"IF THOU HAST RUN WITH THE FOOTMEN AND THEY HAVE WEARIED YOU, THEN HOW CANST THOU CONTEND WITH HORSES?"
The New Javelin "man-portable", infared guided missile with "fire and forget" capability has been likened by some as a modern version of the ancient Javelin that could be thrown in barrages to rain down on enemy formations, disrupting their attack and killing the unprotected. Javelin is part of a new generation of U.S. Army self-guiding/precision accuracy-capable missiles expected to dominate the land battlefield replacing guns-not unlike how missiles have taken precedence in air-to-air and ship-versus-ship combat. For the first time, land warfare missile hit probability will be almost certain and the firer doesn't have to stay still tracking his missile, exposing him to enemy counter-fires. The U.S. Army is putting great sums of money into these "wonder missiles" as panaceas and its budgeteers seem content to mount them on the BACKS of overloaded infantrymen vulnerable to destruction by a mere burst of small-arms or artillery fire or thrown in the back of unarmored HMMWV trucks unable to travel far from roads let alone over broken glass/debris or swim. Its Task Force Smith and the bazooka all over, again. Plans are for enhanced fiber-optic guided missiles (EFOGMs) and line-of-sight anti-tank hypervelocity missiles (LOSATs) mounted on HMMWVs instead of armored, tracked carriers.  Others in the Department of Defense feel precision-guided missiles are "silver bullets" that can win wars without U.S. personnel on the ground providing leverage; the inability of recent cruise missile attacks to stop Iraqi proxies from over-running the Kurds exposes this fallacy. 
Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon R. Sullivan said in his commentary "Limited Options will lose wars" on 1 February 1997:
"Today and in the very near future, the national leadership will be more constrained than their predecessors were in 1991 because of the seemingly insatiable desire to narrow our military capabilities and fight by 'remote control'. This desire fueled by the hope of victory without risking American life; the ageless quest for bloodless conflict. Whether or not this goal is viable, those who seek it have pushed the nation toward smaller forces and stockpiles of 'silver bullets' such as 'smart' cruise missiles, which as we saw last year in Iraq may not be able to influence events in a meaningful way..."Worse yet, is strapping some of these "III Generation" guided missiles like Javelin and MPIM/SRAW (I suggest the name "Broadsword" for this multi-purpose individual munition) onto the Soldier's back. The popular, so-called "cheap" (At $ 75,000 per missile?) answer to current battlefield problems seems to be creating a new specialized 'wonder missile' and strapping it onto the Soldier's back. However unlike the Javelin of old, the new Javelin missile is not so easy to carry into battle by its handle (49.5 pounds) or slung unevenly across one shoulder by a single sling where its long length (47.2 inches) constantly bangs the already 100-pound+ burdened user's legs reducing his Soldier mobility to less than 1 mile per hour, where enemy irregular infantrymen at 4-7 mph will be able to ambush him and run away at will.  Comparing Javelin mobility to the 73 pound night sight/Dragon missile on a 10 km march and saying "mobility has improved" is evading the issue: few units even tried to hump the Dragon with its cooled IR tracker sight. Put over 100 pounds on a Soldier and couple the negative physiological effects of stress on him and we'll be lucky if he can move at all. Is every Soldier from company-level down going to have to carry a rocket/missile or two on his back because the Army of a failure to provide light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles-AFVs? How will we run with the "chariots" (tanks, AFVs) if we can't keep up with the enemy's "foot-men"?
In guided missile warfare, getting into firing position is everything: the side that gets its shots off first wins. But there are more targets than there are missiles to hit them; we need large destructive effect cannon for less demanding targets on strategically deployable AFVs that can influence world events in a meaningful way. If we had wanted to save the Kurds would we have air-deployed missile-firing HMMWVs to stop Iraqi armored divisions? If our only other option is to wait days and months to ship-deploy our own heavy units, the enemies of freedom win by default because we couldn't get there in time due to our own inflexibility of force structure/design. General Sullivan:
"In an uncertain world, our national leaders will need flexible and adaptable forces that are credible, usable, lethal, and when deployed decisive...We must not become so enamored with the promise of technology or the desire to protect our own forces that we limit the options of decision makers, forcing them to make choices with unforeseen or undesirable consequences...Balance is the key...."We squander the billions we have invested in precision guided land missiles if we can't get them into firing position. There is a physical limit to the number of missiles that can be strapped onto the Soldier's back: while this approach may appeal to spendthrifts within the Army, its going to get our men killed in combat and result in battles and even wars being lost. If the Soldier with Javelin in hand is being suppressed by artillery and/or small arms fire, he isn't going to be able to shoulder the weapon and fire it very well-if at all. Even with "Medal-of-Honor courage", he may simply be killed the minute he exposes himself to unsuppressed enemy fire. One of the great unanswered questions from Somalia is; where were our shoulder-fired rockets and missiles during the October 3-4 battles? Where were the LAAWs, AT4s, Dragons and HMMWVs with TOWs? ........The HMMWVs were shot into flames, the men firing as best they could to survive. Intense enemy fires prevented employment of shoulder-fired rockets/missiles. A survivor recounts:
"The Ranger platoon had been unable to break through after being badly ambushed, losing one or two vehicles and suffering several casualties....It was apparent that neither the Ranger Ground Reaction Force platoon nor Company C was going to be able to fight through to the crash site....two helicopters had been shot down in the Bakara Market area in the heart of General Aideed's guerrilla enclave, and a company sized element of TF Ranger was surrounded and fighting for their lives, taking heavy casualties....."
