG, one layer stops all small-arms fire. This has to be a CTT Skill level 1 task done by every unit in the Army. Every Soldier must participate in sand bagging a FMTV or HMMWV as part of the CTT training cycle, or else the value and skills will not be institutionally perpetuated. Men should wear kevlar helmet and hard body armor when riding in motor vehicles as well as nomex, fire-resistant BDUs. The Canadian peacekeepers are wrong in the photo above on this point.

Countermine protection for the HMMWV. The U.S. Army system for non anti-tank mine protection is called "BPB". This item is found on the Protective Materials Company's GSA price list on the EOD tab as the VA-710.

R. David Sparks is their point-of-contact on this program. He can be reached at david@protectmat.com or (305) 820-4270, ext. 211.

Scott J. McMichael, Director New Program Development
Protective Materials Company'
a Division of The Protective Group, Inc.
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
(305) 820-4270, ext. 214

Face, Neck Protection 4-layer system: the life you save may be your own

Last December, CPT Ernesto Blanco was sitting in the right front seat of his 82nd Airborne HMMWV truck fitted with a make-shift armored door when an Iraqi child set off an explosive device through the open gap above the door. Without face protection, he bled to death as his comrades rushed him to the hospital. The photos and his story is described earlier on this web page.

He was just 28.

I had worked with briefly on arming his trucks before he left for Iraq months ago and we had not done enough to get his vehicles ready and save his life when the hour of need came. We must not ever let this happen again.

Now its time to get ready immediately.

Caveat: Soldiers should at the very minimum be in 11-ton M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs with 1.5 to 1.75 inch thick metal armored hulls, heads out behind gunshields NOT wheeled trucks. The preponderance of armor should be carried by the ground vehicle not the body. But if you can't ride in the right combat vehicle and you must ride in wheels thanks to an uncaring and corrupt Army, then you need to stop worrying about how you look and obtain every inch of protection possible that you can acquire because its a body-carried item below the budgetary "radar screen".

We're in a bad situation in Iraq.

Its up to individual Soldiers and units to buy the following items to gain face, neck and eye protection ASAP.

Proposed 4-Layer Face, Neck, Eye Protection System

Layer 1 Small Goggle on face (2.0mm protection)

Layer 2 Large Goggle over small goggle; stored on helmet until needed (2.8mm protection)

Layer 3 Helmet ballistic clear (2.5mm protection)

Layer 4 Gunshield (25mm ceramic on end of weapon)

TOTAL PROTECTION: 7.3mm of clear ballistic protection; 25mm opaque ballistic protection for a total of 32.3mm or about 1.5" of armor protection

Layer 1: Small goggles/eye glasses

Its too late to protect your eyes after an explosion.

Most Soldiers don't need to wear magnification eye glasses. Those that do are issued cheapo weak brown plastic prescription glasses which offer only marginal protection and cannot be worn under the field protective mask. This must all change immediately.

ALL Soldiers should be issued Wiley-X type ballistic eye goggle/glasses with temples or head straps whether they need prescription magnification or not. ALL Soldiers should wear their Wiley-X glasses/goggles 24/7/365 so at the very minimum they have eye socket area ballistic protection if caught in a blast or a flying object impacts them.

If the FPM is donned, there are two options that have to be worked out ahead of time. If you need prescription magnification and want to wear your Wiley-Xs underneath your mask you need to be wearing the strap and NOT the rigid temples. If you want optical inserts then you need to remove your Wiley-Xs from your face if you are using temples or if you are using the head strap, you can whip them off your head or drop them down around your neck. In either case vital seconds will be spent so whichever option you choose as personal SOP, you should train on it continually to save time.

Wiley-Xs can be worn when using Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) and worn tight against the face using the head strap keeps out wind, dust and sand. Clear lens should be worn 99% of the time with shaded lens that could be popped in to act as sunglasses but wearing these and talking to Iraqis really infuriates them.

Details:

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam? M5COPY.ctx=24172&M5.ctx=3188

Wiley X(r) Ballistic Eyegear has provided the ultimate in shatterproof eye protection for over 15 years. Now standard issue for the Navy SEALs, USMC Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams, Special Forces, Border Patrol, FBI, DEA, C.I.D., I.N.S., E.O.D., Amphib Recon and the USA Shooting Team. In Special Ops tests, 12 gauge 00 buckshot was fired at a distance of 7 meters. No pellets penetrated the glasses! In a similar test with #9 shot, there was no penetration even at 5 meters.

COMPARE THE WILEY X EXTREME QUALITIES• Strength - The strongest die cut Selenite polycarbonate lenses with maximum density and thickness • Safety - Shatterproof, exceeding safety standards for ANSI Z87.1 and Z80.3 as well as MIL-STD-662 fragmentation protection standard for the U.S. Army

• Clarity - Distortion free for optically correct vision

• Tints - scientifically developed X-Vision(tm) technology improves and enhances contrast as well as visual acuity for a competitive advantage by using a precise amount of dyes in the manufacturing process to control the amount of glare that is able to reach the pupil and distort your field of vision

• Style - Nearly indestructible Triloid nylon frames with smart styling, and safety protection that many `'decorative'' sunglasses fail to provide

• Protection - UV 400nm for protection from the sun's eye damaging rays

WILEY X(r) SG-1 SUNGLASS/TACTICAL GOGGLE

** Now used by the U.S. Army Ranger Battalions! ** Cutting edge eyewear that converts from a sunglass into a fully functional, anti- fog goggle with just a push of a button. This "all purpose" eyewear is designed for military use, tactical team wear, bike/motor enforcement as well as the motorcyclist. Helps to eliminate possible eye injuries during confrontations or driving/riding. The SG-1 features a triloid nylon frame system that is fully interchangeable. Wrap-back design offers better peripheral vision than a standard goggle, eliminating tunnel vision. Prescriptionable.

Soft "Ultra-Foam" 2.0 mm polycarbonate ballistic lens assembly provides extra comfort and cups the eye orbits, offering the ultimate sun, wind, and dust protection. Prong technology makes the changing of lenses hassle-free. Quick Connect straight temples disengage with just a push of a button to allow attachment of the tactical headband. The SG-1 comes equipped with two sets of anti-fog lenses - Smoke Green and Clear as Crystal - pull away temples, tactical adjustable elastic headband and a soft microfiber case with an extra pocket for storage included. Click the Product Review button for the Prescription Order Form. Shipping Weight: 0.25 lb / 0.11 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

WILEY X SG-1 SUNGLASS GOGGLES - PO5301 $99.95 $84.99

NEED PRESCRIPTION LENS FOR YOUR WILEY-X?

www.sportsrx.com

Sports RX
7283 Engineer Rd Suite E
Sand Diego, Ca 92111

OPTION A

You buy your own Wiley-X glasses/goggles the send the clear/dark lens to Sports RX:

$150 + 7.95 S/H

OPTION B

Buy Wiley-X SG-1 and prescription from Sports-RX:

$200 for whole package plus prescription polycarbonate one lens
$260 for the second set of prescription lens

+ $7.95 S/H

Layer 2: Large Goggle

The Wiley-X is a very small goggle/eyeglass and does not cover a large facial area. If you are going into expected enemy contact, place large ballistic goggles over your Wiley-Xs to cover more facial area from their perch on your helmet after withdrawing your camouflage cover. This renders a second ballistic layer. If you need prescription magnification you can wrap the large goggle around your Wiley-Xs. However, it is an option to get large goggles with optical inserts in them, but this means you have to remove or drop your prescription Wiley-Xs down around your neck so you don't get double magnification. Like the FPM you have to decide beforehand if you will embed your prescription into your large goggles or to take care of corrected magnification solely through your Wiley-X glasses/goggles.

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam? M5COPY.ctx=25932&M5.ctx=3575

ESS(r) SPECIAL FORCES PROFILE NVG GOGGLE

Low profile frame design was created with direction from elite US Special Forces groups. The Profile NVG is the only compact military/tactical goggle system with no compromises. Profile has all the advantages of a low-profile, night vision compatible frame shape, without sacrifices in dust filtration, field of view, impact protection, or anti-fog performance. Ballistic 2.8mm polycarbonate lens provides higher impact resistance than any tactical goggles from Bollι, Cιbι, Oakley, Paulson, Scott. Fully filtered frame with maximum airflow. Permanent anti- fog coating on the inside with anti- scratch on the outside. Soft frame material conforms to any face and is easy to clean and maintain. 40mm strap system.

Profile NVG Specifications:

• Low profile design for improved weapons sighting and universal helmet and night vision compatibility.

• Soft, conforming frame has a comfortable, sealed fit on all face shapes, and the smooth interface is easy to clean - it will not become contaminated by face paint.

• Fully-filtered, high airflow vents surround the entire lens to minimize fogging while repelling particles and smoke.

• Extra-thick 2.8mm high impact polycarbonate lenses with superior Clear Zone anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings.

• Unobstructed, extra wide field of view.

• High impact resistance.

• Meets all ANSI Z87.1 / OSHA requirements

• Meets the rigorous MIL-V-43511C .22 caliber ballistic impact test.

• 100% UVA/UVB protection and distortion-free optics.

• Heavy duty nylon carrying case.• Made in USA by Eye Safety SystemsEach Profile NVG Goggle comes with Two Ballistic Lenses: • Clear and • Smoke Gray • Tear-Off Lens Accessory Item# MGS226 Shipping Weight: 0.31 lb / 0.14 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

ESS PROFILE NVG 2.8 GOGGLE,OD - MGS2202 $79.99 $69.99
ESS PROFILE NVG 2.8 GOGGLE,BLK - MGS2203 $79.99 $69.99
ESS PROFILE NVG 2.8 GOGGLE,TAN - MGS2206 $79.99 $69.99

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam? M5COPY.ctx=26326&M5.ctx=3575

ESS(r) PROFILE NVG GOGGLE Rx LENS CARRIER INSERT

Order this item if you prefer to have your eye prescription specially ground and installed in the goggle for added comfort. This accessory lens holder comes with the jig for the Optical Dispensary to grind the perfect fit.

