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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:14 AM
Original message
U.S. Military increasingly using air lifts (AP spin: good news from Iraq)
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 09:19 AM by Barrett808
U.S. Military increasingly using air lifts
By REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press Writer
Thu Aug 3, 3:55 AM ET

CAMP ANACONDA, Iraq - The U.S. military is increasingly using air lifts instead of ground convoys to resupply troops to avoid the deadly roadside bombs that remain a major killer of American soldiers after more than three years of war.

The 3rd Corps Support Command, which supplies units throughout the country, has made air shipment its No. 1 priority since arriving last October at Camp Anaconda, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

"When we first got here, all of our stuff was shipped out by ground," said 1st Lt. Ted Mataxis, 29, of Raleigh, N.C., whose unit is responsible for assembling Humvee tires, engines and other repair parts for air transport.

Now "we're sending the majority of our stuff by air," he said. "The only stuff that goes out by ground are the big, bulky items."

In October, the command moved about 6,500 pallets — the platform that items are loaded onto — by air each month. The monthly figure now stands at about 16,000.

(more)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq...

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. This fits with the stories about supply lines at risk.
With things in Lebanon it's easier than ever to find people willing to attack US troops personally...
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partylessinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Another error in judgment, shipping supplies via ground convoys to
give the jobs and funds to Halliburton. It was foolhardy but filled the pockets of Cheney and his "company."
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wow! The Army admitting that it can't go overland anymore.
How on earth can the warpigs - Republicans and Democrats - continue to support this shit? Even if you love war and hate peace, you would have to figure that the cutting of losses at this point would be the correct move. Still too much money in it, I guess...
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ender Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. yeh... airlifts arent economical long term.
and they will eventually start shooting them down.

not being able to run ground convoys means that we dont control the area.

not good.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. This has been going on a long time
We have been airlifting supplies regularly ever since the start of the war. This is not "new"...just something the press decided to take notice.

Just FYI, the enemy has been trying to shoot down our airlifters from Day 1, and they have failed to succeed in downing a US Military transport airplane. We have good tactics and training.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Exactly. Good to see this from someone else too
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 11:39 AM by uppityperson
My other thought was I wonder if this means they have capability to evacuate via air, IF needed.

Edited to add: More good news from Iraq! (music volume increases) Chocolate rations are up to 4.78 grams!
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Can you imagine how much it must cost to FedEx a Humvee to Baghdad?
Gawd, no wonder the Iraq War is going to end up costing us $2 trillion.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. It's not FedEx, it's Air Mobility Command
Most ground vehicles are still brought in via ground. There are still convoys. But most PEOPLE are brought in/out via airlift.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. Via airlift-- seen that before


It will end this way
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sure does not sound very safe for the men
In fact things are really sounding crazy in the Middle East for any Western military.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
6. I believe it's been that way for years.
I certainly remember stories a year or two back to the same effect.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. You would be correct
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
8. "We will terminate terrorism in this year" - Iraqi President Jalal Talaban
and the almighty U.S. military can't even drive a truck on Iraqi roads.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. They drive lots of trucks on the roads
The Army still moves alot of gear across Iraq via roadways.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. kick
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wellst0nev0ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
11.  U.S. Military increasingly using air lifts (Convoys Too Dangerous)
CAMP ANACONDA, Iraq - The U.S. military is increasingly using air lifts instead of ground convoys to resupply troops to avoid the deadly roadside bombs that remain a major killer of American soldiers after more than three years of war.

The 3rd Corps Support Command, which supplies units throughout the country, has made air shipment its No. 1 priority since arriving last October at Camp Anaconda, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

<snip>

In October, the command moved about 6,500 pallets — the platform that items are loaded onto — by air each month. The monthly figure now stands at about 16,000.

The increase of air shipments means about 33,000 vehicles and 71,000 troops who would have been driving convoys around Iraq's dangerous highways have been taken off the roads.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq...
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. And to say that the good news of iraq is not getting out.
So we can not drive on the roads, the country is in civil war,
Baghdad had 1,200 murders in July, our troops have had to
stay beyond their "tours", and the President of Iraq is afraid of
coup.




Feb. 7, 2003: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
27. Feb. 7, 2003: The cost will be around one or two billion at the most
Aug:3, 2006: You'd find it hard to find anywhere in print that I said things would be rosy in Iraq.

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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Is that the cost of all the aircraft operations?
Most of the airlift aircraft the US has in the middle east supports both Iraq AND Afghanistan. Granted, because most of the troops and assets are in Iraq, many of the missions fly into Iraq...but Afghanistan is pretty much landlocked and air transportation is the only way they get things into Afghanistan for the most part, so OEF eats up alot of air assets.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. that CAN'T be cheap
71,000/135,000 troops = 52% of our forces.

dear neocon idiots: shit or get off the pot.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:03 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. Statistics shown are for a particular time period
Basically, anyone deploying to, or from, Iraq travels in and out of the country via air. Very rarely are personnel brought into country via a ground convoy.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. a presidency of dunces....
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 06:25 PM by mike_c
Imagine the incredibility of a newspaper headline reading: "Iraqi rebels deny land transportation access to American occupation forces." Yet that is exactly what they are doing. Is it Tet, yet?
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. But we can still drive in the Green Zone can't we?