In official correspondence and public statements, some Army spokesmen are quick to claim that we fight in a "joint" environment and that someone else will come to rescue our light forces (responsibility evasion). Establishment apologist, Scott Gourley of International Defense Review writes:
"The U.S. Air Force, U.S. marine corps, or U.S. Navy might be able to provide the Army with a combat capability that it would not otherwise possess..."Where were they in Somalia? "Might be able to" is nothing to base the lives of our Soldiers on. Army spokesmen also claim that helicopter gunships can be attached ad hoc to light units to make up for their lack of an AFV mounted heavy cannon. In Somalia , this didn't work: the helicopters got shot down, adding rescue of these aircrews to the problems of the surrounded Rangers and SFOD-Delta operators. When they were not told to stay on the ground and allowed to fly to the scene, helicopter fire support was not decisive.
CPT Charles Ferry, U.S. Army was a leader in the battle to rescue the Rangers on Oct 3-4:
"The pilots would not fire from stationary positions because of enemy ground fire, but would execute 'running' gun runs...'Running' fire is not as accurate as 'stationary' fire... Air strikes are still only suppressive fire, however, and did not completely destroy enemy positions or buildings. Many buildings that were struck were reoccupied by Somali guerrillas within minutes..."CPT James Lechner was a Fire Support Officer with 3rd Battalion, 75th Rangers in Somalia and wounded in the tragic October 3-4, 1993 battle with Aideed's gunmen that claimed the lives of many Americans due primarily to a lack of armored vehicle fire support:
"...the U.S. Air Force can only safely and effectively provide CAS to within a very limited proximity of friendly troops. The limitations of CAS with most fixed-wing aircraft and ordnance provides the enemy a relatively large zone in which to operate unhindered by the potentially devastating effects of aviation assets..."
He relates how Vietnam helicopter gunships were able to fire in close to support ground troops in the jungles of Vietnam, but ...
"Today, the [Army attack helicopter] aviation community quickly passes through CAS procedures in initial pilot training; a CAS capability does not realistically exist within the conventional U.S. Army. After the Vietnam War, as the focus shifted to the heavy forces of Europe and the Middle East, so shifted the tactics of Army aviation from CAS to long-range, anti-armor weapon systems and pop-up, stand-off shooting. This trend continued and was solidified by the creation of an Aviation branch and the establishment of attack helicopters as maneuver elements. The Army's deficiency in CAS with attack helicopters has dramatically presented itself in a number of recent conflicts, but most notably Somalia. In Somalia, conventional Army aviation assets were used to ill effect against unconventional guerrilla forces in a MOUT [Military Operations in Urban Terrain] environment. As per current doctrine, these gunships provide area fire or engage point targets from long ranges. Both these methods of engagement were inadequate for the situation that involved dismounted friendly troops engaged with small units or individual gunmen. The inadequacy was compounded by the fact that civilians were always in close proximity and often mixed in with the target. When hostile fire was taken or units called for support from the gunships, either area fire was used with rockets or TOW [Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missiles] and cannon were fired from long ranges at point targets. These applications provided a number of problems. Among these is that friendly troops cannot safely be within 500 meters of the target if the helicopters use their 2.75 inch rockets or 20mm cannon. This is due to the fact that the weapons systems as currently employed have a large dispersion pattern...The TOW missile system can very accurately engage point targets but was designed to kill tanks. In Mogadishu, it was fired from long range and often deeply penetrated neighborhoods. Unfortunately, civilian casualties and collateral damage were inordinately high..."
