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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 06:52 PM
Original message
Military Vets - Dumb ? of the day about Humvees in Iraq
Something I've been wondering about seeing the toll of troops being killed and injured in Iraq. I thought the Humvees were somewhat armored, but apparently from a letter I read in the current issue online of Stars n' Stripes there are up-armored Humvees and Soft Humvees. Did DOD even screw up and not have enough up-armored Humvees in the force?

Here's letter:
No self-glory

LetterLetterI read the glowing letter Military police in Iraq (Aug. 26) praising the 300th Military Police Company. It was gushy and self-promoting. It was written by a lieutenant assigned to the 300th. Since this forum is being used for self-praise, let me retort.

The 105th Military Police Company (Nevada Army National Guard) is located just above the 300th on Main Support Route Tampa. The difference is that when people enter the 105th area of operations, their chances of coming under attack rise tenfold. In our AO weve had ambushes, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and drive-by shootings that were fatal to both U.S. soldiers and U.N. civilians. And thats not to mention the now daily improvised explosive device attacks which have proven fatal in too many cases. Our base camp has also become a target for mortars.

The 300th has a platoon here in our camp, and its members patrol at night. But they have the luxury of up-armored Humvees. We dont have these, and everyone here knows the result of an IED attack on a soft Humvee, as weve said farewell to our brother Sgt. Heath McMillian.

The bottom line is this: Writers shouldnt try to glorify themselves on these pages. Weve got a job to do here, and for some its far more dangerous than for others. Were MPs and were all cops.

And an excerpt from Christian Science Monitor:
Most of the Humvees currently deployed with the 2nd ACR came off the assembly line in 1984, which makes them ancient in military terms. In fact, it makes them older than many of the soldiers driving them.

It also means that none of them is equipped with the extra armor that was added to some Humvee models in later years.

This issue became a source of friendly debate recently after a military police unit from the 3rd Infantry Division arrived at Camp Marlboro to conduct joint patrols in eastern Baghdad. The Army scouts of the 2nd ACR noticed immediately that the military police officers had the so-called up-armored vehicles. They wondered why, as a potential front-line combat unit, cavalry scouts had not been considered for the newer, beefier trucks.

The armor on the new trucks is supposed to be able to protect the crew from bullets fired from an AK-47 assault rifle, an explosion from a 12-pound antitank mine, and airbursts from 155-mm artillery rounds. In contrast, the canvas and fiberglass doors on the older Humvees are vulnerable to pretty much anything stronger than a light breeze.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not sure of the answer, but I know this
Rumsfeld is the genius who wanted a "lighter, faster" force. Given the added fuel costs armor would add, not to mention increased dependence on supply lines to support lower MPG, I'd say the chances are good most of the Hummers are not armored.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Makes sense but I'm also wondering
if the soft Humvees are not the older ones like the 84 editions mentioned in the article.

40,000 Kevlar vests short, armor units short of rifles where they have to pick up AK-47s, 2 MRE's a day with 3 liters of water, no barracks, no showers and latrines, mail not getting through or pilfered, and now we find out the units that need up-armored Humvees.

Where the hell is the Congressional Investigation!
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, there are armored and soft Humvees
Edited on Tue Sep-23-03 09:32 AM by IrateCitizen
The armored ones go primarily to Military Police Units. The soft ones are typically used as command vehicles for service and support units (i.e. Engineers).

It all comes down to what is on a unit's Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E). Some units are supposed to get them, some aren't. Of course, TO&E is still all based on fighting a Cold War type conflict, in which the service and support units are in the rear (often escorted by MP's) and not likely to be attacked. Iraq doesn't exactly fit into that mold.

ON EDIT: The article is from a National Guard soldier -- and the NG typically gets Vietnam-era equipment. That would explain why they are driving around in soft humvees.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. and the NG typically gets Vietnam-era equipment.
When I was in "The Nam" we had jeeps and mules but no hum-vees. I think they came a bit later. I guess NGs are treated the way Marines were treated in Nam. They always got the obsolete equipment.
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Liberal Classic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. Some are lightly armored, most are not
The HMMV is considered a fast and versatile car to replace the Jeep. It was not designed to be an armored car, though some models are lightly protected against fire from small arms such as rifles and pistols. It has many variants, from cargo to ambulances to reconnaissance to tank killer. The armored versions have a turret and mounts for antitank rockets, machine guns, or the MK19 belt fed grenade launcher. The attack versions are the armored ones, but none can stand up to a light cannon such as found on an armored personal carrier to say nothing that on a tank. Too much armor would make the hummer too heavy and slow, and it was deigned with speed in mind, the ability to be air-dropped, and to cross muddy and sandy terrain.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. Only light armor packages
Really only protects against small arms. The weapon of choice of the Iraqis, the RPG, will blow the crap out of it.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I remember seeing something on history channel
That armored Humvees could help withstand a mine blast (depending on the amount of explosives). Granted they can't withstand an RPG. But I'm also reading that a number of soldiers are being killed by running over improvised explosives. Seems to me at least the troops in patrol or lead of convoys should have those to at least help protect against mines and explosives in the road.

What's happening I think from what I'm reading is that we got troops doing jobs in Iraq they weren't equipped to do, hence they have soft Humvees.
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