WASHINGTON - More than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not combat ready due largely to vast equipment shortfalls that will take as much as $21 billion to correct, the top National Guard general said Tuesday.The comments by Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum came in the wake of disclosures by Army officials, analysts and members of Congress that two-thirds of the active Army's brigades are not rated ready for war.The problem, they say, is driven by budget constraints that will not allow the military to complete the personnel training and equipment repairs and replacement that must be done when units return home after deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan.One Army official acknowledged Tuesday that while all of the active Army units serving in the war zone are "100 percent" ready, the situation is not the same for those at home."In the continental United States, there are plenty of units that are rated at significantly less than a C-1 rating," said Lt. Col. Carl S. Ey. "Backlogs at the depots, budget issues and the timeliness of receiving funds to conduct training are all critical to the Army's ability keep their force trained, ready and at the highest readiness level possible."Once a taboo subject for the military, often buried deep in classified documents, readiness levels - generally ranked from C-1 (the best) to C-4 (the worst) are now being used as weapons themselves to force money out of Congress and the administration.And while Army officials still won't specify how many units are at which levels, they are being more open about the overall declining state of readiness of their armed forces.Driving the current problem is the fact that Army units returning from the war have either left tanks, trucks or other equipment behind or are bringing them home damaged or broken. And once they arrive, many of their comrades either leave the Army or move to other posts, forcing leaders to train other soldiers to replace them. As a result, the unit's ratings drop, said Ey, an Army spokesman.
ARDEC looks into microwave artillery weaponBy Nathan Hodge JDW Staff ReporterWashington, DCA solicitation recently issued by the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, announced a market survey to identify possible sources for developing an HPM payload for a 155 mm artillery round or 120 mm mortar shell. The device, according to the solicitation, "must be properly designed to defeat significant targets on the battlefield, be gun-hardened [and] munitionised".In addition, the HPM round would have to be compatible with indirect-fire systems being developed under the army's Future Combat Systems modernisation programme. According to the solicitation, the army wants a round that could be fired from a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) cannon, NLOS mortar and the Mounted Combat Systems Vehicle and would also be compatible with legacy weapon systems.The weapon would have to survive launch from a 155 mm artillery tube or 120 mm mortar or tank cannon and require no maintenance during storage.
Stryker Teams Train with New Vehicles (Source: US Army; issued Aug. 29, 2006) The US Army’s 4th Brigade is the first unit to be equipped with the Mobile Gun System variant of the Stryker wheeled armored vehicle. (US Army photo)FORT LEWIS, Wash. --- A long wait is over for Stryker Mobile Gun System (MSG) crews of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. The 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry, received its complement of MGS vehicles last month after more than a year of waiting. They are the first vehicles to be fielded in the Army. “I think its going to give the infantry a whole new dimension of what they can do. Armor and infantry have kept each other at arm’s length for years and years," said Sgt. 1st Class David Cooper, an MGS platoon sergeant with B Company, 2-23 Inf. "We’ve got some growing pains, but once we get out there and they see what we can do, we’re going to be everybody’s friend.” Each infantry company is slated to receive three vehicles, though crews don't expect to operate together except on rare occasions. The vehicles carry crews of three, and are equipped with a 105 mm main gun and a state-of-the-art fire control system. The MGS also has an onboard coaxial machine gun that’s fire controlled. “You can literally shoot smiley faces with it at 900 meters,” said Cooper. “Even minus the big gun we can give the infantry a lot of support.” The 105 mm is capable of firing four types of rounds: SABOT, a depleted-uranium armor-piercing round; HEAT, high-explosive anti-tank; HEP, high-explosive plastic; and a canister round. The rounds are loaded using a hydraulic auto-loader in the rear of the vehicle. The HEP and canister rounds give Stryker units new capabilities, especially in urban areas. The HEP can blow holes in reinforced concrete walls, but unlike the rounds from an Abrams, won’t continue through the target and into surrounding buildings. The canister provides as effective anti-personnel capability. “The vehicle’s basic role is to support the infantry. It’s not there to take on tanks or go toe-to-toe in the wide-open desert like we did with the Abrams,” said Sgt. 1st Class William Ozmet, an MGS instructor from Fort Knox, Ky. “Its primary function is blowing a hole in the wall or blowing up bunkers.” Over the past year, the crews have been training with TOW-ITAS Humvees or other Stryker variants. Finally having the vehicles gives the crews a chance to delve into training. “I can actually start focusing on our training, both on our mission tasks and working with the infantry,” said 1st Lt. Christopher Lilley, the MGS platoon leader in B Co. The MGS also comes equipped with training software that allows Soldiers to train on various engagements in their own vehicles, instead of going to a simulator somewhere else. Once the 4th Bde. completes training, instructors from General Dynamics Land Systems will move on to equip and train Soldiers in Hawaii and Pennsylvania. Training for those units may change according to lessons learned here, but the vehicle itself is expected to remain mostly unchanged. “I’m confident that this will turn out to be a successful piece of equipment for us, the infantry and the Army,” said Lilley.