The deadlock was not broken until we begged our allies to come rescue us with "hand-me-down" U.S. tracked and other wheeled armored fighting vehicles actually on the scene (not in a motor pool in CONUS), that could fire from armor protection to regain fire dominance. Compare this with what took place in Panama, where light AFVs like the M113A2 and M551 Sheridan were organic to infantry attacks;
Cpt Frank Sherman, U.S. Army "C" Company Commander of 3/73rd Armor who parachute airdropped in his light tanks to support the 82nd Airborne Division writes;
"Our first encounter with the Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) occurred as the infantrymen of 1st Battalion, 504th PIR were establishing a supply route from Toucumen International Airport to their initial objective of Tinajitas. The convoy had only moved a few kilometers when it stopped to clear a roadblock located on a bridge. As the Sheridans moved to the edge of the highway to support the infantry, SSG Troxell, the lead tank commander, called me on the radio and stated, 'This is hell of a place for an obstacle, buildings all around and no cover. It looks like swamps on both sides of the road'. As the infantry dismounted and began to execute their obstacle drill, they began receiving automatic weapons fire from the buildings no more than 50 meters away. The lead tank commander opened up with .50 caliber fire as the wing tank commander screamed to his gunner to identify the threat. A moment later, SFC Freeman, 1st Platoon sergeant, yelled, 'I got 'em, concrete building, second floor, fourth window from the right'...He fired a 152mm heat round at the target, ripping through the room, collapsing the right side of the building. The enemy fire stopped and the infantry finished clearing the roadblock..."If locked in a close firefight in the middle of a city hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, how is the U.S. Navy going to save you? Launch a torpedo? Drop bombs on friendly soldiers or non-combatant civilians? Level a neighborhood with naval guns? What if there are no ships in the area, let alone a carrier? Don't count on "Leatherneck" light AFV fire support: the U.S. malignant narcissist riflemen marines will not put a big cannon on their wheeled LAVs or Amphibious Assault Vehicles-they want to emulate the U.S. Army's Desert Storm glories of tank dogfights by trying to bring their own handful of 70+ ton M1 Abrams tanks (given to them from Army stocks) across loose sandy beaches. "Passing-the-buck" to other combat arms and services to provide accurate, direct fire support the Army itself should bring to the battlefield is a cost-cutting "siren's song" that makes future battlefield disasters inevitable .
The moral effect of intimidation is reliably created by the shock of tracked, armored fighting vehicles -not easily stopped by small arms fire- firing large caliber guns that obliterate roadblock obstacles, buildings and bunkers, not just a relatively small number of missiles hitting their aimpoints. As our fighter pilot community learned in Vietnam, missiles cannot hit everything, but must be backed up with large quantities of cannon fire, especially in close against fleeting targets like bandits with machine guns and recoilless rifles mounted on 4X4 pick-up trucks ("technicals") or in the air, agile MIGs. The U.S. Navy had to bring back 5" and smaller caliber guns on their ships to deter small boat attacks. The Army's increasingly urbanized battlefield enemy is not only AFVs, but buildings, bunkers, dug-in fighting positions and material targets too numerous to expend a limited supply of near million-dollar missiles on that are best destroyed by cannon, small arms fire and demolitions. The world is urbanizing at a fast rate: people fight wars and people live in cities. The "center-of-gravity" in future conflicts will likely be a despot or ruling group hiding behind a civilian populace that must be rooted out by ground forces not just air or even ground launched missile attacks. Even if they could have fired a dozen Javelin missiles carried by a dozen men would the Ranger Ground Reaction Force or 10th Mountain Division (light) quick reaction company (infantry, no tanks) gott on through barricades and dispersed gunmen firing behind building cover in Somalia? Would Javelin type missiles have stopped roving groups of Chechnyans with Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPGs) from annihilating Russian attackers (tanks, no infantry)? The moral presence of men and AFVs on the ground, moving with complimentary, balanced combat power-controlling the terrain itself have more lasting "staying power" then missiles striking their targets during a sporadic attack. As General Sullivan said we need a deployable and decisive, balanced force structure, which means using infantry, guns and missiles  as well as better tactics.
An enemy suspecting a U.S. Javelin dismounted infantry force was lying in ambush need only to look on the forward slopes of key terrain they are to pass for our infared signatures using hand-held commercially available uncooled thermal viewers. In "information-age" warfare, the side that knows where you are can kill you because they can precisely pass these grid coordinates to others using widely available GPS and modern tele-communications means. Widely exported Russian tanks have signature-less, laser guided missiles that fire through their gun tubes (a technique we pioneered with the Shillelagh missile, then abandoned by removing its launcher, the M551 Sheridan light tank from the U.S. Army force structure) that can strike from 5,000 meters out; if they detect a Javelin force, they can hit it long before they'll be within our 2,000 meter Javelin and even 3,750 meter TOW IIB range. Russian main gun-fired missiles can shoot down our hovering AH-64 Apache, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters if the latter attacks them with Hellfire missiles without taking care to use their 3,000 meter stand-off. Enemy artillery fire can also rain on our unprotected infantry, followed by the enemy's own dismounted and/or highly mobile light infantry (4-7 mph) firing widely available inexpensive weapons like one man-portable Chicom Type 87 automatic 35mm grenade launchers with 12 round drums, supported by equally affordable/mass produced/exported light AFVs with fire support cannon to sweep us off the terrain. . Today, every major world army has a light AFV with large caliber cannon to support their infantry- except the U.S. Army and marines corps. Even tiny Jordan has this capability!