I wonder how the new embassy and "long term" bases are going?
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:06 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. The article didn't say that
Nothing in that article stated that land transportation has been denied. There are still LOTS of land convoys going on every day. Its just that most of the personnel are moved via air, and when able, cargo is moved via air...especially priority stuff, like medical supplies, etc.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Almost all of the equipment in Iraq (especially helos) is beyond TBO*
*TBO = time between overhaul.

The desert environment (i.e. sand) is BRUTAL on the US's equipment, especially helicopters. They're already over-extended, and now they're being asked to do more. I'm sure we'll hear the number of accidents involving helicopters increase dramatically... :(
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:05 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Where did you get this info?
First off, military aviation doesn't use a "TBO". There are phase inspections, ISO inspections, and depot maintenance, as well as the daily BPO inspections. Military aviation doesn't use "TBO". And yes, everything over there is still maintained within standards. They don't fly unsafe aircraft.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Check this out:
http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=34639&d...

Military equipment woes prompt call for larger bridge fund
By Megan Scully, CongressDaily

To resolve budgetary woes facing the Army and Marine Corps, House appropriators want to add at least $10 billion to the supplemental bridge fund for military operations contained in the fiscal 2007 Defense spending bill that the House passed in June.

<snip>

Army readiness is being driven to these low levels, in part, by a lack of equipment for training and deployment overseas," Obey and Murtha wrote in their letter to Bush. "Yet, thousands of the Army's main fighting vehicles and trucks are lined up at repair depots around the country, sitting in disuse for lack of maintenance funding."
</snip>

That's where I got the info from. As far as "TBO," I'm a licenced pilot - civilian, but an aviator nonetheless. If they don't have to $$$ for maintenence, then how can they keep up with the ISO inspections? They've been shortchanged in every other way by the DOD. :(


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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. That article is about trucks
I'm a licensed pilot too...commercial pilot, multi-engine/instrument/helicopter. I'm also a 2,000 hour C-130 pilot. I've only canceled a flight for maintenance a handful of times out of the hundred or so missions I've flown over there. When you talk about "they", you're also talking about me. Our airplanes are old, but they are doing fine.

As for the Army's ground vehicles, I also know (having been in the Army Guard for 8 years prior to flying for the USAF) that they Army's "maintenance" program for its ground vehicles has always left something to be desired. I remembered back in 1992-1996 our trucks breaking down regularly. Add the stress of combat, I can see how that would be a train wreck waiting to happen. They Army has always seen ground vehicles as somewhat disposable...so when they get them all torn up, they run around and wonder "what will we do?".

As for the aircraft in theater...they are maintained to standards, or better. And military aircraft don't use a "TBO". That's great if you're flying a civilian Cessna, where the only main system is the engine or prop. On a Herk, they have to maintain 4 turbine engines, props, hydraulic systems, electrical systems (more than just a battery, alternator and wiring...4 x engine generators, GCUs, APU/ATM, BSS, etc) and then some. Considering the aircraft I've flown over there range from 1961 models to 1974 models, they are doing well. Last rotation (Feb to June) I maintenance canceled maybe 3 times...and one time we shut an engine down and returned and found out it was just an oil pressure gauge that went bad, but the engine itself was fine. So really, only about twice did I break for a "real" problem.
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
26. Those airlifts will come
in handy when we have to airlift American officials out of a civil war.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Just my view
Reading these threads, I'm not smiling when people make a joke or political hay about what I personally do while deployed overseas. We airlift many things, from routine (tires, construction supplies, etc) to very important things such as wounded soldiers/civilians, medical supplies, troops coming home and the remains of those who have fallen.

You may think it's something to joke about and sneer about. But personally, whether or not I feel the war is a political mess (it is), the mission of the military airlift in the Middle East is one that saves lives, bottom line. Whether it's saving them directly (ie, aeromedical airlift) or saving them indirectly (delivering supplies on time and saving drivers from having to do it), I'm very glad I get the chance to do it.

Just to let you know, it's not "safe" flying out there. No, it's not the same as being an infantryman in Ramadi either. But to date I've personally watched two IR missiles tracking my aircraft. I've seen small arms muzzle fire that I couldn't really tell if it was directed at us or not many, many times. I've been rolling down the runway at airfields before while the base got mortared. So far I haven't had this problem, but many of my friends have been bunker diving while rounds landed on the ramp. Thankfully our aircraft are equipped to defeat the threats, and our crews are trained to react successfully.

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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
28. Friendly skies / Deadly roads .... nothing to see here
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markam Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
32. Of course this is good news
Don't you remember the Berlin airlift? We will save berlin (Iraq) from the godless commies (islamofacists).

Ich bin ein Iraqi.

Of course Shrub isn't fit to wash JFK's underwear.
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cap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. dien bien phu
I am afraid... some of our tactics are merely leaving soldiers in certain towns in stockcades. I am afraid that the air lifts will not be enough to supply them. As the enemy controls more land, he will be emboldened and our troops will be abandoned.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. It's not like that at all
Over the past 3 years, I've noticed that many of the locations we fly to have calmed down considerably from what they used to be. That's not so true of Baghdad, Ramadi and Ba'Qubah. For the most part, we've gained control over much of the land, rather than lost it. But like I said, certain areas are still very difficult situations.

The airlifts are merely another way to move supplies at a lower risk. We haven't abandoned ground convoys, just transferred most critical movements and passenger movements via air to reduce risk.
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Herkdrvr Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. JFK?
I hope you know that the Berlin airlift was in 1948, well before JFK's time. Unless you are referring to the quote.
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