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No excuses, Rumsfeld: Fix the problem
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Wednesday, in Kuwait, 31 year old National Guard Specialist stood up and asked the Secretary of Defense a question:
Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked Rumsfeld, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from other soldiers who had assembled in an aircraft hangar to see Rumsfeld.
It seemed to stop the Sec Def in his tracks, like "what did you say"?
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.
Rumsfeld then answered:
"You go to war with the Army you have," Rumsfeld replied, "not the Army you might want or wish to have."
Well you know what Rummy, that might, just might have been an acceptable answer when we first went into Iraq, but its been what, almost 2 years now? That answer just won't cut it anymore. In fact its completely unacceptable. As is Rumsfeld's further answer:
He also said military vehicles that go into Iraq without full armor are used only inside U.S. compounds, rather than used on street patrols where they are vulnerable to roadside bombs. And he said those vehicles without full armor are moved into Iraq on transport vehicles rather than being driven.
Maybe, in a perfect world. But Iraq and its exigencies and requirements hardly forms that perfect world. To make that point, consider the statement made by a "senior officer" in that unit (most likely the deputy commander):
A senior officer in Wilson's unit, Col. John Zimmerman, said 95 percent of the unit's more than 300 trucks had insufficient armor.
So ... 5% are going to haul 95% on transports? And 95% are only going to be used inside US compounds, and not on street patrols?

Yeah, right.

Does anyone else feel like raising the bullshit flag?

Enough of this nonsense, Rumsfeld. The problem isn't something which hasn't been known to us since the insurgency began, nor is it something for which the money isn't available. Get off your ass, make it a priority like it should have been a year ago and get the trucks armored up as they should be. It was accomplished with armoring up Humvees, and there is absolutely no reason the same program can't and be applied to armoring up trucks.

As for Spec. Wilson ... thanks for speaking up. He asked for questions and you used the proper forum to air your problem. Hopefully public pressure will now take over and get you the "army you want" instead of the lame crap the Secretary of Defense, safely sitting in his Pentagon office, has thrown out there.

Am I mad about this? Yes. This is the height of arrogance in my book and the soldiers deserved a better answer than the one Rumsfeld gave. They also deserve immediate action to fix a problem the command structure has been aware of, but apparently hasn't acted upon, for two years. That is both unacceptable and inexcusable.

UPDATE: A number of readers have taken exception to my characterization of Rumsfeld's remark as arrogant. Tim, at Random Observations even dedicated an entire post to the matter. My answer has Tim's name on it but its really designed to answer why I thought and still think that the answer is arrogant. To Tim alone, I address his interesting attempt to label my outrage as "taking the liberal stance:"

Tim takes me to task for supposedly getting half the story on the Rumsfeld meeting.

Tim, in my opinion, there's no half the story to get. You find my characterization of Rumsfeld's quote as arrogant to be a result of taking it out of context. I'd simply point out that after reading the rest of the quote it became apparent he was trying to cover his arrogance with a dollop of "gee we're really concerned and working on it" to cover his ass.

You know what ... he didn't sell it well at all. You characterize his quote as almost apologetic. That's just as unacceptable in my book. He shouldn't be up there apologizing for not fixing a very basic problem that is as old as this one is. It should have been fixed.

When a problem of this sort is 2 years old and still not fixed, it is ARROGANT to tell a soldier concerned with having to drive a vehicle which isn't well prepared for the mission ahead, that he has to live with the army he has, not the one he wishes he had, especially when the means and the time to correct the problem have been available. It is ARROGANT to try to excuse your organization's ineptitude by pointing out that tanks and Humvees which are armored still get blown up. Yeah, there you go, so what's the fuss, right?

Tim also managed to avoid citing the quote from Col John Zimmerman of the unit in question which points out that after 2 years of knowing the problem existed, Rumsfeld, et. al., allowed this unit to deploy with 95% of his trucks with insufficient armor.

95% of the 300 trucks in that unit have insufficient armor, Tim. 2 years after identifying the problem and a solution, 95% of the trucks in that unit don't have the solution. Why?

Maybe that's acceptable to you. Perhaps you'd be content to put your son or daughter in one of the trucks and let them brave the roads in Iraq. I damn sure wouldn't. Not when the time and the money to fix the problem have been there for those 2 years. I find the fact that our soldiers are picking through junkyards in an effort to fix a problem Rumsfeld and the Pentagon have known about for 2 years to be UNACCEPTABLE.

Warfare is dangerous enough without courting stupid self-inflicted wounds due to incompetence and ineptitude. A problem of no armor kits for freakin' standard army HMTT, duce and a halfs and five tons, after two goddamn years is inexcusable. Somehow we were able to turn out a bomber a day in WWII, but we can't turn out enough armor kits for standard army vehicles in 2 years? Yeah, I'm buying that load of crap, Tim. Sure I am.

Its not been a priority, that's the problem. That's the bottom line.

And to stand up before a man who'll be driving one of those trucks into a combat zone and tell him his concerns aren't that vital (after all tanks get blown up too, you know) after he's been picking through junk yards for scraps of armor and ballistic glass to protect the men and women who'll be in his truck is the height of ARROGANCE, Tim.

The very pinnacle.

Regardless of his attempt to then cover it up within the rest of his response, what he said was and is ARROGANT as well as UNACCEPTABLE.

That being said, per Tim, apparently my worst sin was as follows:
He screams for things to be done immediately, as though the Army were sitting on it's hands, or as though we just hadn't bother to spend the necessary funds.

The liberal assumption is that we have unlimited resources which can be put into play immediately; perfection is possible, all it takes is the proper government program, failures are always due to someone's ill will or bad character.

Conservatives (and libertarians, I'm told) are supposed to be occupied with understanding real-world tradeoffs and costs, and understand the limited success government can bring.

McQ seems to be taking the liberal stance here.
We've uparmored the vast majority of Humvees in theater after recognizing a problem. Obviously both the time, the resources and the priority have been available to do that. What Tim prefers to think of as a liberal stance which argues "we have unlimited resources which can be put into play immediately" is instead a question of why something which has obviuosly been a problem for quite some time hasn't been given the priority it should have been given over the two years its been known to exist?

Two years. Is that asking for something to be done immediately?

I suspect that if Tim really spent the time to analyze this he'd realize that this isn't something which suddenly cropped up, but has been a problem since we first crossed the border into Iraq. The resourses are there, why wasn't the priority there as well?