Prince Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein, Commander of the Royal Jordanian Special Forces said in the November 1996 Jane's International Defense Review:
"I think one of the lessons learned from the Gulf War is that Special Forces and Airborne groups were a bit 'underpowered'. ..."
The IDR author, Rupert Pengelley reports:
"The German concept of including an anti-tank battalion within the Airborne Brigade is viewed with favor, and work is therefore being carried out on the redesign of some 19 captured Iranian Scorpion [76mm gun equipped light tanks]....."The Scorpion and Scimitar [30mm cannon] light tanks were decisive in the Falklands War, without them, British Paratroops at Goose Green took heavy casualties. At Wireless Ridge, these light tanks provided firepower when artillery fire lifted and British casualties were almost zero.
BATTLEFIELD IRAQ: Debecka Cross Roads, 2003
As we predicted, Airborne/SOF units without armored mobility and firepower continue to get bloodied fighting mere rebels with AKMs and RPGs...and in Northern Iraq acting as defacto cavalry in flimsy Humvee trucks, an enemy mechanized force almost wiped them out...had it not been for Javelins in quantity that only vehicular transport can make possible....
We put all our money into missiles expected them to find/kill the enemy for us, but have invested little in making the vehicles/men that carry them more mobile, protected and undetectable from the enemy.
Airborne/SOF Must Be Light Air-Mechanized
We've completely ignored our urban combat need for on-the-spot, controllable firepower to bust buildings/barricades. We've disbanded the 82nd Airborne's M551 Sheridan 3/73rd Armor battalion and canceled its replacement M8 AGS. The usmc will not put 105mm gun turrets on their wheeled LAVs even after spending millions of tax-dollars to develop and perfect this system. We have 6 prototype AGSs and 3 x LAV-105s costing millions of tax dollars that are collecting dust somewhere or will be scrapped that could be used to give life-saving, battle-winning fire support for our infantry. Even a handful can make a decisive difference. The M60 tank with dozer blade and 165mm demolition gun (M728 "Combat Engineer Vehicle") and M67 90mm recoilless rifles have been taken from U.S. Army Combat Engineers; leaving us no capability to blast through street barricades/obstacles to prevent a "Somalia" or "Chechnya" type debacle or create a "Panama" type victory. Instead of a balanced men-missile-gun synergism, heavy cannon are available only from M1 series Abrams 70+ ton heavily armored tanks, though able to survive a main gun hit from other tanks in a duel, are too heavy to be air-delivered by parachute with our Paratroops/Rangers- leaving them without any organic, "be-there-when-you-need-it" fire support against enemy fortifications beginning on the drop zone at "P" hour. The M1 Abrams tank is years away from a APERS round which is only beginning development. In contrast, the Sheridan's 152mm main gun HEAT round can blow a hole through a building's wall large enough for men to walk through ;
LTC John Barker U.S. Army former XO of 3/73rd Armor says:
"The Sheridan with its 152mm main gun was the near-perfect light infantry support vehicle. It could swim. It had thermal sights. It had long-range armor destruction capability equal to or greater than a Hellfire missile (check your PH/PK classified data!) The Shillelagh with its 152mm HEAT round could blow a hole in a reinforced concrete wall large enough for infantry Soldiers to walk through side by side. An infantry leader could use the external phone, it boasted a flechette' round that could blast 17,000 one-inch nails into enemy infantry as close support, and oh by the way, you could parachute it into combat for those nasty 'forced entry' missions typically laid at the feet of the paratroopers of the 'Devils in Baggy Pants', 'Panthers' and 'Falcons' of the 82nd....."Now Paratroops will have to charge withering enemy fire and try to place a demolitions charge by hand... Even if heavily defended ports/airfields can be seized so our heavy tanks can be delivered to the battlefield, they're likely to be too wide to drive through narrow third world country streets. Abrams tanks have huge IR, dust, noise automotive signatures and armed only with high-firing signature cannon whose ammunition is designed to dogfight other tanks in the open will draw all kinds of enemy fire that could include enemy tanks firing through their main gun tubes, signature-less top-attack missiles from a 2,000-3,000+ meter stand-off or in close RPG and molotov cocktail attacks at their less armored roofs and open hatches. We are spending more millions on a top-attack missile that can fire through the Abrams gun tube with no intention of fielding it; its a "R & D" program. Enemy helicopters and dispersed, camouflaged infantry could fire at then disappear from our gun-only heavy tanks with impunity using IR-homing top-attack missile copies of our Javelin if we sell this technology abroad or they discover it for themselves.
