More U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq… or The Army Murders Another Group of Soldiers
What is the price of a Soldier’s life or limb?• $3.3 million each Stryker trucks• $150K “Up armored” Humvee trucks• Up-armored support vehicles• $ Billions of dollars spent slapping armor onto wheeled trucks--yet its not protecting our Soldiers
Is it enough?• It’s too much money!• It is incorrectly directed onto wheeled trucks that are shaped wrong and cannot take enough extra armor!• There are major deficiencies!• It is an enhancement, but .... – It is not the best we can do. – Our boys are still dying – We can do it cheaper & better
The Stryker• It’s a heavy, large wheeled vehicle that cannot go cross- country to avoid road ambushes• Myth exposed: road speed cannot avoid several bombs going off at same time at chokepoints where you must slow down• Additional armor overburdens the vehicle; $ repair costs are excessive• It’s armor is light/inadequate compared to cheaper, more readily available M113 Gavin tracked alternatives.• It’s is protected against small arms and distant artillery splinters, but not RPGs and roadside bombs• Too many Soldiers are dying in the Strykers: less than 2% of vehicles yet 4% deaths in Iraq
The “armored” Humvee truck• Ad-hoc armored truck, not a solid, sloped body• Armor overburdens suspension making the vehicle dangerous to drive = 50% deaths in iraq are by accidents• Never proof-tested by the army against realistic roadside bombs and RPGs• Shoulder high easy to toss grenades into doors• $150K: Expensive for the inadequate level of protection• Our boys are still dying in “up armored” Humvees
Up-armored support vehicles• Ad-hoc attached armor• Lowers payload capabilities• Makes the vehicle unstable (top-heavy)• Splinter and bullet protection at best• Drive train vulnerable• A PR death trap, rather than a militarily effective vehicle.
Who is Responsible?• We are responsible: – The American public – The Media – For we are not keeping the Army and Government accountable.• Would you buy your son or daughter a Ford Pinto (blew up in rear impacts)?• That’s what we are giving them in Iraq
The Enemy• Road Side Bombs (RSBs)• Land Mines• The Soldier with a simple, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG)
What Could beDone Better? M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles replaces trucks• Can take heavier extra armor (protection against RPG/RSBs) by factor of 28%, no rubber tires that burn – $100K upgrade cheaper than Stryker – More effective than Stryker and Humvee: can go cross-country to avoid ambushes, no blind spots – Available in large numbers in storage (over 2,000) – Practice what we preach: “Going to war with the army we have”-then let the troops have our best equipment – Lighter and more C-130 air transportable than Stryker trucks – Easy-to-maintain: in existing logistic system: 14, 655 in U.S. Army service now
Excuses for Wheels Not true: tracks can go 60+ mphfor long distances on paved roads without damagingthem• You want to avoid predictable roads with tracks that can go cross-country to avoid ambushes in the first place• Steel tracks have rubber pads that DO NOT damage paved roads, all rubber “band tracks” are also available• Its all about available engine power: take the governors off our tracks and they can go as fast as you want them. There is NO reason to have or use rubber-tired trucks on the non-linear battlefields of today...they need to go the way of the horse cavalry. Video Clip:www.combatreform.org/steeltrackscango60mphonpavedroads.wmv
What else could be done?• Off-the-shelf armoured logistics vehicles• All purpose designed Armored Logistics vehicles. XM1108 M113 Gavin variant with Palletized Loading System = no more “Jessica Lynch” convoys: everybody fights and defends selves on non-linear battlefield
Why are These Things Not Being Done?• Army “Lightfighter” Politics that dislikes tracks because “heavy” units use them• The Army bureaucracy is lying to the Government & American People• Generals don’t ride around the battlefield• Your son and daughter is just cannon fodder to them.