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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:24 PM
Original message
American troops forced to buy own wartime gear

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030911-boot...

Last Christmas, Mike Corcoran sent his mother an unusual Christmas list: He wanted night-vision goggles, a global positioning system and a short-wave radio. Corcoran, then a Marine sergeant in Afghanistan, wanted the goggles so he could see on patrols. They cost about $2,000 each.

-snip-

According to the Pentagon's "Operation Iraqi Freedom Lessons Learned" draft report, soldiers spent their own money to get better field radios, extra ammunition carriers to help them fight better and commercial backpacks because their own rucksacks were too small.

-snip-

"But of course with all the wear and tear they don't always last that long," said Harvey, who deployed to Iraq for the war. "Now with some of the units if you rip a pair of bdu's (battle dress uniform) they will give you a new pair. But for the most part you are responsible for buying any new uniform you need except for boots. Your unit will always supply with a free pair of boots."

-snip-

"Another cool thing to bring with you is an American flag," Corcoran said. "Just in case you plan on conquering anything."
------------------------------

ah yes -- "just in case you plan on conquering anything."

I guess conquered Iraqis should wear US flag armbands.
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Halliburton War
Making money going in and out.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. uh, doesn't that make them mercenaries?
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 12:31 PM by ixion
since they're killing on their own dime, so to speak. :eyes:
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. don't think that any of that obscene $87b will go to our troops, either
Just the BFEE
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Oh Great---Wait Until The Gun Huggers Get Word Of This
The Second Amendment Absolutists down in Justice/Public Safety are going to latch on to this and start shouting hosannas about the existence of a citizen-supplied "well regulated militia." How unfortunate......
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. These guys aren't paid enough as it is. WTF is Bush* doing with that 100B
that he was already given? :grr: :grr: :grr: :grr: :grr:
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Didn't DoD get 400 billion this year?
Whenever I see a story like this, I figure a new hit for money from Congress will follow shortly.
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. this would be good mainstream news
if someone looked into it. maybe even a pulitzer....
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. I can't fucking believe what I'm reading.
And I've been having that feeling a dozen times a day lately.

Pay for their own equipment?

Jesus Christ....
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I Read On A Blog Today
That the hospitalized Guardsmen were having to pay for their own hospital food. There wasn't a link to the story and I haven't verified it yet.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. There was a thread on this the last few days
I'm sorry that I don't have a link. Supposedly, it was a 1980's law. A Congressmember is trying to overturn it.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. The real deal...
The old army issued Load-Bearing Equipment. Also called Load Carrying Equipment, it was a pistol belt and a set of suspenders. On the front of the belt were two ammo pouches; they hold three 30-round magazines and two hand grenades each. You also have your field dressings, your canteens and your butt pack (containing only the things you know you're gonna need...like more ammunition because 210 rounds and four grenades ain't enough) attached to the system.

(I know, you counted: six magazines of 30 per mag is 180 rounds. The seventh magazine is in the rifle.)

You also received a device called ALICE, for Army Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. An ALICE Pack, which is a backpack with an aluminum frame, is big enough to put a pony keg in. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

This served well for decades.

The Modern Action Army at Fort Drum in 1992 had a system we all called Lowe--after the company that made it. The Lowe system came with a vest that held four ammo magazines and two grenades, a different ruck and a few other items. A grunt who's unhappy with 210 rounds of ammo is gonna be steamed when he finds out he can only carry 150. The Lowe system contains a pistol belt; I knew a lot of 11-bush types who attached ammo pouches to their Lowe, even though it's Not Authorized to Do So, because 150 rounds is just about enough to get started.

The new system is called MOLLE, or Marine-Optimized Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment. The Army is still trying to find the jarhead who thought this system was a good idea. Not only does it fall apart, it holds four magazines and two grenades--and this one doesn't come with any way to attach the ass-mounted ammo pouch.

Now you know why the troops buy their own gear: the gear the army passes out isn't any good. Tell a grunt he has to go to war with 150 rounds of ammunition. He will go to war with 149 rounds of ammunition because he'll shoot you with the other one. Ammo is life to an infantryman. A grunt can never have enough to please him. When I geared up to go to Grenada (they decided not to send the 101st Airborne two hours before the plane left Campbell Army Airfield, saving me the pleasure of serving alongside Bob Boudelang) they set up an ammo supply point at the airfield. There were two trailers parked side by side about 20 feet apart. It looked like some sort of Turkish bazaar in there. They had tables marked with the kind of ammo they offered. You just walked through there with a sandbag in your hands, stopped at various tables and they threw in however much you wanted. I was behind a grunt. He had two cans of M-16 ammo. He had about 20 hand grenades. He had some M-60 ammo, some grenade-launcher grenades, a can of .45 ammo (he didn't have a .45, but he had rounds for one), a sealed box containing six Claymore mines, and a bunch of shit I don't remember. He had this big ol' shit eating grin on his face as he asked for rounds. Finally, the lieutenant running the ASP told him he couldn't have any more.

"But sir, why can't I have any more ammo? I need it!"
'Because you have enough ammo to kill every man, woman and child in Grenada at least twice.'

(Good thing they decided not to send my division, huh?)

The point of that rather pointless anecdote was that infantrymen love having lots of ammo. I have seen guys run one canteen and three ammo pouches--the normal load is two of each. One guy's wife made enough cash to retire for life by sewing up special ammo pouches that held three taped-together magazines instead of the three standard ones. And to a man, they loathe these four-magazine vests. So you hand a guy a vest that will hold 120 rounds of ammo, what's the first thing he does? Puts the fucking thing in the "save for inspections" pile, and heads for Ranger Joe's to buy something else.

The saddest thing is that if the Army issued perfect equipment, the troops would still buy their own.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. 40,000 (Bulletproof) Kevlar Vests short - troops sent to Iraq
I had heard they were short of these vests but didn't know the extent. Posted a letter last week from one soldier who's friend died because the Sgt had given his to a junior soldier.

Mark Shields confirmed last night on Capitol Gang they are 40,000 short!

The combined shortages we've all been posting needs to become one big bleeping story and Congressional Investigation!
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