Colonel Frank Hartline, U.S. Army, Retired said this is the September-October 1996 Armor magazine:
"One hopes that we do not squander this technology, repeating our tank development experience of 1918-1940. The early signs are not good...The prototype Force XXI Army Division is remarkable for its lack of change and reduces manpower by removing AT units from the organization...tankers continue to ignore missiles-perhaps still learning the wrong lessons from the Sheridan, a vehicle before its time if ever there was one. The Armored Gun System has been canceled on the eve of its fielding, perhaps removing armor from the light forces for a generation..."
Enemy armored fighting vehicle forces could simply bypass our "mobility challenged" Javelin forces keeping out of the weapon's 2,000 meter range. Our primarily foot-mobile Javelin force not killed by enemy artillery with its HMMWV tires shredded and exposed bodies obliterated would be hard-pressed at 1 mph on foot to race ahead into new ambush positions to engage the sweeping enemy. As the Israeli's learned during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a combined-arms approach can suppress dismounted infantry ATGMs lying in ambush. Today, an enemy equipped with enhanced observation devices can not only suppress but destroy whatever force foolish enough to let itself be seen and reported on. The "game is over" if you let the enemy see you first and fire on you first.
The U.S. Air Force already knows this; which is why they have invested billions into F-117, F-22 and B-2 "Stealth" (low-observable, radar invisible) aircraft, why the Navy's Mark V Special Operations Patrol boat is non-metallic and why we are building the RAH-66 Comanche stealth scout helicopter. But if the U.S. Army is to fully exploit precision guided missiles on the future, non-linear, instant communications primarily urbanized battlefield it must make an equal investment into "the battle for firing position" with all parts of the Airland battle force not just Attack aviation. A balanced attack using both missiles and guns must be employed using a lightweight armored fighting vehicle that can be ORGANIC to light infantry, not unlikely to be delivered heavy M1 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) ad hoc in "ones and twos" at the last minute before battle. The last minute assembling of tank crews/infantry who had never worked together before, gave the Russians their Chechnya debacle. Fortunately, we can get a light AFV capability using existing equipments and some low-cost changes. Lets discuss these needed changes so we can win from the beginning and not suffer any more "Task Force Smiths", "Lebanons", or "Somalias". Like the Javelin of old, the answer lies in proven weapon concepts to help the Javelin firer get into winning battle positions.
1. Get to the battlefield first with balanced (gun-missile-men) synergistic combat power in superior numbers to execute Airborne maneuver warfare: to win by dislocation via operational mobility. This rapid-deployment force would be able to overcome any enemy resistance encountered with infantry/ gun/missile/tracked, armored fighting vehicle shock action to its operational maneuver.
2. Don't be seen or known on the battlefield-see the enemy first
3. Get into firing position first, shoot first and kill
4. Be self-sufficient
Bigger troop parachutes needed to jump heavier missiles
To jump the heavy Javelin we need a bigger troop parachute; a 200 pound Soldier with 20 pounds of LBE, 20 pounds of uniform, boots, helmet, flak jacket, 32 pound T-10C parachute and reserve with a 70 pound rucksack is already on the verge of exceeding the 350 pound limit that his parachute can lower him to the ground safely. This isn't including a M4 5.56mm carbine and M1950 jump case. Add the Javelin in an Air Pack single release rucksack/weapons case system and you go way over the 350 pound limit; not enough parachute, no Javelins reach the battlefield.  We need the British Airborne's Low-Level Capable (as low as 250 feet to evade enemy radar) parachute with its much larger diameter and weight descent capability in a packtray with the reserve "piggyback" to the main, its harness with blood circulation-friendly split-saddle leg straps so the kit bag can be stowed in an inner packtray pocket and not be needed as groin pad, for a simplified, uncluttered, clean front to safely jump heavy loads like Javelin through USAF standard 36 inch-wide aircraft doors. The Paratrooper only differs from a regular infantry Soldier by his parachute, jump case to hold his weapon (s) with rigging to lower them and his rucksack; thus, the same number of Paratroops can be airdropped as airlanded from any USAF aircraft. De-cluttered Paratroops can better handle heavier loads as well as exit cleanly from the aircraft, reducing towed jumpers and poor exit canopy malfunctions.