Tim avoids that question to stretch mightly and lay the liberal label on me. Fine. If questioning the reason a 2 year old problem hasn't been properly and adequately addressed when it comes to troop safety gets me the label of a liberal, I'll wear it proudly. I would assume, then, that every platoon leader, company commander and battalion commander who now questions why available resourses and measures weren't given the priority necessary to help better protect their soldiers will be labeled as liberals as well.

My guess is they too will accept the label if someone will just give this problem the priority it deserves instead of telling them that, hey, tanks blow up too, you know.
 
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This is the height of arrogance in my book and the soldiers deserved a better answer than the one Rumsfeld gave

Not sure "arrogance" is the word you want here. Would an arrogant Sec Def even bother to ever listen to troop complaints (unscreened evidentally), much less a complaint from lower-ranking soldier?

Of course, your main point still stands
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
This is the height of arrogance in my book and the soldiers deserved a better answer than the one Rumsfeld gave

Not sure "arrogance" is the word you want here. Would an arrogant Sec Def even bother to ever listen to troop complaints (unscreened evidentally), much less a complaint from lower-ranking soldier?

Of course, your main point still stands
The arrogance is in the answer, Shark. It dismisses the concerns as those of a "wisher" instead of someone faced with the stark reality of driving an unarmored vehicle in an area in which those type vehicles are routinely destroyed quite easily. That`s arrogance where I come from.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
And what would you rather have him drive? The military does not have armored logistical vehicles. The HMTT is essentially unarmored, just quite spry over rough terrain. If you armor the trucks then they cannot carry as many supplies (potentially much less if you are armoring a large vehicle against RPGs). Plus they are slower. You have to make more trips, provide more opportunities for attack, and you are easier to target.

Honestly they are running up against the WWII bomber mentality here. The troops wanted more armor and more/bigger guns. After the war ended everyone did the opposite. This is because studies repeatedly showed it was better to go "light" and fast with the same bomb load. Instead they are trying to go medium or heavy and will likely get the crap kicked out of them every time. The answer is not to build better targets, it is make the current ones harder to hit.

I think the most honest quote is "95 percent of the units more than 300 trucks had insufficient armor". Thats a bullshit statement if I ever heard it. It can mean anything from, "we'd like a few more sandbags please" to "our trucks can't take the same punishment our escort Bradleys/Abrams do". Leave the trucks the way they are and ride herd with something that has teeth.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
McQ, I am not sure I would call it arrogance. It strikes more as the "Do what you can with what you have, until you get something better" mentality. The first thing I thought of was our tankers in WWII, with their M-4s, getting hammeres by much superior tanks, and for the most part, all we did was send em a few more M-4s, with a few 17pdr Fireflys thrown in so they may be able to take out some of the Tigers/Panthers. We had heavy tank designs in the works the whole time, but nothing actually hit the battlefield until the M-26, to late to affect much. And most of the bigger European tank battles we engaged in were2 years into it, also.
Just a thought.
 
Written By: Crusader
URL: http://
McQ, I am not sure I would call it arrogance. It strikes more as the "Do what you can with what you have, until you get something better" mentality. The first thing I thought of was our tankers in WWII, with their M-4s, getting hammeres by much superior tanks, and for the most part, all we did was send em a few more M-4s, with a few 17pdr Fireflys thrown in so they may be able to take out some of the Tigers/Panthers. We had heavy tank designs in the works the whole time, but nothing actually hit the battlefield until the M-26, to late to affect much. And most of the bigger European tank battles we engaged in were2 years into it, also.
Just a thought.
I`m sorry Crusader, but while that was an acceptable point 2 years ago, it is no longer an acceptable point now, and, in my opinion, it is the height of arrogance to now lay that turd at the feet of soldiers picking through junk yards to jury rig their vehicles and make them more survivable, especially when the problem has been known for two years and the solution hasn`t apparently been a priority.
In the case of the M-4`s we adapted tactics to enhance survivablity. We hunted German tanks is packs. Unless I`m mistaken, there are very few tactics which enable us to avoid IEDs. The answer is simple. Uparmor the vehicle`s crew cab and make it more survivable. The question is, whiy after 2 freakin` years of knowing this, are they not uparmored? And it is ARROGANT to say to a soldier after that two years that it is, in essence, just something he`s going to have to live with.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
And what would you rather have him drive? The military does not have armored logistical vehicles. The HMTT is essentially unarmored, just quite spry over rough terrain. If you armor the trucks then they cannot carry as many supplies (potentially much less if you are armoring a large vehicle against RPGs). Plus they are slower. You have to make more trips, provide more opportunities for attack, and you are easier to target.

Nonsense, Jeff. Up armoring the Humvee has saved lives. There`s not even any argument about it. Its been proven. And we`re not talking about armoring the entire HMTT, duce and a half or 5 ton. We`re talking about armoring the crew cab. Blow the supplies away if you wish, but make such a ambush survivable for the crew instead of catastrophic. Beefing up the floorboards, putting in ballistic glass and putting stand-off mesh or screening (or even thicker plate armor) on the crew compartment isn`t going to take a single milimeter away from the cargo compartment.
Honestly they are running up against the WWII bomber mentality here. The troops wanted more armor and more/bigger guns. After the war ended everyone did the opposite. This is because studies repeatedly showed it was better to go "light" and fast with the same bomb load. Instead they are trying to go medium or heavy and will likely get the crap kicked out of them every time. The answer is not to build better targets, it is make the current ones harder to hit.

Again, the success of crew survival in uparmored Hmvees speaks against this compeltely. Unlike bombers it is very easy to hit a convoy no matter what the speed. Two IEDs, one blows where ever in the convoy and brings it to a halt. Number two blows away the unlucky one or two vehicles which happen to have been forced to stop beside it. Trying to compare what these soldiers are trying to survive to bombers is simply not at all analogous. They deal with a two-dimensional road and not the three dimensions of flight.
I think the most honest quote is "95 percent of the units more than 300 trucks had insufficient armor". Thats a bullshit statement if I ever heard it. It can mean anything from, "we`d like a few more sandbags please" to "our trucks can`t take the same punishment our escort Bradleys/Abrams do". Leave the trucks the way they are and ride herd with something that has teeth.
Has teeth? What sort of "teeth" take out a IED, Jeff? What allows crews to survive attacks with IEDs is ARMOR, like it or not. What is your problem with putting the appropriate armor on trucks like we did on Humvees and giving the crews a fighting chance of surviving an IED attack?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
when the problem has been known for two years and the solution hasn`t apparently been a priority.