• Made in USA
• Eye Safety Systems Shipping Weight: 0.18 lb / 0.08 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

ESS RX INSERT PROFILE NVG GOG - MGS22RX $24.99 $23.99

Layer 3: Helmet Ballistic Shield

This is where we make decisive protection improvements: fit a clear ballistic protective shield to your kevlar PASGT or ACH/MICH helmet. The Paulsen Helmet Shield NSN 4240-01-430-1983 flips up or down and can protect against small .22 sized bullets/fragments and fully covers the eyes, face and neck. I'm convinced that if CPT Blanco was wearing this shield he would be alive today. Yes, it would be "chalant" to wear helmets with full face shields when in open trucks, but its high time we stop trying to look cool and start doing what it takes to STAY ALIVE. BE ADVISED WILEY-Xs WILL LIKELY BE BLOWN OFF THE FACE IN EVENT OF A BLAST. THE PAULSEN HELMET FACE SHIELD IS A MUST.

Subj: Re: Order more quick clot? Emergency Face Protection
Date: 1/20/2004 4:07:43 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Reply-to: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

We are already ordering quik clot. Their answer to face shields is ballistic eye protection, like the Wiley-Xs which blew apart and were laying on the seat of CPT Blanco's HMMWV. Like I keep saying, they have checked the block and that is all they will do until someone else dies and makes another block to check.

I meant to tell you earlier, do not send anything after 1 February; our mail is being shut down on 5 March. After all, it's only morale, and we don't need that between 5 March and 11 April, right?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Details:

www.geocities.com/paratroop2000/faceprotection.htm

If you flip the Paulsen helmet shield down, YOU CANNOT WEAR NVGs. Flip the shield up, you can wear NVGs if you cut out some of the helmet visor attachment lip of the Paulsen shield so the NVG mount can be bolted to the helmet front. Units may decide to utilize their old PASGT kevlar helmets to attach full face shields for driving in exposed vehicles and then switch to their ACH/MICH helmets before getting out to do a raid.

www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4c.tam? M5COPY.ctx=26276&M5.ctx=26276

PASGT HELMET FACESHIELD KIT FOR RIOT DUTY - BALLISTIC LEXAN(r) .250'' V- 50 RATED

Hard coated lens with Anti-Fog treatment. Universal fit for all PASGT Kevlar military combat helmet shapes. Full-face shield features a gasket seal to prevent liquids from running into the eyes and face. Clear Lexan(r) ballistic polycarbonate plastic is .250 thick. Measures 9" x 1" x 6". Natick Approved and in use with U.S. Military Forces. Meets NIJ0104.02 Riot shield standard and MIL-V-43511C fragmentation requirements with V-50 rating. Used by U.S. Military Forces.

The Faceshield features a pivot-and-lock mechanism that mounts to either side of shield allowing left- or right-hand operation. Shield locks up and down, stays in place regardless of rigors of situation. Extra clearance for use over gas mask. Mounts quickly without tools. Fits standard military-style and most police helmets. Deployment kit includes installation instructions. Natick Approved. Used by US Military Forces. Made in USA Meets NIJ0104.02. Riot shield standard and MIL-V-43511C fragmentation requirements. V-50 rated Paulson Manufacturing Model DK5-X.250HM. Shipping Weight: 1.37 lb / 0.62 kg

Description - Item No. Retail Our Price Stock Qty

FACESHIELD KIT,.250" V50 AF/HC - KPF03 $77.99 $73.99

Layer 4 Weapons Gunshield

The final Soldier-level face protection is a gunshield on the end of his weapon as described below:

www.geocities.com/equipmentshop/gunshield.htm

6. Put 106mm RRs on selected HMMWVs (M113 Gavins even better) for SHOCK ACTION

Details:

Drawing by Jody Harmon, U.S. Army Armor magazine, November-December 1995 pages 39-44 "Improving Light Force Firepower with HMMWV mounted Recoilless Rifles"; Article by by LT Mike Sparks, Infantry USAR

We must realize machine guns and even autocannon are at best suppressive weapons, they do not kill an enemy that needs to be blasted hiding behind urban building cover. The world is urbanizing. AM General has a $6900 dollar drop in kit to mount the M40A2 106mm RR to the HMMWV, now used by Angola, Taiwan, Morocco and Honduras for light forces shock action.

The forces of UNITA used HUMMWV-mounted 106mm Recoilless rifles to decisive effect in the 1990 battle of Mavinga. U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Group "Green Berets" used 106mm RR mounted HMMWVs to storm back into Kuwait with Arab coalition forces they were advising. The 106mm RR is a battle winner from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Israel, the airfield at Entebbe...Both the Israeli Defense Force and Taiwan make their own 106mm RRs and ammo. Swedish Bofors 3A-HEAT-AT rounds are effective beyond 1600 meters and defeat the latest tank armor. The Canadians and Americans make laser sighting systems that can give moving target-first shot, kill accuracy for the 106mm RR. We have hundreds of 106mm RRs in storage. Let's obtain/buy some and supply them to U.S. Army Light/Air Assault/Airborne Division "Delta" weapons companies before it is too late. Since this web page was made in 1997, its already too late. The U.S. Army's light units are in Iraq getting clobbered without M8 Armored 105mm Gun System light tanks and too few M1 Abrams heavy tanks to go around.

7. Develop amphibious HMMWV like DUKWV

Its rather sad that the U.S. Army has forgotten all about the troubles it had in WWII and Vietnam crossing streams and rivers and coming ashore from the sea. The only armored vehicle it has that can swim is the M113 Gavin which could even be made to swim in the ocean, and the unarmored M973A1 SUSV. Its time the Army gets the "lead out" and develop an amphibious version of the HMMWV at least for its Cavalry units so we are not stuck again like we were in 1995, on the opposite bank of the Sava River and unable to cross in our heavy tanks without engineers building a bridge. We also had several HMMWVs take unexpected plunges into rivers in Iraq, drowning some of our Soldiers.

8. Develop indestructible, non-flammable, solid foam tires not "run flats" and pneumatics

We used solid foam inserts in our A/ETB tires for the Operation Dark Claw parachute assault. Why not a soft foam insert or solid tire requiring no air to keep its shape? This would make tires imperious to broken glass, debris, shrapnel, bullets etc. A vehicle that is stuck is a dead vehicle with dead men inside it. An Army needs wheeled vehicles for support roles but in combat rubber tires is madness (see post-Somalia firefight photos above).

No-More Flats
Cyclo-Manufacturing
1438 S. Cherokee St.
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 744-8043

This is why tracks are better than wheels in general and why your light/Airborne unit needs to get M113A3s if enemy contact is expected.

9. Stealth IR signature, sounds

The latest BAT submitions fired from Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs) look for engine noise. Its not long before the enemy MRLs will have this capability--silencing the vehicles you are in by sandbagging and special factory coatings need to be determined. This means we need to get hybrid electric-drive HHMWVs and M113 Gavins perfected and in service: their use would be very close to the way diesel-electric submarines operate; use motor engines for covering large distances, turn on the electric for stealth in combat. Its vital for HMMWVs in a direct-fire anti-armor role like those with TOW-FOTT and LOSAT to mask their infared signatures using cold/hot firing positions and using FLIR camouflage covers.

10. Gunshield for gunner operating weapon mount on top

M113A3 type gunshield could be retrofitted to HMMWVs

We have known since the 1963 battle of Ap Bac that gunners exposed torso out firing weapons from vehicles are prime enemy targets; if they can be stopped they can win. We put shields around the M551 Sheridan light tank to form a "crows nest" why not for the HMMWV and FMTV? The new MP up-armored HMMWV web page shows a gun shield fitted but doesn't mention it in the text. ????? Or is this yet another example of peacetime non-chalance? The O'Gara and Hess web page shows the U.S. Army M1114 Up-Armored HMMWV with only the rear hatch armored to protect the gunner's back. The U.S. Air Force's M1116 Up-Armored HMMWV has a completely armored gun position depicted below:

Ok, why is the USAF better equipped than us? Notice it even has overhead cover to deter roof snipers

HMMWV Gunner Shields w/LVOSS, NSN: 2510-01-498-4996 PN: 57K4470

The above is NSN, etc. for the .50 cal M2 HMG gunshields.

Military Sales - John Mayles
Direct Line: (513) 881-9899
e-mail: jmayles@ogara-hess.com
www.ogara-hess.com/intl/ohio.htm

O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt
9113 Le Saint Drive
Fairfield, Ohio 45014
(513) 881-9800
(800) 697-0307
fax: (513) 874-2558

Its too late to be "chalant" and design, build and field equipment when the shooting starts. That means actually installing the gun shields, too!

A participant in Operation Just Cause writes in to a www.newsgroup:

"I was at Quarry Heights. Snipers killed a TC who was part of the security team on the first night, and I was awakened by the sounds of a firefight one morning that seemed like it was only 500 meters away. Made my .45 with one magazine and 20 rounds seem just a little inadequate."

11. Send A/ETB mobile scouts ahead to secure the routes from ambush: the British "mole" tactic

The British Army doesn't try to clear convoy routes as they go along with the supplies/troops trying o get through. They first send a completely armed-to-kill armored force through the route to clear a safe path for the convoy to follow. One then the other, not a little of both at the same time.

We can improve on this by sending security scouts on A/ETBs and hybrid-electric M113 Gavins to silently move ahead and secure roads from ambushes/mines before the soft-skin convoys leave.

12. CAMOUFLAGE YOURSELF AND YOUR VEHICLES

QUESTION: Why are Army vehicles in Iraq not being painted in tan?