Better Door Bundles with ATACS
Extra supplies of Javelin missiles need to be airdropped close to Paratroopers using a Squad Accompanying Load or "door bundle". Door bundles have a tendency to "stick" in the door as soon as the relative wind hits the bundle's forward edge, sliding it back against the trailing edge of the jump door. A jammed door bundle can block the exit of the entire stick (s) behind them, preventing combat power from reaching the drop zone and battle below. Wheels added to door bundles offer too much sliding and are even more uncontrollable. One answer suggested by an air-delivery expert may be a piece of truck bed liner or SKEDCO plastic on the door bundle bottoms so they will slide forward along the liner's ribs out the fuselage jump doors, but resist being forced back against the trailing edge by the relative wind to enable the Jumpmaster(s) to push them out cleanly.
Once on the ground, the extra supplies of Javelin missiles could be towed by Paratroopers in "fat-tire" all-terrain cart/sleds (ATACS) like the UT 2000 system of two backpack frames that join together to be a Stokes litter or cart using a wheel set. The UT 2000 system is already in use by a number of NATO countries and U.S. Army Special Forces. The Egyptians used carts to cache Sagger AT missiles that were used effectively in the early stages of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. 
Slings: double is better
The Russians use a double-strap to carry their latest generation of Assault/Anti-tank missiles-rockets: backpack style to provide high levels of mobility to the firer. The Shmel Flame "thrower" is two rockets with fuel-air (hypobaric) explosive warheads that are carried linked together for their single slings to create a backpack-carry. AT-4 Konkurs-M, Metis-M and Fagot ATGM systems (European Milan ATGM clones) have double-slings to facilitate a backpack style carry to keep the missile up and away from the rear of the Soldier's legs and spreads the missile weight evenly across both shoulders.  The U.S. Army has concluded from years of testing that the double-sling is the best way to carry long objects like rocket/missile rounds, yet repeated attempts to get this type of sling on the Javelin since 1992 by the author and his associates at the non-profit, 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) have proved fruitless.  This web page is intended to bring this problem and its solution to the forefront to get the needed changes before it takes Soldier's field complaints and blood shed to make a simple accessory change. A double-sling added to the Javelin would allow backpack style carries as well as diagonal across the back carries for those who prefer it. We need this capability at the sling, not by taking the MOLLE rucksack off its frame (see photo at top).
The Command Launch Unit (CLU) must be carried away from the legs by a belt pouch not slung by yet another strap across the back to bang into the legs. Improved Javelin carries could improve mobility up to 4 mph depending on the Soldier's conditioning and ingenuity at reducing his other loads to a bare minimum via items like the lightweight sleeping bag, NSN 8405-01-H77-9567 that fits into a buttpack instead of the issue 7.1 pound sleeping bag. In a letters to the author, U.S. Army OPTEC Chief of Staff, Colonel Albert Ferrea, said:
"The points raised in your 29 March 1992 letter are very cogent, and I will attempted to answer some of your questions. The Army has long recognized the merits of the dual-purpose strap system and has elaborately tested it over the past several years as part of other tests. The results of all this testing will be evaluated and incorporated in sling design. You are correct, a good sling does improve foot mobility".
A Javelin backpack style carry would allow gunners to move faster into firing position in a deliberate ambush after leaving their rucksacks at the Objective Rally Point (ORP), actually able to run with this heavy system. Using terrain masking and a "cloak" to evade infared detection It is foolish to expect the Javelin's superb 2,000+ meter stand-off range and minimal firing signature to keep counter-fire away while in plain view of the enemy from forward slopes. We must move to a "hot" and "cold" firing position technique where a small OP/LP observes the enemy from an extremely well camouflaged (to include IR) "hide" site that signals the Javelin dismounted firing teams forward on signal to engage enemy AFVs from minimum defilade firing positions, and/or progress to completely reverse slope-type defenses as the professional British Army did so effectively in the Falklands War.  If U.S. officers want to avoid the horrendous enemy fires that the Argentines suffered we must stop using the forward slope defensive tactics we advised them to use. If our leaders are too busy studying staff procedures and bureaucratic methodology to grasp the reverse slope defense, IR camouflage, etc. then we need to eliminate a "ticket punch" or two from the general officer career track and put our minds to the tactics that will win us battles and bring the men we are entrusted with back alive. Next, we must field "Thellie" camouflage suits to our Paratroops/Rangers so as they move into/out of Javelin firing position they are invisible to IR viewers be it from an AFV, enemy infantry scout or an attack helicopter. Defensive fighting positions must utilize a mylar space type blanket under overhead cover layers to render their static positions invisible to IR detection. The Javelin's CLU's optics must be covered with KillFlash-type glint covers as well as any binoculars, scopes, Sun, Wind, Dust Goggles used by our infantry to avoid enemy detection from optics reflections.