I call BS on you McQ for this statement. Monthly production of armored humvees went from less than 5 to over 450 during that time, for instance.

You do not in fact know that "the solutions hasn't been a priority" -- and the 'apparently' is a weasel word here, given the rest of your rhetoric.

I live and work with uniformed military, some of whom deploy to Iraq. I take their safety seriously. But for goodness' sake, stop drinking the media-prepped kool aid by asserting that the SECDEF and brass don't care about national guard safety.

Have you ever, personally, been responsible for getting something engineered, manufactured and fielded rapidly? And done so while regular production is already strained to capacity?

I have -- and I know what Rumsfeld et al are balancing right now. If you haven't, it would be a good time to remain a little more humble.
 
Written By: anon
URL: http://
Interesting, if true.
 
Written By: Crusader
URL: http://
Also, looks like we HAVE been working to get them what they need.

And scroll down, you see that I am not the only one thinking WWII and M-4s. It is being handled, but Rome was not built in a day, sorry to say. Not the height of arrogance in my book , but a fact of the logistical reality.
 
Written By: Crusader
URL: http://
Also, looks like we HAVE been working to get them what they need.

And scroll down, you see that I am not the only one thinking WWII and M-4s. It is being handled, but Rome was not built in a day, sorry to say. Not the height of arrogance in my book , but a fact of the logistical reality.
Logistical reality just doesn`t cut it for me Crusader. Depot level maintenence was available here in the states prior to the deployment to Iraq. They`ve known for over a year this unit was being deployed. Explain to me, logistically, why we`re waiting until the get to Kuwait before we address the problem, and then still not offering a solution?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
McQ: Rumsfeld`s answer was not arrogant, it was simply taken out of context. You fell for the media spin. The main point does not, in fact, still stand.
Tim, I`ve updated the post addressing your post on Random Observations.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
Interesting, if true.
Interesting, true (and if true), but in my estimation, pretty irrelevant. Its not like a real problem wasn`t being addressed.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
I work regularly on a military post whose primary duty is the maintenance of Army vehicles. They upgrade the armor on Humvees and Strykers (among other vehicles) and produce armor kits to send to various field units for self upgrade.

They have been busting their asses for over a year to get more vehicles upgraded and more kits produced. They've shut down facilities that served various other vehicle maintenance purposes and converted them to bays for upgrading vehicles or assembling armor kits. Yet, they don't anticipate being "finished" for another two years. Why? Because the Army has a LOT of vehicles. These people are moving heaven and earth to do the damn job and have received everything that they have asked for resource-wise. In fact, they're going to carry funding over to next year because they can't spend it productively this year.

All this despite the fact that they are pulling everybody, contractor and military alike in for overtime and are using personnel that are barely trained for the work. They'd pull in more folks, but the fact is that pulling an untrained person in barely increases productivity at all, since a trained person has to watch over them to make sure that they don't screw it up, which lowers tyhe trained person's productivity by almost as much as the untrained person contributes. They are training people as fast as they can, but they already have everyone who it is possible to actually train on-the-job in the works.

None of this is made simpler by the fact that not only are the armor packages for seperate types of vehicles different, but there are several different armor packages for each type of vehicle, depending on that vehicle's role. For instance, ironically, the vehicles actually being used in combat in Fallujah have a lighter armor package than vehicles that are solely used for transport, because the heavier armor package also makes it harder for the occupants to identify threats. Offense is, after all, the best defense in such a situation.

As for the rest, maybe you had better take a deep breath and control your anger. You are reading a slanted press report based on a question planted by a reporter. Try reading this post: "Rumsfeld Grilled By Soldiers?" at http://www.missick.com/. It is by a soldier who was actually there at the event. Try reading some of the others he links to also. I'm afraid that you will find that you get an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT take on the situation than you got from the damned AP.

 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
when the problem has been known for two years and the solution hasn`t apparently been a priority.

I call BS on you McQ for this statement. Monthly production of armored humvees went from less than 5 to over 450 during that time, for instance.

You do not in fact know that "the solutions hasn`t been a priority" -- and the `apparently` is a weasel word here, given the rest of your rhetoric.

And I call BS on you. If we can do that why can`t we do the same for armor kits for standard US military trucks inthe same time frame? Because to do so would require there to be a priority, just like we gave to the armor kits for Humvees. Where are they, anon, if they are such a freakin` priority. If we could do it for Humvees in such a short time, why not trucks? You don`t even have to armor the whole truck ... just the crew cab. Where are they anon if this was such a freakin` priority?
I live and work with uniformed military, some of whom deploy to Iraq. I take their safety seriously. But for goodness` sake, stop drinking the media-prepped kool aid by asserting that the SECDEF and brass don`t care about national guard safety.

Have you ever, personally, been responsible for getting something engineered, manufactured and fielded rapidly? And done so while regular production is already strained to capacity?

I have -- and I know what Rumsfeld et al are balancing right now. If you haven`t, it would be a good time to remain a little more humble.
Anon, I spent 28 years doing this stuff. I was an infantryman. I don`t accept bullshit excuses for nonperformance concerning a 2 year old problem that is costing the lives of troops we`ve sent into harm`s way. This didn`t just crop up yesterday. And if we were able to gear up in that time frame and solve the problems for one set of vehicles (Humvees), then I`m sorry, but I find no accpetable excuse for not doing so for another. Nor do I find acceptable this knee-jerk defense of the Sec Def just because he comes from a right-wing administration. His organization has failed the troops in this instance and he needs to fix the freakin` problem post haste.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
I work regularly on a military post whose primary duty is the maintenance of Army vehicles. They upgrade the armor on Humvees and Strykers (among other vehicles) and produce armor kits to send to various field units for self upgrade.

They have been busting their asses for over a year to get more vehicles upgraded and more kits produced. They`ve shut down facilities that served various other vehicle maintenance purposes and converted them to bays for upgrading vehicles or assembling armor kits. Yet, they don`t anticipate being "finished" for another two years. Why? Because the Army has a LOT of vehicles. These people are moving heaven and earth to do the damn job and have received everything that they have asked for resource-wise. In fact, they`re going to carry funding over to next year because they can`t spend it productively this year.