PROOF:


It was an "urgent operational requirement" in the first gulf war, why not today?

www.gulflink.osd.mil/medsearch/FocusAreas/carc_paint.shtml

CARC Paint

For Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the U.S. shipped thousands of vehicles and other pieces of equipment to the Persian Gulf. Much of the equipment had the three-color "woodland" camouflage scheme designed for the European Theater. These dark colors would be easy to spot against the backdrop of the barren desert environment. Consequently, there was an urgent operational requirement to repaint incoming equipment with tan-colored paint to provide desert camouflage protection. Another operational requirement was protection against chemical warfare agents which were believed to be in the Iraqi weapons inventory.

The military established painting operations in Saudi Arabia to paint vehicles tan with so-called chemical agent resistant coating (CARC) paint. CARC is a polyurethane paint that provides superior durability, extends service life for military vehicles and equipment, provides surfaces with superior resistance to chemical warfare agent penetration, and greatly simplifies decontamination.

DoD occupational safety and health guidance called for proper personal protective equipment, including respiratory equipment, to protect painters who employ spray painting equipment. Several compounds in CARC formulations, if taken into the body in sufficiently high concentrations, may cause short- and long-term health effects. The most notable of these compounds is hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), which hardens the paint. Solvents used in CARC and paint thinners, as well as solvents used to clean equipment, can be hazardous via skin contact and breathing. Exposures to solvents can lead to dizziness, rashes, and nausea. However, the proper wear of personal protective equipment greatly decreases the risks associated with exposure to solvents.

Exposure to high concentrations of aerosolized HDI during spray painting leads to immediate respiratory irritation and watery eyes. Long-term exposure can cause or aggravate respiratory problems, in particular, asthma. The use of personal protective equipment, such as respirators, coveralls, eye protection, gloves, and head coverings, can prevent or minimize exposures to HDI during spray painting. The HDI in polyurethane paint does not present a hazard after the paint dries and cures, unless it is exposed to heat sufficient for thermal decomposition of the coating, such as welding.

Some of the spray painting sites established in Saudi Arabia lacked the appropriate personal protective equipment to assure safe spray-painting operations. Several spray painters at these sites reported short-term symptoms, including coughing, eye and throat irritation, skin rashes, headaches, and nausea. Some veterans believe exposure to CARC contributed to their long-term health problems. The Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses investigated CARC use during the Gulf War to examine the extent of exposures to this material.

REFERENCES

Office Of The Special Assistant To The Deputy Secretary Of Defense For Gulf War Illnesses. Environmental Exposure Report: Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC), July 27, 2000

SEARCH THIS SITE

More information about CARC usage during the Gulf War can be found on GulfLINK where the Search tool (Search Site) will identify many original documents.

Yet another BS obstacle...so you cannot even touch up rust on vehicles because it has to be "CARC" paint that is HAZMAT and has to be applied in a shop to OSHA standards yadda yadda bullshit. So now men are dying in Iraq in easily targeted vehicles....

Right?

Wrong!

THERE IS A WAY TO CARC PAINT YOUR VEHICLES IN THE PROPER CAMOUFLAGE COLOR!!

The following is a google.com cache "snap shot" of a U.S. Army Madigan Medical Hospital web page on CARC paint that has conveniently "disappeared" from the www. It reveals that units can indeed CARC paint their vehicles safely and abiding by Army regulations.

preventive medicine

PM Home PM Residency PM Update PM Clinics Disease Info Hot Topicsnavigation

 Ergonomic Issues | Chemical Agent Resistant Coating Painting | Brake Shoe Inspection |  Staff

MAMC home page > preventive medicine > industrial hygiene > home page

Industrial Hygiene

Chemical Agent Resistant Coating

  1. Can I spot paint our unit's vehicles?

  2. What are the colors I can use?

  3. What are some cautions I need to be aware of before painting?

  4. What kinds of personal protective equipment do I need to use when painting?

  5. What are the specifications for ordering decals? 

Purpose. This provides guidance for safe spot or touchup painting using Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) paint.

General. Unit-level painting is limited to touch-up or spot painting using a brush or roller. As stipulated in TB 43-0242, CARC Spot Painting, dated 1 January 1991, Units are not allowed to completely repaint vehicles or spray paint any portion. Moreover, TG No. 144, Guidelines for Controlling Health Hazards in Painting Operations, states that touch-up painting is done to prevent corrosion, not for purely cosmetic reasons. If the paint is marred, but not deep enough to see bare metal, you do not need to paint. Units are only authorized to use single component CARC paint. The table below lists NSNs for single component CARC. Make sure you read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each paint/solvent used.

Back to top

Color

Color Number

NSN

Size

Green*

34094

8010-01-229-7546

1 Qt Can

Brown*

30051

8010-01-229-7543

1 Qt Can

Black*

37030

8010-01-229-7540

1 Qt Can

Sand

33303

8010-01-234-2934

1 Qt Can

Aircraft Green

34031

8010-01-246-0717

1 Qt Can

Tan 686

33446

8010-01-276-3638

1 Qt Can

* Color for 3-color camouflage system

Back to top

Warnings. Solvents used in CARC and other paints are flammable. Never paint near open flames or where there are sparks, like welding or grinding. Never apply CARC to surfaces that will exceed 400° F (Exhaust pipes, engine manifolds, etc.). Heating painted surfaces releases toxic gases, vapors, and metal fumes.

If the existing paint requires surface preparation, manual "wet" sanding is the recommended method (Old paint may contain lead or chromate's). "Wet" sanding eliminates the need for respiratory protection.

According to the Preventive Maintenance Magazine dated April 1996, decals are a possible alternative to using CARC for bumper numbers. See page 3 for decal NSNs.

Potential Exposures. HDI, a component in CARC, is a potential sensitizer especially to asthmatics. Soldiers who are asthmatic should not apply CARC, as a severe life threatening allergic reaction may occur.

Controls. Chemical overexposures do not occur when applying CARC outdoors using a brush or roller. Respiratory protection is not required for outdoor brush or roller painting. However, personnel must don chemical goggles, NBC gloves, a hat, and cover arms to prevent skin contact (NSNs provided below). If Commanders desire respiratory protection nonetheless, the M40 NBC mask may be used. This applies only for operations performed outdoors-involving one quart of CARC per person, per day. DOL Repair Activity Division accomplishes all other painting operations (i.e. using more than one quart per person per day, spray-painting, painting in areas with restricted airflow (inside/under vehicles).

Back to top

Personal protective clothing and equipment required:

NSN

Cloth coveralls/BDU (Sleeves down)

Not provided

Goggles, chemical splash

NSN 4240-00-052-3776

Head covering (BDU hat)

Not provided

Gloves, TAP, Type II:

Size XS8, NSN 8415-00-753-6550

Size S9, NSN 8415-00-753-6551

Size M10, NSN 8415-00-753-6552

Size L11, NSN 8415-00-753-6553

Size XL12, NSN 8415-00-753-6554

Treat any leftover paint as hazardous waste. Contact the DPW Hazardous Waste (Compliance) Office at telephone 967-3268 for disposal instructions. Preventing unnecessary waste is very easy - Do not spot paint until you have enough area that will use up a one-quart can. Because once the can is open the paint starts curing and hardens within hours. Resealing does not stop the curing process.

For further inquiries, please contact the Industrial Hygiene section at 968-4331.

Back to top

Decal Ordering Specifications.  Lusterless black pressure sensitive decals, NSN 7690-01-

Letter

1 inch

11/2 inches

2 inches

3 inches

4 inches

A

030-7126

031-4660

031-9543

031-9559

032-4595

B

030-5778

031-4661

031-5535

031-9560

032-4596

C

030-5779

031-5221

032-2428

031-9561

032-4597

D

030-5780

031-6394

032-2430

031-9562

032-4598

E

030-5781

031-5523

031-9544

031-9563

032-4599

F

030-5782

031-5524

031-5537

031-9564

032-4600

G

030-5783

031-4662

031-5538

031-9565

032-4601

H

030-5784

031-4663

031-5539

031-9566

032-2452

I

030-8542

031-4664

031-5540

031-9567

032-2453

J

030-5785

031-4665

031-5541

031-9568

032-2454

K

030-5786

031-4666

031-5542

032-0739

032-1404

L

030-8543

031-4667

031-5543

032-0740

032-1405

M

030-7816

031-4668

031-5544

031-9545

032-2438

N

030-8544

031-4669

031-5545

031-9546

032-1406

O

030-8545

031-4670

031-5546

031-9547

032-3712

P

031-6395

031-5525

031-5547

031-9548

032-2439

Q

030-8546

031-5526

031-5548

031-9549

032-2441

R

030-8547

031-5527

031-5549

031-9550

032-1407

S

030-8548

031-5528

031-5550

031-9551

032-2443

T

030-8549

031-5529

031-5551

031-9552

032-2445

U

030-8550

031-5530

031-5552

031-9553

032-2447

V

030-8551

031-5531

031-5553

031-9554

032-2449

W

030-8552

031-5532

031-5554

031-9555

032-1408

X

030-8553

031-5533

031-5555

031-9556

032-2451

Y

030-8554

031-4671

032-1400

031-9557

032-4593

Z

030-8555

031-4672

032-0727

031-9558

032-4594

Number

1 inch

11/2 inches

2 inches

3 inches

4 inches

1

030-8550

031-4673

032-0728

031-9559

032-4595

2

030-8557

031-4674

032-0729

031-9560

032-4596

3

030-8558

031-4675

032-2421

031-9561

032-4597

4

030-8559

031-4676

032-2422

031-9562

032-4598

5

030-8560

031-4677

032-1401

031-9563

032-4599

6

030-8561

031-5534

032-2423

031-9564

032-4600

7

030-8562

031-4678

032-2424

031-9565

032-4601

8

030-8563

031-4679

032-2425

031-9566

032-2452

9

030-8561

031-4680

032-0730

031-9567

032-2453

0

030-8565

031-4681

032-0731

031-9568

032-2454

Back to top

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

(c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Madigan Army Medical Center
 Security and Privacy Notice  |  Medical Disclaimer  |  External Links Disclaimer
Caring Beyond the Call of Duty
Last Update:  10/01/2003

12. Have a FULLY EQUIPPED Combat LifeSaver (CLS) in every vehicle

13. Better Convoy Security Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP)

Last Dingo's CONVOY DEFENSE TTP

While soft-skin vehicles can be air-delivered to our Paratroopers, so can light tracked APCs. Keeping them intact will not be easy on the sensor and fire swept, non-linear battlefield. They are not APCs. Get M113A3s for these missions. Prepare for the worsed-case scenario, harden and arm your soft-skins. If M113 Gavin hulls are good enough that you put them on the BACK of trucks for protection, WHY NOT GET THE M113 vehicles themselves?