A "shield" from enemy fire. The ancients had hand shields to defeat arrows and Javelins; we have no modern counterpart and thus almost any missile/fragment hit on our Soldiers is at least a "mobility kill". In Mogadishu, as casualties mounted from enemy fire, the Rangers became pinned down, unable to shoot rockets/missiles or move as they lost shooters who were giving life-saving aid to their fallen comrades. A 10-division Army can ill afford such losses against Asian opponents that can raise million-man armies. A small detachable Gun Shield using lightweight ballistic-protective materials that can fit onto weapons like M4/M16 carbine/assault rifle and the Javelin CLU would deflect bullets, auto grenade bursts to the front as Soldiers are engaging the enemy, protecting them just enough so they can fire accurately in order to gain fire dominance and/or achieve target lock-on with the Javelin seeker head, and fire the missile. While Soldiers should have rifle-caliber resistant body armor, deflecting incoming fire away from the body with a gunshield should be the first layer of protection. Trying to stop missiles/fragments only close to the body offers little margin of error. The 21st Century Land Warrior prototypes show a M4 5.56mm carbine with a sight that sends its signal to the helmet eye piece so it can be aimed/fired around corners or above trenches so only the Soldier's hands/arms are exposed. While a good idea, it doesn't protect the expensive weapon itself from being turned into a heap of jagged metal and cracked plastic nor the Soldier's limbs from being shredded by automatic fire. A lightweight gunshield must be a top priority that is made to happen, for without it, we will not be able to prevail on a battlefield where we are outnumbered, under intense enemy fire and unable to shoot, while being qualitatively out-gunned by cheap RPGs, man-portable automatic grenade launchers and recoilless rifles mounted on a Toyota pick-up truck. This fire must be defeated since all of it cannot be avoided.
Tripod to stabilize the Javelin in launch configuration for long-term surveillance positions
Recently, I got to fire the Javelin simulator for the first time. I was hurt in a hard landing during a parachute jump a few weeks before and while I could do the job (I hit 2 out of 4 for a first-time shooter) I wouldn't want to surveil in this position for hours. Afterwards, I turned the corner to another booth and saw the Rafael SPIKE missile which is a Javelin-clone and noted it has a tripod (see photo above).
I know the Javelin is already too heavy...but---------
If we were to use ATACS to transport them, why not offer a tripod for more stable, long-term ready-to-fire surveillance capability?
"Chariots" and bunkers
In ancient times, archers and Javelin throwers used horse-drawn chariots to wheel around the battlefield at 10-25 mph to get into firing positions to rain down their missiles on their enemies. On foot, infantry at best moves at 4-7 mph with one Javelin shot per man. This is not enough to engage multiple AFVs; clearly a vehicle is needed. The Javelin's soft-launch capability means it can be launched from any U.S. Army vehicle; trucks and even through the troop door of helicopters, as well as any building. Unlike Soldier's backs, vehicles can carry dozens of rounds to engage multiple targets as Soldiers drive to cover after every launch. The cheap and easy answer is the HMMWV; which is not unworkable if up-armored to withstand small arms, artillery fire, mine blasts using existing kits. However, its "run-flat" tires are easily shredded by fire; these 4 wheels can bog down in muddy terrain due to vehicle loading. A solid tire with spongy insides impervious to enemy fire coupled with BRDM-type belly wheels would enhance the HMMWV as a Javelin missile platform "chariot". Until the HMMWV is hardened/mobility enhanced, its gravely vulnerable to enemy infantry, artillery and if they can't kill them first, AFV cannon attacks as well as other ATGMs. Ad hoc temporary assignment of 70+-ton M1A2 MBTs to contingency forces is not the answer; (they cannot deploy with them by parachute, anyway) Javelin firers need not the armor protection to survive a direct hit of a main battle tank cannon, they need the absolute best mobility possible over land to get into undetected missile firing position first, with enough protection to withstand the artillery and small arms fire that is likely to be encountered first-especially against a North Korean attack situation- so they can kill enemy MBTs using Javelin stand-off/invisible firing signature before the enemy's main guns can get within range. The vehicle must be small enough to be carried in large numbers by any USAF aircraft to include surprise airdrop/STOL airlandings to execute Airborne operational maneuver akin to what the Russians did in Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia and we did in Panama: collapse an enemy at his center (s) of gravity not set-piece, annihilating battle. The vehicle must be able to ride over third world country bridges without collapsing them, swim over inland rivers and bodies of water, avoiding roads with its tracks and going wherever the tactical situation can best exploited to get into decisive firing positions on the enemy. On the modern battlefield, surprise is fleeting; we can ill afford days to erect floating bridges just so 70+ ton monster tanks, 20+ ton LAV-III/IAV armored cars or HMMWVs can cross. If we fight in the Far East and undeveloped rural areas, we'll need an infantry-carrying armored fighting vehicle that can swim across rivers and levees that feed rice paddies without having to stop and erect a float screen like the Bradley requires. LTC Martin Stanton, USA combat veteran from Somalia stated in the September-October 1996 Infantry magazine:
"...a M113 with the old Vietnam armored cavalry assault vehicle (ACAV) kit is in many ways ideal for these types of operations. Armed with either M2 .50 caliber machine guns or Mk-19 grenade machine guns, in addition to two M60 machine guns, the M113 ACAV has formidable firepower. In addition, its mechanical reliability and limited amphibious capability are an important advantage in an austere environment, and because of bridge weight capacity, its more useful than heavy vehicles..."