No one sazid they weren`t Terry. You`ve just made my point however. I`ve been saying this hasn`t been a priority which is why it has lingered for two years without a solution. Humvees and Strykers have been the priority.

So what`s the solution? Well we claim we`re a war. Why in the world don`t we act like it and expand our procurement and manufacturing of armor to outside the overburdened facilities like yours? Sound reasonable?

So why aren`t we doing it?
All this despite the fact that they are pulling everybody, contractor and military alike in for overtime and are using personnel that are barely trained for the work. They`d pull in more folks, but the fact is that pulling an untrained person in barely increases productivity at all, since a trained person has to watch over them to make sure that they don`t screw it up, which lowers tyhe trained person`s productivity by almost as much as the untrained person contributes. They are training people as fast as they can, but they already have everyone who it is possible to actually train on-the-job in the works.

Sounds like a problem which should have been addressed some time ago, Terry. Why wasn`t it ... if we`re at war and all?
None of this is made simpler by the fact that not only are the armor packages for seperate types of vehicles different, but there are several different armor packages for each type of vehicle, depending on that vehicle`s role. For instance, ironically, the vehicles actually being used in combat in Fallujah have a lighter armor package than vehicles that are solely used for transport, because the heavier armor package also makes it harder for the occupants to identify threats. Offense is, after all, the best defense in such a situation.

As for the rest, maybe you had better take a deep breath and control your anger. You are reading a slanted press report based on a question planted by a reporter. Try reading this post: "Rumsfeld Grilled By Soldiers?" at http://www.missick.com/. It is by a soldier who was actually there at the event. Try reading some of the others he links to also. I`m afraid that you will find that you get an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT take on the situation than you got from the damned AP.

Appreciate the advise to take a deep breath, but I can read the transcript just as easily as the next guy. The point remains that this isn`t a recent problem nor is it a problem which has recently surfaced. Right after the end of major combat operations stories surfaced about units rumaging around for armor plate to up armor their trucks. Everyone, to include Rumsfeld and Gen. Whitcom recognize its a problem, as admitted in the meeting.

My question remains, why after 2 years is it STILL a problem. And a hint: I don`t accept the "logistics and physics" nonsense that Rummy put out there. It seems apparent, at least to me, that a 2 year old problem that isn`t fixed hasn`t had the priority it deserved.
In relative terms, we had enough time to quickly do the Humvees. Given we`re at war, why didn`t we have an equally quick solution to the problem for trucks?

Answer?

Priority.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
McQ I was going to respond specifically, but frankly you seem a bit too emotionally involved with this to make it worth it for any of us. No offense, I respect your opinion, but you need to calm down. Your reaction is coming off as totally knee-jerk and emotion ridden rant. I realize this is very important to you, but you have quite obviously lost your objectivity here. This whole topic of how we fight the war is too important for that. I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong or anything like that. Please man, step back and calm down a bit.

What you are suggesting is that the US military make protecting its soldiers its #1 priority. That sounds great, but frankly killing the enemy/winning the war is a far better #1 priority and you should know that. Defense doesn't win wars (or ball games) and resources aren't infinite. Whether you like it or not, uparmoring everything that "needs it" would require a huge investment that is unlikely to be worth it in terms of winning the war and defeating the enemy.

Do we need/want more uparmored vehicles? Sure we do, but lets not pretend that there are no trade offs inherent in that decision. We can spend infinite money of defense and still lose the war.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
Some details on the Army's effort to up-armor vehicles in the field:

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2004/n12082004_2004120809.html

Armored Humvees, Tactics Address IED Threats
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2004 American industry is cranking out armored Humvees as fast as it can, but other initiatives already have saved lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Department officials said here today.

Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita said at a Pentagon news conference that in August 2003, industry was producing only 15 armored Humvees per month. "Commanders there at that point started to face this growing improvised explosive device challenge and said that they would like to have higher numbers of armored Humvees than they had originally projected," he said.

American industry responded, and today about 450 armored Humvees are being made each month. There are 19,000 Humvees in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. This area extends from Kazakhstan to Kenya. Of these, officials said, 15,000 are armored vehicles or have been fitted with armor.

In addition, the Army Research Lab developed armor kits that can be fit on regular Humvees. The Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command is making these kits.

The armor is needed because the IED is weapon of choice of the enemy. They plant these devices on the sides of roads and as targets go by, they use remote devices to explode the charges. IEDs can be anything from hand grenades rigged to garage-door openers to artillery shells wired to the cell phones. One blast was so powerful it overturned an Abrams main battle tank.

The armor helps, but the Army's IED Task Force also has helped. "While armor provides protection, it is not the be-all and end-all for security," said Army Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a DoD spokesman. "The Army's IED Task Force and the Center for Army Lessons Learned have provided as much, if not more, protection for our forces by sharing tactics, techniques and procedures to help counter IED attacks."

Officials would not be specific about the contributions of the organizations they don't want to provide information to the enemy. But another Pentagon official said, "We have saved more lives with tactics, techniques and procedures than with armor."

The Army is the lead service for combating IEDs, but all services contribute to the effort and all services benefit from the research, said officials.

The armor issue certainly is a high priority for the military. "People like having that security, that's for sure," said an Army spokesman. The Army is speeding up production of armor add-on kits not only for Humvees, but also for all wheeled vehicles that will be deployed to the CENTCOM area. To date, the Army has added armor to 507 heavy tactical trucks, to 492 medium tactical vehicles, to two heavy equipment trailers, to eight M-915 trucks and to 187 palletized load system vehicles.

The Army has four depots, two arsenals and one ammunition plant working on the armor kits. Overall production is in the 100s per month.

The Army has received $1.2 billion for armored Humvees and armor kits since the fiscal 2003 supplemental budget bill was passed.
 
Written By: bob
URL: http://
McQ I was going to respond specifically, but frankly you seem a bit too emotionally involved with this to make it worth it for any of us. No offense, I respect your opinion, but you need to calm down. Your reaction is coming off as totally knee-jerk and emotion ridden rant. I realize this is very important to you, but you have quite obviously lost your objectivity here.
Jeff, that`s simply a cop out. What manner of objectivity is necessary to recognize that a problem which has been known for two years has not, to this point, be adequately or properly addressed.