14. U.S. Army Training MUST CHANGE for non-linear warfare in the 21st Century

Recent combats prove that soft-skin vehicles following in the trace of combat vehicle forces seeking to BYPASS pockets of enemy resistance to take out the enemy's centers of gravity are vulnerable to ambush. Sandbag hardening must be an annual CTT task done by EVERY DAMN U.S. Army unit. Convoys must integrate Escape & Recovery (E&R) plans so units have an option other than fighting or dying---the ability to split up into 2-man buddy teams and make their way back ro pre-stocked Rally Points (RPs). Its time to wake up and take war seriously weith EVERY unit allowed to be as lethal and as well prepared as they can be ("high speed") and the smug egotistical Army "pecking order" be damned. This means so-called "support" units with machine gun mounts etc. on their trucks--if that means they look sexy and like "rat patrol" instead of looking defeated and downtrodden as per their social standing in the Army pecking order its too fucking bad.

From the strategypage.com:

January 13, 2004: American troops in Iraq have quickly developed procedures and tactics to counter road side bombs and ambushes by hostile Iraqis. This has made attacking American convoys a lot more dangerous to the attackers, and reduced U.S. casualties considerably. First, the convoy should have at least five vehicles and they should have extra armor plate or Kevlar blankets attached to protect the crew. The troops in the convoy should carry lots of ammo for their weapons (this means a dozen or more 30 round magazines for each M-16, and as many 200 round belts of ammo for each light machine-gun and several dozen rounds for each M203 40mm grenade launcher.) Get some AT-4 bunker buster rocket launchers if you can. Rig up ring or pedestal mounts for light or medium (7.62mm) machine-guns. If you can get .50 caliber machine-guns, install them on ring mounts in the lead truck.

Your largest truck should be in the lead, ready to push through a roadblock if that seems likely to work. The lead vehicle should have an NCO or officer trained to make quick decisions on whether to drive around a barrier or push on through. Troops should all be assigned a direction to watch while the convoy is moving. A training area has been set up in Kuwait where troops in moving trucks can practice firing at targets. If ambushed, convoy troops must know to get out as much firepower at the enemy is (or is likely to be) as quickly as possible. The Iraqi attackers are usually not very disciplined, and their attack often falls apart if it is met with heavy fire from the trucks. It's also important that convoys check with the commanders of areas they are passing through, to let them know when the convoy will be in the area and to get radio frequencies and other information so the convoy can call for help from local troops if there is an ambush. The local commanders can also often arrange to have any of their troops or aircraft (including UAVs) escort the convoy for part of the way. The local commanders also know better who the bad guys are in their area and often have information on where ambushes or roadside bombs might be. It's common practice for combat units to have a QRF (quick reaction force) ready to go at all times to help one of their patrols, or a passing convoy.Military Police often escort convoys, usually forming the advance and rear guard. The idea advanced guard is two heavily armed hummers moving 300-500 meters in advance of the convoy. The advance guard checks out suspicious items (possible roadside bombs or men waiting in ambush.) If possible, another two hummers should follow the convoy by the same distance, for Iraqis have attacked the rear vehicle in convoys with machine-guns and RPGs. For this reason, the last vehicle in the convoy should always be one with armed troops facing the rear. If someone suspicious appears from the rear, blast them. The rules of engagement in Iraq have been aggressive, allowing troops to shoot when in doubt, even if an innocent Iraqi gets killed from time to time. This also encourages Iraqi drivers to stay a respectful distance from American convoys. American trucks move thousands of tons of material along Iraqi roads each day. Most of it is moved by troops who do this regularly. These troops receive training before they are assigned to convoy duty, and are briefed before the convoy moves out. On any day, only a few percent of the convoys out there will encounter any hostile behavior (usually rocks thrown at them.) Actual ambushes are rare, and the combat troops and MPs are always looking for roadside bombs and armed Iraqis trying to set up an ambush. Most of the roadside bombs and ambushes are discovered this way, and neutralized. But it's only because of these careful preparations that the American casualty count has been kept so low. The Iraqi attackers suffer far more casualties. American intelligence knows this because they monitor the fees the attackers are often paid to make these attacks. Week by week, Iraqis demand, and get, higher fees for attacking American convoys. It's a risky business, and American troops want to keep it that way.

2004 Sad Summary/Conclusion: U.S. Army still hasn't learned its lesson about vehicles in non-linear warfare: has TRACKS but tells Congress it only can up-armor HMMWV trucks 2 years from now


The Army's absurd request for expensive "armored" HMMWVs cannot be armored adequately to protect against RPGs, IEDs and will easily burn up when hit. Their rubber tires will easily catch fire mingling with fuel to create an inferno. The non-sense that armored HMMWVs protect in Iraq fails to realize that the enemy is by choice attacking unarmored HMMWVs; if we squander money/time and have only armored HMMWVs, the enemy will start attacking and destroying them (see photo of knocked-out armored HMMWV above). Furthermore,the HMMWV's poor cross-country mobility, inability to swim will be made even worse when fitted with several pounds of armor. America's Army must be able to fight anywhere in the world and this means in the mud, across rice paddies, and off roads/trails where wheeled vehicles are easily ambushed. The answer is to replace trucks with M113 Gavin TRACKS that can be fitted with the armor nececcary to be RPG-resistant with full cross-country,amphibious mobility. The Army's Tofflerian wheeled computer centralized bureaucracy fantasy is a dismal failure; if you must have computer map screens put them in TRACKED armored vehicles that can PHYSICALLY fight and maneuver and survive the PHYSICAL battlefield of reality. Don't use computers as mental crutches for weak co-dependants who long for WWII-style linear battlefields that don't exist.

The making soft-skin vehicles somewhat combat-ready tips depicted here are based on the assumption that they can be done IMMEDIATELY, as in TODAY, not tomorrow or 2 YEARS FROM NOW.

Our troops in Iraq/Afghanistan don't have 2 YEARS they need armor protection N-O-W.

Yet the Army has lied recently to the American Congress and the American people saying all they can do is up-armor some HMMWV trucks after Congress gives them a big pile of money and even then they'll NEVER be RPG or land-mine resistant.

The U.S. Army is indeed lying when it portrays all they can do is provide at best vulnerable rubber-tired wheeled "up-armored HMMWV" trucks to our troops in Iraq after $250, 000 each and 2 years. Maybe the Army's senior leaders don't know all of the vehicles they have, but its doubtful. This is a national security issue that EVERY member of our Congress/Senate needs to know about and act in a bi-partisan way to fix it now.

Our Soldiers in combat in Iraq/Afghanistan need TRACKS not trucks---today, not years from now.

The Army has THOUSANDS of thick-skinned M113 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles sitting unused in storage that "as-is" are far better than up-armored rubber-tired HMMWV trucks and can be made RPG landmine resistant with extra armor for a few thousand dollars which the Army refuses to buy since it wants to waste $$$BILLIONS on new HMMWVs and Canadian-made Stryker armored cars (trucks) with thin skins. Fortunately, its not too late to fix this; we should stop payment towards further Stryker purchases and upgrade M113 Gavins instead--General Dynamics has failed contract specifications blatantly and one numerous occasions with the Army "lowering the bar" for them. The Iraq guerrillas are not going to "look the other way" at these vulnerabilities. Please do what's right for America's troops and the defense of our people. Contact your Congressman/Senator today!

CONTACT CONGRESS:

www.geocities.com/paratroop2000/wwwcongress.htm

Pictures of up-armored M113 Gavins used by our NATO allies:

www.geocities.com/equipmentshop/m113combat.htm

1. The U.S. Army is having its Soldiers drive around Iraq in doorless, fabric-sided HMMWV, fiberglass/thin metal FMTV truck and soon "Stryker" rubber-tired armored cars (essentially trucks) and losing men's lives and limbs daily to roadside bombs; primarily old artillery shells exploding SIDEWAYS into our exposed men. Some Soldiers are foolishly driving around Iraq in gasoline-powered captured or government-provided civilian automobiles; so far 3 are dead from this absurd practice; the situation has gotten out of hand. Official total casualties dead, wounded, accidents is 9,200 people; ruined. This weekend it appears the enemy in Afghanistan has started to command-detonate land mines under unarmored HMMWV trucks when they pass by, maiming a Soldier who lost a leg. When shock journalist Geraldo Rivera can see this and Army generals can't something is very wrong with our military leadership.

The Army has THOUSANDS of M113 Gavins, some in war stocks, others simply in STORAGE (see microsoft excel spread sheet in another email). The M113 Gavin as-is has a THICK 1.5" armored skin, metal road wheels and steel tracks with rubber pads. THIS IS FAR MORE ARMOR PROTECTIVE than even "armored HMMWVS" that do not exist yet. You can add applique' armor all around to protect against RPGs and under the belly against running over a land mine. M113 Gavins assigned to the 4th ID and 1AD are already kicking butt in Iraq but need this extra armor and gunshields.