Raytheon Equip US Army Scouts with More LRAS3Raytheon was awarded production contract for Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance Systems (LRAS3). The US Army has fielded over 700 LRAS 3 systems and the new $113 million award will continue the acquisition and support through 2013. The multi-sensor system packs second generation Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor, a Global Positioning System interferometer, an eye-safe laser rangefinder and a Day TV (DTV) camera. This integrated sensor suite enables scouts elements to detect, recognize, identify and geo-locate distant targets while remaining outside the threat's acquisition and engagement envelope. Systems are deployed HMMWVs, and Stryker armored vehicles. It can also be dismounted on a tripod.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - O número de suicídios ocorridos dentro do Exército dos EUA alcançou seu nível mais alto desde a Guerra do Golfo, revelou na quinta-feira dados divulgados pelos militares.O Exército registrou 99 casos confirmados de suicídio em 2006, ou 12 a mais do que o número do ano anterior. Os militares ainda citaram duas mortes como sendo prováveis suicídios, apesar de os médicos legistas não terem confirmado esse fato ainda.Segundo o Exército, serviram de causa para os suicídios relacionamentos malsucedidos, "problemas operacionais/ocupacionais" e problemas legais e financeiros.Em relação ao número total de soldados dos EUA, o Exército registrou 17,3 suicídios por cada 100 mil soldados em 2006, incluindo duas mortes ainda sob investigação. Em 2005, essa cifra havia sido de 12,8 por cada 100 mil.No ano passado, 30 dos 99 suicídios confirmados aconteceram em zonas de guerra, segundo os dados.Neste ano, até agora, 44 soldados tiraram a própria vida, entre os quais 17 estacionados ou no Iraque ou no Afeganistão.O número de suicídios em 2006 é o maior desde 1991, ano da Guerra do Golfo, quando 102 soldados norte-americanos se mataram.Mais de 1,5 milhão de soldados dos EUA passaram pelo Iraque e pelo Afeganistão desde 2001. O Exército, maior braço das Forças Armadas norte-americanas, enfrenta uma grande pressão devido a seu envolvimento em várias operações.Os dados sobre o suicídio aparecem depois de uma série de estudos mostrando um aumento no número de problemas mentais surgidos entre os soldados e outros militares dos EUA. Segundo esses estudos, as Forças Armadas não têm fornecido apoio psicológico adequado a seus integrantes.
Não há provérbio mais falso do que "em tempo de guerra não se limpam armas", mas é sabido que nessas alturas poucas contas são feitas. Foi por saber disso que uma empresária americana conseguiu ter, nos últimos anos, uma vida de milionária, até que a ganância e um contabilista mais atento lhe acabou com o sonho.Charlene Corley, 47 anos, é dona da C&D Distributors, uma empresa da Carolina do Sul que fornece material para as forças armadas. Há sete anos, começou a perceber que se os militares estavam atentos ao preço dos artigos, pouco ligavam aos custos de manuseamento e envio - e começou a carregar nas contas.Até que em Setembro de 2006 um funcionário do Pentágono reparou que as despesas de envio de duas anilhas de 19 cêntimos cada eram de 969 mil dólares. Rejeitou a encomenda e foi verificar o que se passava com aquele fornecedor. Depressa descobriu que pelo transporte de outra encomenda de duas anilhas tinham sido pagos 998.798 dólares. Para enviar três parafusos (que custam 1,31 dólares cada) para a base dos marines em Habbaniyah, no Iraque, foram pagos 455.009 dólares; pelo envio de uma anilha de 89 cêntimos para a base da força aérea em Cabo Canaveral, na Florida, 293.451 dólares. Em seis anos, por 68 mil dólares de material tinham sido pagos à C&D Distributors 20,5 milhões de dólares em transporte e manuseamento.Cynthia Stroot, investigadora do Pentágono, explica que por sistema são pagas automaticamente todas as encomendas classificadas como "prioridade" e destinadas a áreas de combate (Iraque ou Afeganistão). Desde que o esquema de Corley foi descoberto, o Pentágono já desmantelou outros, mas nenhum da dimensão da C&D Distributors.E o que fazia Charlene ao dinheiro? Grandes casas, automóveis de luxo, jóias e férias. Tudo isso vai ser leiloado a favor do Pentágono e Charlene pode ficar até 20 anos na cadeia.|DN
Se este estudo fosse feito por cá já não havia uma única loja de material na margem sul... :oops:
FCS' NLOS-Cannon Tested at YumaThe US Army's future self propelled gun - the 'Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon' prototype (NLOS-C/P1) fired the first round at the Yuma proving grounds. The vehicle will fire an additional 500 rounds through early 2009 to obtain a safety release that will allow soldiers to move, shoot, and communicate from an NLOS-C in spring 2009.NLOS-C is the lead prototype in the Army's family of eight FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs). The new cannon implements automated ammunition loading system and improved accuracy through on-board projectile tracking coupled with the power of the FCS network and sensors. It is operated by a crew of two soldiers. "This marks the first 155mm round fired from a fully automated howitzer mounted on an FCS hybrid-electric chassis and remotely commanded through its on-board computers and controls," stated Lieutenant Colonel Robert McVay, Army Product Manager for NLOS-C.It will be one of nine vehicles to be produced under the system development phase. As the system is approved for operational testing, more vehicles will be produced for the testing, overall, the Army's Evaluation Task Force (AETF) will receive 18 NLOS-C platforms starting in 2010. The AETF will put the NLOS-C through combat scenarios to provide lessons learned that will be used to enhance and finalize the design for the final production NLOS-Cs and the rest of the MGV family.
Race for Lighter MRAP Heating UpCompetitors for the U.S. military's Multipurpose All-Terrain Vehicle (MATV) have a Jan. 12 deadline to submit proposals, ushering in a new generation of vehicles sporting all the survivability of an Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle without MRAP-like bulk.Navistar Defense remained mum about its proposal. President and CEO Archie Massicotte told Aviation Week only that the company is "locked and loaded" on the two prototype vehicles due Feb. 23. The company hopes its experience in the MRAP market will give it an edge in the MATV competition. Since May 2007, Navistar has been awarded $3 billion in Defense Department contracts for its MaxxPro MRAP variants."You don't just take a commercial truck, paint it green and say it's military," Massicotte said. "Every truck has its own recipe."Indeed, with MRAP production winding down, companies are looking at creative ways of supporting subsequent generations of manned ground vehicles. Tony Russell, vice president of vehicle armor at BAE, which has supplied more than 5,000 MRAPs to the Army and Marine Corps since the Iraq war made them critical equipment, sees one of the challenges of the future being the sustainment of the relatively expensive MRAP fleet (Aerospace DAILY, Jan. 7).The first MATV unit is slated to be fielded in fall 2009. Although the government expects to order only about 2,080 vehicles, it has specified a minimum of three test articles and maximum program of 10,000 vehicles in its solicitation notice.http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... el=defense
Most U.S. Government spending on nuclear weapons-related programs is unclassified. But it is functionally secret since such spending is widely dispersed across many programs in several agencies and it is not formally tracked or reported.A new study prepared for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace estimated that the cost of U.S. nuclear weapons and weapons-related programs exceeded $52 billion last year.“That’s a floor, not a ceiling,” said Stephen I. Schwartz, who led the study with Deepti Choubey. The estimate does not include the costs of classified nuclear weapons programs or nuclear-related intelligence programs, among other limiting factors.The $52 billion figure far exceeds the total annual budget for international diplomacy and foreign assistance ($39.5 billion) and comprises roughly 10% of all national defense spending.Because nuclear weapons costs are not officially tracked, it has been difficult or impossible to perform “cost-benefit” analyses of nuclear policies or to debate priorities among competing nuclear weapons programs. Yet such priorities naturally emerge, undebated.Thus, the majority of nuclear weapons spending (55.5%) is allocated towards upgrading, operating and sustaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal. A much smaller fraction (10%) is devoted to controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, the study found.http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2009/01 ... nding.html