And don`t mistake my passion about this as a loss of objectivity either.

Two things have surprised me about the reaction thus far.

A) an almost knee-jerk defense of Rumsfeld and an attempted rationalization of this as "not his fault". When I was a company commander I understood that everything that did happen or didn`t happen while I was in command was my responsiblity. Isn`t Rumsfeld held to the same standard?

B) that excuses are being made for nonperformace, pushing the lack of armor off to "logistics and physics". You know what, nonsense. The lack of armor is due to lack of priority, plain and simple. This is a country which was able to conceive, design and produce entire weapons systems during WWII in under two years. Are you trying to tell me that it is beyond our capacity to produce armor kits for trucks in one country in the same time now, Jeff? No way. Unless there`s been a lack of priority there.
This whole topic of how we fight the war is too important for that. I`m not saying I`m right and you`re wrong or anything like that. Please man, step back and calm down a bit.

Jeff, we fight wars with soldiers. We resupply soldiers using other soldiers. One of the primary and most important jobs of any military commander is to take every measure possible to enhance and maximize force protection. That is what this is about, albeit, in the grand scheme of things, a fairly minor part.. Unlike some, I`m not willing to accept excuses or condone failure when it is apparent that all the steps which could be taken haven`t been taken in terms of issues like this.

If we were 3 months into Iraq I`d be right with you saying, "give it time, they`ll get the solution together, but it doesn`t happen overnight". Well guess what Jeff .... overnight is gone and two years later, we still have a failure in the force protection area.
What you are suggesting is that the US military make protecting its soldiers its #1 priority.
That`s a heck of a leap, Jeff. I`ve never even intimated that was its primary mission. But it has a duty, when possible to protect the force. Its been more than possible in this case to do that, and it has not. That, in my estimation, is a failure which needs to be addressed and addressed immediately. That`s my point. Give it more prioirity than it has obviously gotten in the past two years.
That sounds great, but frankly killing the enemy/winning the war is a far better #1 priority and you should know that.
Well gee, why not just have `em walk into Iraq then? Who needs armored vehicles? Look, as you should know as well, amateurs talk tactics and pros talk logistics. Guess what part of the system the lack of armor on trucks makes most vulnerable?

We`re involved with an insurgency. There are no nice clean front lines with pretty MSRs that trucks can travel in relative safety. They`re as much on the front-line as many of the combat units. Its time we gave them the same priority in terms of force protection.

Is that asking too much of the Pentagon and Rumsfeld? Or are you content to see this continue to be a problem for another couple of years?
Defense doesn`t win wars (or ball games) and resources aren`t infinite. Whether you like it or not, uparmoring everything that "needs it" would require a huge investment that is unlikely to be worth it in terms of winning the war and defeating the enemy.
Jeff, if you`re going to put soldier`s in a particular environment it is incumbent upon you, it is your responsiblity as a commander, to give them all the tools they need to better survive that environment and to do that as quickly as possible. That`s how you have what is necessary, in both personnel and material, to kill the enemy. That`s not been done to this point. As mentioned, in a conventional warfare scenario, this wouldn`t be an issue at all ... but this isn`t a conventional war and it is an issue. And its an issue which should be addressed post haste.
Do we need/want more uparmored vehicles? Sure we do, but lets not pretend that there are no trade offs inherent in that decision. We can spend infinite money of defense and still lose the war.
Which sidesteps the question of our responsiblity to the soldiers we ask to do a job with less than adequte equipment. When do we quit making excuses for failures such as this and hold the command structure`s feet to the fire. Obviously, for most here, 2 years is just too soon to expect the Pentagon to do something as simple as putting more armor on trucks. What, 3 years, 4? What`s the magic time frame in which it becomes unacceptable to you Jeff?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
"So what`s the solution? Well we claim we`re a war. Why in the world don`t we act like it and expand our procurement and manufacturing of armor to outside the overburdened facilities like yours? Sound reasonable?

So why aren`t we doing it?"

Because currently the Pentagon's magic wand that instantly creates facilities and personnel trained and certified at this activity is broken and we are being forced to do it in the real world. In the real world you cannot simply refuse to accept the "physics and logistics" of the matter as if you were a the Roadrunner running towards the painting of a tunnel on the side of a mountain.

Where do you think that the people that are manning these new bays for uparmoring existing vehicles and creating new armor kits came from? From the huge excess of personnel that were qualified to do it we had just lying around before the war? No, they were trained, many over a year ago. More are being trained all the time.

As for constructing new facilities, why build new facilities when it is going to take nearly as much time even with streamlined procurement procedures to get the new facilities built and the personnel to man them trained as it is going to take to fix the problem using existing facilities? We are NOT talking about throwing up a new strip mall here, we are talking about duplicating an important function of several of the oldest military bases in the country.

And look at what is being done. This is NOT something that is a routine matter. Why do you think these facilities are overburdened? We're talking about an overhaul of nearly every single vehicle that the military might use in a combat zone. This is NOT something the system was designed to handle and it shows. Hell, this is not something the system COULD be designed to handle in peacetime. If you had suggested to anyone in the Pentagon prior to the war that we would want to keep facilities and trained personnel on-hand sufficient to basically refit every vehicle the military owns in less than two years, you would have been considered a lunatic.

As for the Humvees and the Strykers being the priority, it doesn't make sense to you that the vehicles most likely to take fire would be the ones highest on the priority list? And that the very personnel that you need to uparmor these might be the ones that you need to do everything else that you want done (i.e., training other people, armor the various types of trucks, ambulances, etc?).

People have been working on the solution to this problem since BEFORE the end of major combat operations. Some problems, however, take time to solve. Whether you believe in the "logistics and physics" of it or not.

"Appreciate the advise to take a deep breath, but I can read the transcript just as easily as the next guy."

Hey, glad to help. I suppose I deserve that, but maybe, just maybe, there is a little more information at the link that I gave you than someone simply "reading the transcript" for you. Maybe there is information there and at the links he gives concerning the "going to the scrapyard" part of the question, or about whether the unarmored vehicles are actually used outside the compounds, etc.

More information usually = better understanding, right?
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
"B) that excuses are being made for nonperformace, pushing the lack of armor off to "logistics and physics". You know what, nonsense. The lack of armor is due to lack of priority, plain and simple. This is a country which was able to conceive, design and produce entire weapons systems during WWII in under two years."