The 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault in Iraq and in Afghanistan 10th Mountain Divisions DO NOT HAVE ANY ARMORED VEHICLES. This is when over 13,000+ thick-metal hulled M113 Gavin light tracked armored vehicles rolling on metal road roadwheels/tracks are sitting unused in war stocks/storage but could be fitted with extra armor all-around to defeat RPGs and underneath to resist land mines to save our men's lives, BUT THE ARMY IS NOT SUPPLYING ITS MEN IN IRAQ THESE THINGS.

Instead the Army has wasted several $BILLION dollars on Canadian-made Stryker rubber-tired armored cars with thin metal skins when it could have adequately armor upgraded the thousands of thicker-skinned M113 Gavins it has and had everyone riding safely inside them in Iraq like the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) does; who incidentally do not lose a man a day in combat areas.

Clearly, our Army is too set in its ways to admit it was wrong and to take bold, corrective action to save our men's lives and limbs.

Furthermore, simple common sense things like sandbagging and painting your vehicles TAN is also not being done. Photographic proof:

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20031114/i/r2556915053.jpg

We have an Army manual stating how to do it, but apparently many units in Iraq are not even trying to protect their men:

FM 55-30, ARMY MOTOR TRANSPORT UNITS AND OPERATIONS is the Army's "Bible" for hardening vehicles: www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/toc.htm specifically: checkout Appendix O at the Reimer Library: www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-30/appo.htm

Painting dark green helicopters and ground vehicles light gray or tan if they fly/drive during the daytime is not being done, either. The status quo is smugly thought of as being "adequate" as ones and twos of our men are getting killed by command detonated land mines, RPGs and small arms fire attacks each day.

The Army is NOT doing ALL it can to win the fight and protect Soldiers' lives and anyone saying otherwise is incorrect.

2. The roadside bomb attacks in Iraq are taking place along a long stretch of highway termed the "Main Supply Route" that only has a handful of Military Police (MPs) checking it for roadside bombs as the combat infantry and engineer troops are kicking down doors in the cities playing "SWAT team/Delta Force" looking for Saddam and his cronies. To secure the MSR we need thousands of COMBAT troops constantly checking for mines and laying ambushes at night to make it safe for our truck drivers to pass. Not having our troops live inside buildings/palaces inside Iraqi cities where they inflame the civilians and instead having them stay in fortified camps along the MSR would free more troops to sweep the roads and do the raids looking for war criminals.

3. The entire U.S. military to include the Army NO longer has 2-seat manned observation fixed-wing aircraft in Iraq to constantly surveil the MSR and are too stubborn to admit that rotary-wing helicopters are too difficult to keep flying in adequate numbers in dirty conditions and too loud and short-ranged to catch the enemy laying road-side bombs.

Currently we've lost 491 dead and 1,957 wounded in Iraq, at the current rate of 100 dead/300 wounded per month, by next June when we are set to leave Iraq, we will have suffered 1,200 DEAD and 3,600 wounded or 4,800 people destroyed, all because of Army incompetence. Today the total is 9,200 casualties if you count all injuries and accidents. An Army Division ruined when the Army only has 10 active duty divisions. What the final total will be by June 2004 could be 30,000 or higher at current rates. These are preventable not "acceptable" casualties.

Because our men's lives are in dire danger we are calling on Congress to assert civilian control over the U.S. military and pass legislation to force them to supply ALL of our men with the TRACKED armored vehicles, extra armor, gunshields and fixed-wing observation aircraft they need to save their lives and beat the guerrillas in Iraq.

"Tracks not trucks: properly armor/arm our men in Iraq NOW"

Main Points:

1. Create Engineer Cavalry (ECAV) units; 1st ECAV (for 82nd Airborne), 2nd ECAV (for 101st Air Assault) with light tracked armored vehicles and all the equipment necessary ro defeat roadside bombs and send immediately to Iraq

2. Buy applique' armor, gunshields for M113s/armored MP HMMWVs in Iraq, develop armor/gunshield kit for FMTV supply trucks; ALL OTHER soft-top HMMWVs and FMTVs replaced by up-armored M113 Gavins

3. Replace majority of HMMWVs/FMTVs in Iraq with 500 x uparmored M113A3 Gavins ASAP. A proportional number of M113 Gavins sent to Afghanistan to help the 10th Mountain Division.

4. Officially name M113 the GAVIN after WWII hero General James M. Gavin (Pennsylvania native) who conceived it, so this vehicle gets the respect it deserves so the Army fully exploits it to get the job done and save men's lives

5. Open up M113 Program Manager office again at Anniston Army Depot so 50% of the Army's armored vehicle fleet gets the attention it deserves

6. Allocate funds in Army Defense budget to finish upgrading ALL M113A2s to up-armored, up-engined M113A3 or A4 Hybrid-Electric standards

7. Send at least one squadron of USAF OT-37 jet trainers/pilots with Army observers in right seats to Iraq immediately to get air cover over the MSR in Iraq (Within 60 days)

8. Modify 24 x T-37/A-37s into OA-37C, and the 113 x unused T-3 Firefly observation aircraft to create several Army Air Cav Troops, then train these aircrews and send to Iraq/Afghanistan to meet interim Air Observation requirements (12 months)

9. Buy T-6B version of T-6A Texan II trainers, designate as OV-6Bs, for 2 more Army Air Cav Troops for the Army objective global Air Observation requirements (24 months)

10. Put back immediately into service the former SOUTHCOM 7 x unused C-27A Spartan transports sitting in the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB under U.S. Army ownership/control to create an "Airborne Main Supply Route" in Iraq flying safely above roadside ambushers to resupply our troops. As soon as possible these C-27As should be upgraded by Lockheed-Martin of Georgia to C-27J propfan configration to meet the Army's Aviation Restructuring Initiative Multi-Mission Medium Tactical Transport (M3T2) requirements for 54 aircraft. Details:

www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/c-27.htm
www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/m3t2.htm

Snow Aviation of Ohio can also be tasked to take unused C-130A transports also in storage at the Davis-Monthan AFB "boneyard" and put them into operation to create the needed Aiborne MSR in Iraq to reduce the current 300+ ground truck resupply convoys to a more defendable size and number..

11. Cancel further Canadian Stryker armored car purchases to fee several $BILLION dollars to fund the "Tracks not trucks" for Iraq initiative

12. Cut Army "Future Combat System" R&D program waste, divert funds to "Tracks not trucks: Armor our men in Iraq NOW" program applying technology to existing platforms in combat now in Iraq

13. Identify and promote outspoken reformers like Col Douglas MacGregor (author; "Breaking the Phalanx, "Transformation under Fire") to General Officer rank who are trying to fix America's Army but are getting passed over for promotion due to professional jealousies and bureaucratic corruption; track them and protect them from status quo-defending milicrats so they can create an Army that gets the job done (Win the War on Terrorism) and at same time takes care of the men.

14. Create a "Congressional Military Reform Information Council" (CMRIC) of reformers who will provide Congress with truth about Pentagon weapons, tactics and employment to counter lies and "spin", and identify milicrats in DoD who are standing in the way of progress to true military excellence. CMRIC would report directly to both Senate and House Armed Services Committees to enable them to better understand truth about our military since most representatives have no military backgrounds.

15. Authorize SFC Smith the Congressional Medal of Honor for his life-saving heroism in combat in Iraq

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, 33
11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Tampa, Florida

Smith, a Combat Engineer, was shot while manning a .50 caliber machine gun to fend off an attack by Iraqi soldiers near the Baghdad airport on April 4, 2003. He has been nominated for the Medal of Honor for his actions.

However, there is more to his story.

We are worried that his deserved CMH will be downgraded to a lesser medal given without national media/public ceremony to deny any positive publicity for the tracked M113 Gavin which out-performed the wheeled Stryker in tests. Despite this, the Army's leadership under Gen Shinseki still opted for the inferior wheeled vehicle wasting BILLIONS of dollars resulting in 50% of the Army's armored vehicle fleet not getting things like RPG, underbelly applique' armor and gunshields that could have saved SFC Smith's life so he could be a living hero. The monies we've squandered on Stryker could have insured ALL Army Soldiers went to Iraq with rifle-caliber bullet resistant Interceptor Body Armor (IBA).

We are certain SFC Smith would be alive if he had a state-of-the-art TC's gunshield on his M113 Gavin: www.geocities.com/equipmentshop/m113combat.htm

Is he not going to get the CMH because it would make the M113 Gavin look good and threaten the inferior Stryker armored car?; or simply that his story would raise questions as to why the Army during the 4 years of General Shinseki stopped all maintenance/upgrade funds, and additional armor for the entire M113 fleet?

16. By act of Congress "Soldier" should be spelled with a capital "S" in all official U.S. Government administrative paperwork etc., same thing for USAF "Airmen" and Navy "Sailors"; if we respect the sacrifices our brave men and women make to keep our country free, then we should be willing to lift our fingers in honor of them and render the proper keystroke of respect when talking about them.

Save your own life: the Army won't

The Army has THOUSANDS of M113 Gavin tracks sitting in storage that could be used as non-linear warfare vehicles and the ARMY REFUSES TO SUPPLY THESE EN MASSE TO REPLACE TRUCKS IN IRAQ TO DRAMATICALLY REVERSE THE SITUATION IN IRAQ.

Its the Army's fault because our senior leaders are anti-tracked vehicle afflicted with the wheels 'n computer sickness I described earlier. Below is a form letter we've written to help several Soldiers run up through the chain of command pleading for M113 Gavins which lists the specific locations of M113s in CENTCOM, other war stocks and where they are in storage in CONUS. (e-mail us for these facts).

Sample Letter to your Chain of Command (where M113s are in CENTCOM etc.)

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXX 17 January 2004

SUBJECT: Immediate M113 vehicle plus-ups for xxxxxxx deployment to Iraq

FROM:

1. ____ x M113 light tracked armored fighting vehicles and ____ x M2 .50 caliber heavy machine guns be supplied to my unit in addition to our existing equipment in light of our new mission as provisional infantry. These equipments are in Army war-stocks and I request in writing an answer to this request. If FORSCOM receives this request I am confident it will be supplied to my men to accomplish the mission and save lives. The following explains why this additional equipment is needed.

2. Why is our Army accepting daily casualties in Iraq, Soldiers in Arlington Cemetary and walking around Walter Reed missing limbs when we have thousands of 11-ton M113 thick-skinned, tracked armored vehicles sitting in storage that could prevent these deaths and maimings? We have strong national backing behind the troops, but we're slowly pissing away national will (center of gravity) to casualties we didn't have to sustain. The current thinking for remedying casualties is to don more heavy gear, operate in larger units, buy more up-armored HMMWVs, put Stryker into the fray and slap make-shift armor kits again on vulnerable rubber-tired vehicles. EXPENSIVE, slow-to-field, doesn't protect the majority of our troops. NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. The solution for the non-linear battlefield where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time is not more Balkan-style "presence patrols" in inadequately or unprotected HMMWVs/Stryker wheeled vehicles. We are taking dozens of casualties simply "driving to contact". Even up-armor HMMWVs cannot sustain an RPG. What can? Is cheap? What'll work---Now?

M113 Gavins---tracked armored fighting vehicles.

3. Our Army has thousands of 1.5" to 1.75" thick-skinned, 11-ton, metal road wheels, steel-tracked M113A3s are widely availability in war stocks to include CENTCOM and older M113A2s are unused storage here in CONUS (attached excel spreadsheet) and can be made land mine/RPG resistant. This information is compelling and should be forwarded with our request to FORSCOM.

M113s in war stocks (Army Prepositioned Sets)

[M113 Gavins in war stock data write to us if you are a Soldier needed it: itsg@hotmail.com]

4. Cost to to add underbelly and RPG protection to M113 is small; less than $78,000. Much of this add-on armor is already in the supply system.

M113 Gavin RPG resistant applique' armor

Passive Armor: www.rafael.co.il/division/ordnance/arm_prod_line/passive.html

Active Armor: www.rafael.co.il/division/ordnance/arm_prod_line/reactive.html

M113 Gavin underbelly armor

Belly Armor Kit / Cage No. 80212, P/N 4240277

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence" M113 Gavin Gunshields

NSNs Track Commander's Cupola Shield Kit, Machine Gun / 2510-00-121-8990 Shield, Protective / 2510-01-006-4587

TC's cupola gunshields + side gunshields for the two troop hatch MGs

The NSN number for the complete Gun Shield Kit including the cargo hatch side shields is NSN 2590-00-121-8990. AMDF price is $11,708.00. Check the Army supply system for availability(?) If the "system" doesn't have the shields (likely) the DSC bids for someone to make them like they did in 1999: 25 - SOL:SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN (10/29/99) http://www.fbodaily.com/cbd/archive/1999/10(October)/29-Oct-1999/25sol001.htm COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY ISSUE OF OCTOBER 29,1999 PSA#2465 Defense Supply Center Columbus, PO Box 16595, DSCC-PBAB, Columbus, OH 43216-6595 25 -- SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN SOL SP075000R2737 DUE 121799 POC For Information Only, Point of Contact -- Carol Black Phone:614-692-1346 Fax: 614-692-1577 NSN: 2590-00-121-8990, YPC99201000244. Shield Kit, Machine Gun. Made in accordance with Army drawing 11660854 and all current related data. Full and open competition applies. Quantity is 52 each to be delivered within 150 days after date of award to Richmond, Va. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered. See note(s) 12 and 26. Copies of this solicitation are available at the address above or by faxing 614-692-2262 or e-mailing: incoord @ dscc.dla.mil and will not be available until 15 days after this notice is published in the CBD. Requests should include the company name, address and solicitation number(s). The small business size standard is 750 employees. Technical drawings/bid sets are available from DSCC-VTCD via one of the following medias: internet at http://abiweb.disc.dla.mil; facsimile at 614-692-2344; e-mail at drawings @ dscc.dla.mil or by mail at Defense Supply Center Columbus, ATTN: DSCC-VTCD, P O Box 3990, Columbus, OH. 43216-5000. Requests should include theRFP number, opening/closing date, NSN, Purchase Request number (e.g. YPC), Buyer's name and your complete name and address. FEDERAL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL SPECIFICATIONS CANNOT BE PROVIDED BY DSCC. Proposed procurement contains a 100% option for increase quantities. This is an unrestricted acquisition. While price may be a significant factor in the evaluation of offers, the final award decision will be based upon a combination of price, delivery, past performance and other evaluation factors as described in the solicitation. Estimated issue date is 18 Nov 99. Posted 10/27/99 (W-SN395719). (0300) Loren Data Corp. http://www.ld.com (SYN# 0194 19991029\25-0001.SOL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25 - Vehicular Equipment Components Index Page However if you don't want to waste months playing with DSC because your men are getting shot at in places like Iraq/Afghanistan, United Defense, the maker of the M113 Gavin can deliver 44 kits in 20-22 weeks. Their price would be around $8,000 per kit, saving you about 4K per kit. Understand that cost does not come into play when we are talking about the safety of our troops but $176,000 buys a hell of a lot of beans and bullets...or better yet more gunshields!

POC: Mr. Tom Reuter
United Defense
M113 Field Service & Spares
(800) 235-0015 Ext: 825
cell @ 256-453-7049

5. M113s are simple to operate and maintain. You could train a Soldier in a week quite well. You don't have 1 DA or civilian contractor per company running around like in SBCTs. The class IX is already in our supply system. The M113 is a multi-purpose vehicle: CSS, INF, ENG, MED. If you want to understand urban ops with a permissive and non-permissive environment blurring, and how to operate in it, look at Israel which oprerates thousands of up-armored M113s and doesn't lose a man a day in combat operations like we are in Iraq. Things Israelis know:

a. Tracked "Tanks rule"!
b. Tanks rule only when working well with infantry
c. Helicopters are great killers: but fly high, fly irregular patterns to avoid shoot-downs. The Longbow is great for precision interdiction. Paint them light tan or gray so they are harder to detect, track and hit during the day time.
d. HUMINT is decisive.
e. Snipers are far more crucial than home station training, manning, employment lend them to be
f. Muslim culture: if it looks bad ass- it is bad ass! Current enemy thinking: "Attack it if it has wheels, if it has tracks, leave it alone, it will shoot back and kill you"
g. That ugly, primitive, simple tracked IDF M113 still is ubiquitious and highly successful: it's heavily armored, it dismounts SOF and infantry, engineers to achieve decisive effects

Are we willing to lose more men than the Beirut barracks to IEDs and RPGs because our leaders are too worried about careers or the funding of Stryker to ask the hard questions of a caring Combat Commander: Why can't I have M113s? They are sitting in storage awaiting a use. Would we rather have me and my men die than weld or strap plates to the side of my HMMWV or wait for expensive and inadequate kits? A Ford Explorer SUV has better armor!

SSG Paul Johnson, 1-505 was KIA in Iraq from an IED.

He didn't die right away.

He died after a few minutes from burns. His HMMWV was blasted and burned. An up-armored M113 would have kept rolling and he'd be alive today.

6. HQDA PAO spokesman, Major Tallman recently stated in a DEFENSE WEEK article "that no ground commander has requested M113s". This is not accurate,

WE and many others ARE REQUESTING more M113s to fully equip our Soldiers with armored mobility and a means to aggressively fight back behind gunshields. Our men are going into harm's way and do not need to be put off with bureaucratic excuses about "MTOEs" and "TRADOC procedures"; we need the tools we require to accomplish the mission and get our men home alive and well.

If combat commanders knew M113s were available even more would request them. However, there is no reason why upgraded M113s couldn't be supplied immediately to us as a "test case" that could be expanded to be applied to the rest of the Army.

7. Iraqi Freedom Key Facts to Date

* 250 Soldiers killed by RPGs and IEDs in unarmored 3-ton HMMWV, 10-ton FMTV and thin-skinned 20-ton Stryker trucks or on foot that could have been saved had they been in up-armored M113s

* 2000 Soldiers wounded and maimed from all types of attacks, specific causes not known, but at same ratio as KIAs would likely mean 1000 Soldiers could have been saved disfigurement had they been in up-armored M113s

* Rebuilding up-armored but still thin-skinned 4+ ton HMMWVs will require two years which at current casualty rates will mean 250 more dead and 500 more wounded by next June's planned major troop reductions

* Up-armored HMMWVs severely stressed by weight their engine and suspension systems are not designed to handle will be even more road-restricted than current HMMWVs and will incur drastically higher operations and maintenance costs negating any desired cost advantages

* M113A3 tracks and engines can easily accept the extra armor/gunshield weights necessary to attain land mine/IED and RPG protection without excessive O & M costs

* Enemy is not targeting up-armored HMMWVs with weapons mounts, it's not accurate to assume up-armoring will protect our Soldiers when we know vehicle is too light to not be tossed into air by land mines/IEDs and cannot be armored to protect against RPGs

* If we up-armor all our HMMWV trucks at a cost of $250,000 each, the enemy will be forced to discover that they are NOT adequately landmine/IED and RPG protected and incur more friendly casualties despite 2 years and $239 million dollars

* Up-armoring M113s will cost $78,000 per vehicle and make them far more protected from land mines/IEDs and resistant to RPGs than any existing Army wheeled vehicle and this can be done in a matter of weeks

* The up-armored M113s are far more cross-country mobile than any wheeled vehicle to fully traverse the entire desert-urban terrain of Iraq to render more effective pre-emptive convoy security clearing of land mines/IEDs and small-arms/RPG ambushes

* M113s have a lower center-of-gravity than Army wheeled vehicles. M113s can swim and at least float if they should drive into an Iraqi river or marsh saving Soldier lives now being lost in roll-overs.