And the situation now, in terms of political will, is just sliiiiighty different than it was in WWII. In WWII we basically nationalized the auto industry and used those plants to produce the Sherman and a plethora of other weapons systems. Think we could do that in this war?

And we didn't have a %age of the country approaching 50% that was either opposed to the war or just plain didn't give a damn about it as long as it didn't affect them.

"Are you trying to tell me that it is beyond our capacity to produce armor kits for trucks in one country in the same time now, Jeff? No way. Unless there`s been a lack of priority there."

This is just not right. The problem was a hell of a lot bigger than a "few trucks in one country." The few trucks you are talking about are the tail-end of the problem that over a billion dollars and thousands of years of time and effort have been thrown at.

My problem with your post is not due to an inordinate love of Rumsfeld. My problem is that you are acting like we are not trying to solve the problem when we are trying very, very, hard solve it and are suceeding in doing so. Maybe we aren't being fast enough. Hell, we could NEVER be fast enough given what is at stake. But we are going as fast as we can given current conditions. Faster, even.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
McQ:

First, wouldn`t you agree, given the choice between armoring a truck and a Humvee, the Humvee ought to get the first attention? I suspect you would. In fact, I`d go one further: Unless there`s some extenuating circumstance: No transport vehicle should receive armor before a combat vehicle.

Uh no Tim, I wouldn`t agree. I`d want 2/7th Cav`s refuling HMTT armored before I`d want XO`s Humvee armored if I were commander of the 2/7th Cav. What`s more vital to the mission of 2/7 ... the XO`s vehicle or the HMTT? The XO can use my Hmvee, but he can`t haul critical fuel in it.
So the situation I understand we have, 3 of 4 Humvees armed, and only 5% of trucks, looks like the right priority to me.

Then we disagree. You`d have a point if we were fighting a conventional war. In an unconventional war, it doesn`t make the grade. Critical systems should get prioirty, and a very critical system is your logistics system, especially in a low intensity conflict such as Iraq where you`re unable to adequately protect your MSRs.
Then there`s the question of resources. I think we have limited resources, and that it is actually possible to reach limits. In particular, I`m not convinced Rumsfeld (the Army`s top brass, actually) is flat-out lying when they say they`re doing all they can.

Perhaps some of the troops aren`t deployed right -- they should be arming Humvees instead of guarding ammo dumps, fighting insurgents, or whatever. Or perhaps there is a whole clique of civilians who can be trained and deployed easily in this task. Perhaps there is still
Yet you offer no supporting evidence besides a "trust me" and a comment about ordering kits. You may, in fact, be correct, but if you want others to be persuaded, it`s going to take more evidence than a bunch of impassioned "I don`t accept this" statements.
Answer my question then, Tim ... is it acceptable to you that the logistical tail which is critical to the viability of your combat units is as vulnerable as it is two years after first recongnizing that as a major problem? Second question. If you were able to uparmor all the Humvees in theatre in a realitively short amount of time, why hasn`t the same program produced the same results for trucks? My guess is, if you`re truthful about it, you`ll answer "no" to the first question, and "priority" to the second. And that`s been my point.
You assert that I don`t realize this problem didn`t just crop up. Huh? I noted that the rate of vehicle-armoring has increased from 15/mo to 450/mo since it cropped up -- how is that a failure to note it didn`t just appear? Looks like an amazing improvement to me.

For Humvees, you bet. And the trucks?
Or perhaps you think that the task of armoring trucks can be done without consuming or impacting the same exact same resources which would normally armor Humvees?
That`s a design flaw, Tim, if that`s the case. Its a lack of foresight. Its the one-size-fits-all mentality which says, "all Hmvees have to be uparmored first" instead of saying, "we need to identify the assets critical to our ability to fight successfully and sustain that fight in Iraq and uparmor THOSE first." The XO`s Hmvee vs. the refueling HMTT. The trucks that are going to be used on US military based vs. the trucks that are going to be running the MSRs with critical supplies.
Again, we`re back to resources, and your lack of evidence in that area.

You`re precisely right, and as i point out above, when given limited resources, apply them to the critical need. But first you have to identify the critical assets, and obviuosly, every Hmvee in Iraq is not a critical asset in that regard (like those which only traverse US bases, etc.). As you point out, that isn`t at all what has happened here. Consequently, we have critical assets which lack the basic protection they should have to traverse the MSRs in Iraq while we have Hmvees in areas which will never see a shot fired in anger armored to the teeth.

Acceptable to you?
Look, I`d be happy to adopt your view. But I need something more than "I don`t accept" and a vague referenece to ordering armor kits.

Really? If we can gear up within a very short time and uparmor every Hmvee in Iraq, why can`t we do the same sort of thing for trucks? And I don`t find acceptable the excuse that we have only so many depots. If we`re at war, as we claim, then we go "outside the box" to fill the needs of troops in the field, especially if the system in place is inadequate. Are we doing that?
Finally, you don`t even answer my core contention: That the soldier didn`t even ASK about trucks.

If so, saying Rumsfeld was "arrogant" for not addressing a question about armed trucks is unwarranted. He wasn`t even asked one!

Tim he`s a part of the 278th RCT. It has armored personnel carriers, tanks and armored Hmvees. What`s left? And why was Col. Zimmerman addressing trucks when he said 95% don`t have sufficient armor. Rumsfeld obviously knew what he was referring too ... after all, Humvees and tanks blow up too ... remember?
Your entire contention seems to be that everybody could be doing much better. Maybe you`re right, but I`d need something other than simply your word for it. I think that`s probably also true of most your audience.
Perphaps, Tim, but then the "we`re doing the best we can" mantra, the "logictics and physics" excuse aren`t very presuasive either. When you assess what they have accomplished with Hmvees and realize that they simply chose to address a class of vehicles instead of the problem at hand (insurget attacks against US forces all over the battlefield) then per4haps you can understand that I`m not at all persuaded that the problem is "logistics or physics" or that they`re "doing the best they can". Two years is a very long time to expect soldiers to continue to risk death and dismemberment running the MSRs. Two tours, Tim. Guys who went in to Iraq on the intial invasion will soon be redeployed and they`re going to face the very same risks they faced when they first went in in terms of providing logistical support to forward units, except we`ve known about them since their first tour and its still a problem.