8. There may be built-in resistance to upgrading M113s within those that prescribe to the former CSA's wheeled vision but their private agendas should not matter when we can and should save lives and limbs with upgraded or even as-is M113s. It would be highly embarrassing to the Army that Soldiers were killed/maimed just because a mere 10 more M113 armored vehicles were denied a commander headed for combat.

9. Upgraded M113s would have a "home" in our Army after Iraq for non-linear war

The Stryker armored car purchase is very expensive at $3 million per vehicle and only affects 5 brigades out of 33 in the active Army. If a larger number of M113s were upgraded to get the majority of our troops out of trucks in Iraq, there is an easy "home" for them in the current/future force post-Iraq: supply them to the Delta Weapons Companies and Scout platoons in our light/heavy Divisions who now use inadequate HMMWV trucks for anti-tank and security missions. M113s are fully C-130 air-transportable, combat-loaded to include parachute air-drop. Furthermore, Light Sapper Combat Engineer units with HMMWV trucks transformed to upgraded M113s would be able for the first time to breach under armor using rocket line clearing charges and greater safety. Their brethren, Heavy Division Sappers use old M113s now and need upgraded M113s, too. These M113s could be fitted with hybrid-electric drives, band tracks and the full C4I digital networking features now only resident in the 4th ID and a handful of Stryker wheeled brigades, transforming the rest of our Army to "Future Combat System" capabilities.

10. Specific Requirements

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

11. POC for this memorandum is (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Soldier XXXXXXXXXX
unit XXXX


UPI.com
November 14, 2003

U.S. Casualties From Iraq War Top 9,000

By Mark Benjamin, United Press International

WASHINGTON -- The number of U.S. casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom -- troops killed, wounded or evacuated due to injury or illness -- has passed 9,000, according to new Pentagon data.

In addition to the 397 service members who have died and the 1,967 wounded, 6,861 troops were medically evacuated for non-combat conditions between March 19 and Oct. 30, the Army Surgeon General's office said.

That brings total casualties among all services to more than 9,200, and represents an increase of nearly 3,000 non-combat medical evacuations reported since the first week of October. The Army offered no immediate explanation for the increase.

A leading veterans' advocate expressed concern. "We are shocked at the dramatic increase in casualties," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center.

Of the non-combat medical evacuations:

-- 2,464 were for injuries, such as those sustained in vehicle accidents.
-- 4,397 were due to illness; 504 of those were classified as psychiatric, 378 as neurological, and another 150 as neurosurgery.

"We are especially concerned about the psychological and neurological evacuations from this war," Robinson said. "We request a clarification of the types of illnesses people are suffering from so we do not have a repeat of the first Gulf War. We need to understand the nature and types of illnesses so scientists can determine if significant trends are occurring."

Army Surgeon General's Office spokeswoman Virginia Stephanakis told United Press International Thursday that it is misleading to combine psychiatric and neurological problems. Some of the neurosurgery might be operations on the spinal cord, for example.

"Those are apples and oranges," she said. She also said that some troops evacuated for psychiatric reasons later returned after getting a rest.

In early October, the Army Surgeon General's office said 3,915 Soldiers had been evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom for non-combat injuries and illnesses, including 478 with psychological problems and 387 for neurological reasons. The new total of 6,861 reported non-combat evacuations is a rise of 57 percent since then.

The latest data on non-combat evacuations includes 1,628 orthopedic (bone) injuries. Other leading causes for evacuations include: 831 surgeries for injuries; 289 cardiology cases; 249, gastrointestinal; 242, pulmonary (lung); 634, general surgery; 319, gynecological; 290, urological; 37, dental.

Stephanakis said the pulmonary problems included Soldiers who suffered from pneumonia as part of a cluster investigated by the Army in August. The numbers don't include service members treated in theater or those whose illnesses -- such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- were not apparent until after they returned to the United States.

*********************************************

ARMY:

$250,000 per HMMWV that will NEVER be RPG resistant. Rolls on air-filled rubber tires. Needs 2 years to produce them.

COMMON SENSE:

$25K per vehicle and in 30 days we could have RPG resistant M113 Gavins rolling on steel tracks with rubber pads and metal road wheels IN IRAQ SAVING LIVES AND WINNING FIREFIGHTS.

Uncertainty rules at AM General [Armored Humvee Manufacturer]

http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1031083/posts

Indianapolis Star ^ | November 28, 2003 | Ted Evanoff

DETROIT -- The battle for Iraq has been a mobile fight where many of the 130,000 U.S. troops rely on the Humvee army truck made in Mishawaka, Ind., to get through deserts, swamps and ambushes.

Now the U.S. Army's Tank-armament and Automotive Command in suburban Detroit wants more Humvees toughened to withstand bullets and metal fragments sprayed by explosives.

In a program that would bring the vehicle far beyond its 1985 origin as a sturdy replacement for the jeep, military planners intend to nearly triple orders for Humvees plated in protective high-tech layers called armor.

It would mark the first time that AM General Corp.'s 700-employee Humvee plant would devote nearly half of its annual production to an armored vehicle.

And it comes as company owner Renco Group of New York decides whether to sell its now-valuable truck business. As the only source of a workhorse truck in wide use during a war, South Bend-based AM General could fetch as much as $1 billion.

While the future ownership of the largest defense contractor based in Indiana remains unsettled, the Iraq campaign has spotlighted its work truck.

"The Army would like more M1114s and they'd like them fairly quickly, but that has not yet shaken out," said AM General spokesman Craig MacNab, referring to armored Humvees by the model designation.

Mishawaka workers would assemble the base vehicle for shipment to the Cincinnati-area plant of O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt. A producer of armored limousines and security vehicles, the firm is owned by Armor Holdings Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla. The Ohio plant would add protective steel layered between ceramic, woven fabric and high-tech plastic coats designed to disperse explosive forces.

An armored Humvee loaded with communication gear, standard equipment and a turbocharged 6.5-liter General Motors diesel costs about $250,000, compared to $150,000 for the unarmored vehicle.

Through summer, about 90 U.S. casualties in Iraq were reported in unarmored Humvees that had nosed into combat zones.

Up to now, few of the 140,000-plus Humvees produced over the years in Mishawaka have been armored. Capable of assembling more than 20,000 vehicles a year, AM General makes about 4,000 to 6,000 Humvees a year, including foreign orders, and 600 to 800 of the consumer versions sold by General Motors Corp. as the Hummer H1 luxury sport-utility.

In a separate Mishawaka plant, AM General also makes GM's Hummer H2, a smaller sport-utility resembling the H1 and sold only to consumers.

Last year, Armor Holdings' Ohio plant fitted 623 Humvees. This year, an expanded plant expects to armor 800 of the trucks, company executives told stock analysts in early summer.

With the various appropriation bills moving through Congress, the number in 2004 could more than triple. AM General's MacNab said some reports forecast volumes could rise to 220 a month, or 2,640 armored Humvees in a year.

In addition, the $87 billion Iraq reconstruction measure includes $177 million for 700 Humvees and spare parts. The Army's tank command near Detroit can have those vehicles armored as well, MacNab said, although the size of the Ohio plant appears to limit the number of vehicles it can handle to about 220 a month.

Despite the war, AM General has had no production boom. Humvees survived the campaign to quickly seize Baghdad largely unscathed.

But since the spring offensive, Humvees have been in a spate of ambushes. And many of the vehicles, including those in Afghanistan, are in constant use, approaching the end of their 15-year life cycle.

"The prospect is bright there will be an increase rather than a decrease in orders," MacNab said.

More orders would not automatically lead to hiring more workers. AM General could push back production of regular Humvees while it produces a year's worth of armored models in a few months.

With its distinct low and square profile, Humvees are the military's first replacement for the jeep, the small off-road vehicle pioneered in the 1930s.

The Pentagon's original Humvee specifications called for a 1.25-ton truck capable of easily climbing a sheer wall 23 inches high with 2,500 pounds of cargo, fuel and Soldiers.

The result was a short truck, about as long as the 189-inch Honda Accord midsized sedan. But it was wider than the extra-large Chevrolet Suburban sport-utility.

And its four-wheel-drive system, four-speed GM automatic transmission and independent suspension could move it over rock piles and out of deep mud impassable to most SUVs.

Today, Humvees look much alike. The silhouette is set off by a small vertical front windshield, purposely vertical to cut down on sun glare that might be seen from aircraft.

Despite the common profile, the vehicles come in about 50 styles. All have the all-terrain drive system. Most are built for particular duties. Their cabins are designed for either soldiers, rockets, machine guns, ammunition, weapons, wounded or radios.

One version has a rear cabin slanted down like a hatchback car to avoid blasts from the vehicle's rocket launcher.

One of the lightest models, at 6,500 pounds, is made for commandos and has no doors or sides. It contains machine gun mounts and hooks on the back for water and ammunition bags.

The heaviest, at 12,100 pounds, uses a beefier suspension to carry a small house for a heavy load of radios, cell phones, satellite communications gear and sometimes radar.

Military officials had considered a larger truck in the 15,000-pound range. Its bigger cabin would house more Soldiers and more electronic gear for them to operate. So far, those plans haven't solidified.

Apparently because of the war's cost, a pair of other projects are on hold -- the next-generation Humvee and a hybrid-electric model. The hybrid was intended to reduce fuel use by uniting a large electric motor and smaller diesel.

Even though AM General may be up for sale, U.S. Department of Defense officials have expressed no concern about the Indiana company's possible change of hands, MacNab said.

The Humvee plant is managed by Carter Hamilton, formerly manager of GM's transmission plant at Willow Run, Mich., which supplies the Humvee.

AM General owner Renco Group has considered selling the Indiana truck business to raise funds for an underfunded pension fund at its troubled steel mill at Warren, Ohio.

WCI Steel Inc., formerly part of Republic Steel, sought protection from creditors in September while it drafts a reorganization plan under federal bankruptcy law.