Maybe its just me, but I find that unacceptable.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
That`s a heck of a leap, Jeff. I`ve never even intimated that was its primary mission.
McQ, I think your underestimating the vehemence at which you are arguing. From where I sit you seem to come pretty close several times. Maybe you should take a bit of a break, come back to this, and re-read what you have said and implied. I don't mean to insult you and I certainly respect both you and your opinion, but I think you may be expressing yourself more extremely than you realize.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
"So what`s the solution? Well we claim we`re a war. Why in the world don`t we act like it and expand our procurement and manufacturing of armor to outside the overburdened facilities like yours? Sound reasonable?

So why aren`t we doing it?"

Because currently the Pentagon`s magic wand that instantly creates facilities and personnel trained and certified at this activity is broken and we are being forced to do it in the real world. In the real world you cannot simply refuse to accept the "physics and logistics" of the matter as if you were a the Roadrunner running towards the painting of a tunnel on the side of a mountain.

Where do you think that the people that are manning these new bays for uparmoring existing vehicles and creating new armor kits came from? From the huge excess of personnel that were qualified to do it we had just lying around before the war? No, they were trained, many over a year ago. More are being trained all the time.

Terry .... are we the only country in the world that can produce armor for trucks? We`re not talking rocket science here, are we? There are companies all over the world that do this. Are we contracting out to these sources? The short answer is `no`. So tell me again about "logistics and physics".
As for constructing new facilities, why build new facilities when it is going to take nearly as much time even with streamlined procurement procedures to get the new facilities built and the personnel to man them trained as it is going to take to fix the problem using existing facilities?
Who in the world said anything about constructing new facilites. See above. The facilities already exist and so do the personnel to man them. The question is, have we contacted them and engaged them in helping close the shortfall in armor kits? Its time to think outside the box, for heaven sake.
And look at what is being done. This is NOT something that is a routine matter. Why do you think these facilities are overburdened? We`re talking about an overhaul of nearly every single vehicle that the military might use in a combat zone.
No, we`re not. We`re talking about the addition of a armor kit to a vehicle. And if we`re smart we`re talking about only those vehicles which are with identified critical units (i.e. the ones that are going to be running the MSR`s and not the ones sitting on US bases and never leaving them).
This is NOT something the system was designed to handle and it shows. Hell, this is not something the system COULD be designed to handle in peacetime. If you had suggested to anyone in the Pentagon prior to the war that we would want to keep facilities and trained personnel on-hand sufficient to basically refit every vehicle the military owns in less than two years, you would have been considered a lunatic.
Terry, it happens all the time. We retrofit most of our equipment with new stuff. We do it constantly. The question is whether the retrofit can be done at unit level or must be done at a higher level, such as depot. My guess is the actual work could be done at a lower level than it is, if I know my military, but isn`t for whatever bureacratic reason they choose to trot out today.
As for the Humvees and the Strykers being the priority, it doesn`t make sense to you that the vehicles most likely to take fire would be the ones highest on the priority list?
Yes, if they actually are going to be under fire. But if its just because its a Humvee or Stryker, then no. As I pointed out to Tim, in an asymetrical war, a HMTT can end up being as much a critical asset as a Stryker, because if the HMTT can`t survive a logistical run to the Stryker, its SOL. What happened here is a blanket decision was made "uparmor all the Hmvees" without considering that not all Hmvees had the need for that to be done immediately. And what suffered when that was made the priority were critical assets like HMTTs and trucks which ply the MSRs supplying those in the armored Hmvees and Strykers.
And that the very personnel that you need to uparmor these might be the ones that you need to do everything else that you want done (i.e., training other people, armor the various types of trucks, ambulances, etc?).
Sounds like a planning problem to me, how about you? See above. Why is this the only asset we`re using to fulfill this need? What have we done to expand that base we can use, be it military or civilian or foreign?
People have been working on the solution to this problem since BEFORE the end of major combat operations. Some problems, however, take time to solve. Whether you believe in the "logistics and physics" of it or not.
What I believe is the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and while I appreciate the work that has been done on the problem before major combat operations were concluded, I`d say the results of that work, at least to this point are less than satisfactory, at least as it pertains to this issue. I certainly believe "logistics and physics" is the excuse being used to cover some pretty poor planning.
"Appreciate the advise to take a deep breath, but I can read the transcript just as easily as the next guy."

Hey, glad to help. I suppose I deserve that, but maybe, just maybe, there is a little more information at the link that I gave you than someone simply "reading the transcript" for you. Maybe there is information there and at the links he gives concerning the "going to the scrapyard" part of the question, or about whether the unarmored vehicles are actually used outside the compounds, etc.

More information usually = better understanding, right?
Right. But the basic point remains. Maybe it has to do with my belief that, as a nation, we can do just about anything we have to do if we really make it a priority an apply ourselves, and what mostly disturbs me about this situation, despite the defenders contention that all is being done that can, is that I don`t believe that to be true.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
I have more questions than answers. Why is a Nat'l Guard unit 2 years after the start of the war scrounging scrap metal for armor in Kuwait?

Did the commander of this Nat'l Guard unit fail to predict his unit's deployment? Fail to order armor kits? Fail to scrounge and work outside the box and armor his vehicles while stateside? Did the Nat'l Guard command or Pentagon turn down requests from this unit? Starting when?

Are we cycling units and equipment in and out of Iraq faster than we can equipment EVERY STINKING VEHICLE in the active, guard and reserve inventory with armor? Is the armored equipment staying in Iraq - handed down - to units without up-armored vehicles? (God, what a headache for a commander/property holder that would be, but would be a first.)

Blah, blah, blah ... but I have to admit that the Pentagon and Congress not making armoring vehicles a priority after the kevlar vest/ceramic plate fiasco (which was mostly BS), I would be disappointed - although probably not that surprised.
 
Written By: Tim
URL: http://
That`s a heck of a leap, Jeff. I`ve never even intimated that was its primary mission.
McQ, I think your underestimating the vehemence at which you are arguing. From where I sit you seem to come pretty close several times. Maybe you should take a bit of a break, come back to this, and re-read what you have said and implied. I don`t mean to insult you and I certainly respect both you and your opinion, but I think you may be expressing yourself more extremely than you realize.
I`ve done as you`ve asked, Jeff, and I`m afraid I just don`t see it. I`d note that if I were arguing vehemenently, you`d see a marked difference from the style I`m using now. I`ve never been one to pull punches, certainly, but this is rather mild in my world. I`ll admit to seeing red this morning when I read the story, but since then this has mostly been just a discussion among the guys. Passionate, certainly as I feel strongly about the subject, but no anger, etc. Maybe its my many years on Usenet and Yahoo groups which has me viewing this exchange in total as pretty benign.

Anyway, mission is always first, and the mission of logistical units is to get the stuff forward for the combat troops. Can`t do that with equipment which is inadequate for the job in the force protection area, Jeff.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
"B) that excuses are being made for nonperformace, pushing the lack of armor off to "logistics and physics". You know what, nonsense. The lack of armor is due to lack of priority, plain and simple. This is a country which was able to conceive, design and produce entire weapons systems during WWII in under two years."

And the situation now, in terms of political will, is just sliiiiighty different than it was in WWII. In WWII we basically nationalized the auto industry and used those plants to produce the Sherman and a plethora of other weapons systems. Think we could do that in this war?
Terry, let`s not over do it here. That`s not at all necessary, and we both know that. But we certainly could contract outside entites which do precisely this, i.e. produce armor for foreign armies, etc.
"Are you trying to tell me that it is beyond our capacity to produce armor kits for trucks in one country in the same time now, Jeff? No way. Unless there`s been a lack of priority there."

This is just not right. The problem was a hell of a lot bigger than a "few trucks in one country." The few trucks you are talking about are the tail-end of the problem that over a billion dollars and thousands of years of time and effort have been thrown at.

My problem with your post is not due to an inordinate love of Rumsfeld. My problem is that you are acting like we are not trying to solve the problem when we are trying very, very, hard solve it and are suceeding in doing so. Maybe we aren`t being fast enough. Hell, we could NEVER be fast enough given what is at stake. But we are going as fast as we can given current conditions. Faster, even.
I never even intimated that we weren`t doing anything. What I said, and was quite clear about it is we`ve not given these vehicles the same priority we`ve given other vehicles and consequently, two years later, they`re still in mostly the same condition they were when this all started.

Everyone then shouts "but don`t you agree that combat vehicles should get first priority". No. What I agree is that vehicles which are likelty to BE IN combat get first priority, and in an asymentrical war, that means logistics assets as well. Force protection doesn`t just extend to combat units. It extends to the entire system, and priorities are given to the most vulnerable parts of that system. It is my contention that in this case, that has not been done. Again, it comes down to a matter of priorities and in this case, the old conventional warfare priorities were applied incorrectly.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
I have more questions than answers. Why is a Nat`l Guard unit 2 years after the start of the war scrounging scrap metal for armor in Kuwait?

Did the commander of this Nat`l Guard unit fail to predict his unit`s deployment? Fail to order armor kits? Fail to scrounge and work outside the box and armor his vehicles while stateside? Did the Nat`l Guard command or Pentagon turn down requests from this unit? Starting when?
Good questions, Tim. I do recall reading that units were directed not to use unapproved armor for their vehicles. And, based on the army wide shortage of these kits, I`d suggest that while he may have ordered them a year and a half ago, there just weren`t any to be had. My guess is there was no turndown of the request .... they were simply backordered.
Are we cycling units and equipment in and out of Iraq faster than we can equipment EVERY STINKING VEHICLE in the active, guard and reserve inventory with armor? Is the armored equipment staying in Iraq - handed down - to units without up-armored vehicles? (God, what a headache for a commander/property holder that would be, but would be a first.)
More excellent questions. Why not pool those which are uparmored and have the units draw them in country and use them until their vehicles are uparmored. Do depot maintenance in Kuwait with civilian contractors, etc., etc., etc.
Blah, blah, blah ... but I have to admit that the Pentagon and Congress not making armoring vehicles a priority after the kevlar vest/ceramic plate fiasco (which was mostly BS), I would be disappointed - although probably not that urprised.
Its a visibility thing, Tim. It almost became visible with the QM unit which refused a mission with unarmored trucks. This, obviously, is much more visible because the Sec Def is involve.

But you hit on some good questions.

Are we keeping the uparmored equpment in country and using it until the assets of arriving units can be uparmored as well? That`d be an interim solution.

Have we identified the units with critical logistical tasks which take them and their vehicles into the combat zone and have we given them priority for uparmored vehicles?

Who the heck knows, but if this were a priorty problem, my guess is we`d have answers to those questions, and we`d have them already.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown
This is the first time Rummy has shown a streak of arrogance? All of you get real. When we first invaded his arrogant responses were 'cute' to the more hardliner universe. He was never cute, he's almost always been flip.

and THIS problem isn't new. Quit making excuses for the higher ups who can DO something about this. It's about damn time American troops in the field weren't having to scavange (in yet another combat theatre) to self equip their vehicles so they can come home at days end in nearly one piece.

If the guys sitting in that room when the question was asked didn't think it was a real situation that STILL hadn't been addressed but should have been, they wouldn't have cheered.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Yes, exactly: the 278th has Humvees -- so how do you know those Humvees are up-armored? That's the question, yet I keep seeing you beg it.
If I remember correctly, about a 1/4 of his TOE of wheeled vehicles would be Humvees. Which means that 3/4 would be other wheeled vehicles ... so the chances, in terms of percentages, are greater that he's talking about something other than Humvees. My guess is, when he uses the phrase "our vehicles" he's talking about ALL the wheeled vehicles.

In actuality it doesn't matter since you're just as dead in an unarmored truck as an unarmored Humvee.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This is the first time Rummy has shown a streak of arrogance? All of you get real. When we first invaded his arrogant responses were `cute` to the more hardliner universe. He was never cute, he`s almost always been flip.

and THIS problem isn`t new. Quit making excuses for the higher ups who can DO something about this. It`s about damn time American troops in the field weren`t having to scavange (in yet another combat theatre) to self equip their vehicles so they can come home at days end in nearly one piece.

If the guys sitting in that room when the question was asked didn`t think it was a real situation that STILL hadn`t been addressed but should have been, they wouldn`t have cheered.
Well not only that, it was addressed as a real question by both Rumsfeld and Whitcomb. Its not that it isn`t a problem, it is. And it appears, based on Whitcombs briefing a day later, finally been forced into a `plan` of some sort, which is nice to finally see.

My question is if this was the plan all along, why weren`t the troops (to include a full colonel in the unit concerned) hip to it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: Unknown

 
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