General Motors has an option to buy 40 percent of AM General. The option was included to protect GM's supply of Hummers when it bought the brand marketing rights in 1999 from AM General.

GM's Hummer division has had the corporation's lawyers review the situation, but GM has taken no action.

"We've been aware it's up for sale, or at least he's been testing the waters to see the value of AM General," said GM Hummer spokesman Pete Ternes, referring to Ira Lennert, the New York financier who controls Renco.

Many automotive analysts doubt GM would take over AM General. If it is for sale, GM would probably bring in a partner such as giant Ontario auto parts maker Magna International Inc. to run the Indiana truck business, said auto analyst Chris Struve of the credit rating agency Fitch & Co. of Chicago.

In recent years, GM has spun off divisions and sought joint venture partners in an effort to conserve cash.

Renco asked several potential investors early this year to consider buying the truck business.

Legal rulings say Renco must cover WCI's $100 million pension deficit, said Gary Hubbard, a spokesman in Washington for the United Steel Workers of America union.

Renco owns Kentucky coal, Missouri lead and Utah magnesium mines. But the mining firms have deep legal or financial problems, leaving AM General as the one profitable line within Renco.

In November, WCI came up with $5 million for its quarterly payment to the pension fund. And the steel mill's creditors lost a legal challenge in which they demanded Renco make the pension payment rather than WCI.

Surviving the legal challenge may have taken some pressure off Renco to sell the truck business. Renco spokesman Jon Goldberg said no effort is currently under way to divest AM General. Lennert, a billionaire regarded as one of the wealthiest people in America, acquired both WCI and AM General from the former LTV Corp.

Call Star reporter Ted Evanoff at 1-313-417-9215.

***************************************************************

So here is the Army Iraq plan: hand-off the Iraq mess to the Reserves/National Guard and make them ride to their deaths in up-armored wheeled HMMWV wheeled trucks.

The perfect bureaucratic answer.

1. Reservists can screw up and no regular Army careers will be threatened
2. Wheeled HMMWVs will be cheap to operate so monies can be spent on toys for the regular Army Soldiers
3. Nobody changes, light infantry remains screwed up w/o armored mobility
4. Easier on logisticians who don't have to move any of the tracked AFVs which have saved our men's lives and kicked the enemy's butts like the recent ambush the 4th ID thwarted killing 46 Iraqi guerrillas.

If this is not a set-up for FAILURE, what is?

Reserve, NG To Take Iraq Combat

Associated Press
November 26, 2003

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon's plan for replacing the 130,000 American troops in Iraq with a fresh contingent early next year will shrink the force by 20 percent, change its makeup and place more of the combat burden on the National Guard and Reserve.

If carried out as planned, the switchout will result in a more mobile force, perhaps better suited to the guerrilla-style war that is taking a sobering toll in U.S. deaths and injuries.

The first changes in that direction will be seen even before the newly designated replacement force arrives. A contingent of 5,000 Soldiers in a combat team called the Stryker Brigade, from Fort Lewis, Wash., is training in Kuwait to prepare for duty in Iraq. They are equipped with a new, speedier lightly armored troop carrier and sophisticated communications tools to enable Soldiers to more effectively locate guerrilla threats.

The Stryker Brigade is likely to see action in the so-called Sunni Triangle, the area between Baghdad, Ramadi and Tikrit where resistance to U.S. forces has been the deadliest.

"It is absolutely optimized for this kind of fight," said Lt. Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations, who is overseeing the Army's provision of fresh forces.

The Army is calling on the National Guard and Reserve to contribute more next year - and not just in supporting roles. Three Guard infantry brigades will be there, of which at least two will see combat.

Nearly 40 percent of the 105,000 troops in the new force will be National Guard and Reserve. That compares with about a 20 percent share in the current force of 130,000 troops. And it won't be just Army reservists; the marines plan to use about 6,000 of their Citizen-Soldiers.

The main replacement force will arrive over a four-month period, from January through April. They will be lighter and more agile than the units they replace; they'll have two-thirds fewer tanks and Bradley armored troop carriers, trading firepower for mobility.

An armored division like the 1st Cavalry Division, for example, will equip two of the three battalions in each of its brigades with Humvee utility vehicles instead of tanks and Bradleys. The 1st Cavalry, based at Fort Hood, Texas, will actually be larger than a normal division, since it will operate with the 39th Infantry Brigade of the Arkansas National Guard.

The switch away from heavy armored forces has created such demand for Humvees that the Army is pulling every available one (fortified with add-on armor) out of bases in the United States and Europe, Cody said.

The Army is so stretched for soldiers that it is imposing "stop-loss" on all units designated for duty in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. That means those troops cannot leave the service even if they planned to retire. The clamp will remain for the duration of their duty in Iraq plus three months beyond, Cody said.

The 1st Cavalry likely will be responsible for the Baghdad area, replacing the 1st Armored Division.

The 1st Infantry Division, coming from several locations in Germany, will be joined by the 30th Infantry Brigade of the North Carolina National Guard. They probably will operate in place of the 4th Infantry and 101st Airborne divisions in northern Iraq, including the Kurdish area.

The Bush administration had counted on getting a multinational division to replace the 101st Airborne, but that has not panned out. Multinational divisions led by Britain and Poland will continue operating in the less volatile south-central and southeastern parts of Iraq.

Elements of the 1st marine division, joined by one active-duty Army brigade, are expected to be assigned to western Iraq, including the Fallujah area that has been especially hostile to U.S. forces.

The 1st marine division played a major role in the invasion of Iraq in March and capture of Baghdad in April, then operated in south-central Iraq until handing off responsibility to the Polish-led group in September. The Army, which has shouldered most of the burden in Iraq in recent months and taken almost all of the casualties, is stretched so thin around the world that it will have to extend Soldiers' tours of duty in Afghanistan to make the Iraq 2004 rotation plan work.

The 10th Mountain Division had been scheduled to end a six-month tour in Afghanistan in February, but will stay three months longer. Its designated replacement, the 25th Infantry Division, will serve for 12 months instead of the previously planned six months, Army officials said.


FEEDBACK!

E-mail 1st TSG (A)

1997 update from Stewart and Stevenson, maker of the FMTV:

"RE: In response to your questions from May 18th. We do not have anti-mine kits yet. The Army is talking about such kits, but development has not yet begun. Same for the center-line troop seats and a quick latch tailgate. S&S could do such a set-up, but no one has asked for it yet."

Dave Christensen

[2003]

An Army officer writes in:

"When elements of V Corps arrived in Kuwait this time last year they had brand new GREEN vehicles. Those things were so pretty it was a shame to have to use them. And people are now starting to see it as a problem? The big problem I see is that for all the years the military has known that the [Middle East] ME would be our major engagement area they continue to paint everything green.

Exposure to CARC is not a joke and those short-term effects will manifest themselves as long-term health effects. CARC is as dangerous as the chemicals it is supposed to protect us from. Lets get some of those bureaucrats that's forcing this issue to come out and ride with the troops for awhile---in Iraq. The simple solution since chemical weapons attacks are not likely is to use commercially available paint and stencil in big letters NON CARC PAINT."

From : xxxxxx
Sent : Saturday, July 16, 2005 1:44 PM
To : itsg@hotmail.com
Subject : Sir, Thank you so much for your insights

"I'm currently a cadet in an ROTC program with a desire to become an armor officer when I get my commission. I have to say I agree 110% of everything you mentioned in your website. Your insights are among greatest military minds and of most experienced Soldiers. It is a shame that the U.S. Army is not led by men of your caliber, instead, our troops are cursed with men like General Shinseki, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of the pencil-pushing bureaucrats in the Pentagon that continues to needlessly sacrifice our finest volunteered warriors by betraying them with 3rd rated armor and vehicles. When I become an armor officer, I will apply everything I've learned from you to ensure that my troops are among the best protected warriors.

When I was an E-4 specialist, I was fortunate enough to be deployed to Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany where my job was to help care for our maimed and wounded warriors from down range. It aches my heart to see first hand the consequences of these fine men and women to be forced into patrols and convoys in those stupid coffin on wheels knowns as the M1114 Hummvee. It angers me even more to see that after 2 years and our K.I.A now at nearly 1,500, those pen pushing bureaucrats in the Pentagon have yet to take our troops out of the Humvee and put them into the M113 Gavins. Where are America's great generals as in WW II? Why in the 21st Century must the U.S. Army be plagued with some of the most incompetence generals whose mentalities are still stuck back in the U.S. Civil War ? i.e......."Line up the Troops, SHOOTS, AND WAIT TO GET SHOT" ! This is same mentality of our generals and commanders have when they put our troops into the Humvee, run up and down a highway waiting for an E.I.D. to go off ! THEY ARE KILLING US TO EASY ! AND WE ARE LETTING THEM !

I had always been an advocates of armored vehicles when the War started, and it shocked me to see half a dozen of soldiers packed into a bare frame Humvee driving down the roads of Iraq. When the I.E.D. starts to become a daily fact of life, I even proposed the idea of "Concealed Patrols" to an infantry captain in an casual talk. I remember him brushing off my idea at first, then said that "this war is going to be fight the way the Corporations want it...... they want to put Humvee out there to be meals for I.E.D so they can build newer and better Humvees at the expense of soldier's lives." The idea was to have our troops patrol in Iraqi civilian vehicles to eliminate the bulky Humvee profile that the insurgents look for when the detonate the I.E.D. These disguised patrols will have concealed and synchronized strobe lights for IFF purposes and each unit will fuction the same way unmarked police vehicles does. Such tactics will allow us to blend in and use the enemy's greatest advantages agaisnt them. In this unconventional war, only unconventional thinking and pragmatic minds will prevail."

xxxx


Private Murphy's View

Want Murphy in Your Pocket?

On your desk?


Return to U.S. Army Airborne Equipment Shop