Lt. Harry Andreass, USA, in the January-February 1991 issue of Infantry magazine, "The Bradley Challenge" writes:
"But the Bradley's capabilities and limitations must be put in perspective. True, it does not swim as well as the M113; it has a high profile; and it does not take a 125mm round as well as a tank does..."
This vehicle must be silenced and made infared invisible by "stealth" improvements so enemies cannot fire first with their own long-range missiles before our Javelins can fire. Like the Russian BMP-3 IFV, which has a balanced 100mm gun-missile/30mm auto-cannon/precision guided missile armament, this vehicle must have in addition to Javelin anti-tank/helicopter capability, both a large cannon for destroying bunkers and fortifications economically and a light auto-cannon for suppressing large areas of infantry and light targets. That vehicle already exists in wide-spread U.S. service: the amazing 22,000 pound M113A3 APC which weighs exactly as 5-ton trucks that are routinely airdropped by cargo parachutes. The active U.S. Army has 1,600 surplus already bought and "paid for" M113A3 Gavins made in 1987 with plenty of service life left. Why laboriously reduce/rig/pad unarmored trucks that are round-bound, can be turned into flaming wrecks by a burst of small arms fire when for the same weight and less space you can airdrop in a x-country capable (avoid road ambushes in the first place) tracked armored fighting vehicle with appliqué' armor that can continue on in the face of even enemy RPG and auto-cannon fire ? 
Using the top troop cargo hatch of the M113A3 Gavin, the Javelin ATGM is easily fired at enemy AFVs and helicopters by situationally-aware Soldiers standing upright and facing outward. Though Javelin can destroy bunker/buildings and AFVs hiding under overpasses using its direct-attack mode, reducing fortifications is more economically done with cannon fire. An in-stock M40A2 106mm or M3 84mm Ranger Antitank Assault Weapon System (RAAWS) Carl Gustav recoilless rifle (RR) can be fitted to M113A3 Gavins to blast open barricades, destroy bunkers/buildings economically as well as fire "beehive" flechette rounds to devastate enemy infantry formations trying to displace our infantry. The widely used US. MK19 40mm auto-grenade cannon can be fitted on the M113A3 Gavin's track commander's armor shielded hatch position to effect suppressive effect/light material destruction. In his article, "Thoughts on medium or motorized forces" (Infantry magazine January-February 1991) LTC Thomas Rozman USA writes:
"The anti-armor platoon in its best design, would have a mix of missiles and 105mm assault guns. The guns would provide a responsive, relatively cheap, large caliber, fire and forget capability that would be ideal for tighter work in built-up areas and compartmentalized or broken terrain. Where there were opportunities for extended reach, the missile would be employed..."
Such a force described above would meet the principles described;
1. Get to the battlefield first with sufficient balanced combat power to execute Airborne maneuver warfare to win by dislocation via operational maneuver not annihilation
"The Abrams may still be the best tank in the world, but the service is beginning to see limitations in the mobility and transportability. Designed in the 1970s to fight a massive ground war in central Europe, the 68-ton Abrams is difficult to rapidly transport in large numbers, an especially important factor as the Army transforms itself into a power-projection force largely based in the United States...Additionally the Abrams' weight is a challenge to the roads and bridges of the developing world, where military analysts expect US forces to deploy with increasing regularity..."
-Jason Sherman, Armed Forces Journal International, October 1996
Instead of one 70+-ton M1A2 MBT at a time or just two LAV-III/IAV armored cars from a C-17 Globemaster III transport onto a heavily-defended runway that must be first seized from an alert enemy (Big maybe), Five 11-ton M113A3 Gavins with in most field conditions, have superior battlefield mobility can be delivered onto a 2,700 foot dirt strip or 3 per C-17 low-velocity airdropped by cargo parachutes along with Paratroopers/Rangers using individual parachutes where no landing strip exists at all; the latter achieving strategic, operational and tactical surprise. . At best, one M1A2 MBT can kill 40 enemy AFVs (but no helicopters) if it never misses. 5 x M113A3s "Up-Guns" with 10 Javelins, 20-100 Recoilless Rifle rounds and 1,000 40mm rounds each, could destroy 50 enemy AFVs or helicopters, 100-500 enemy bunkers or light AFVs, and literally hundreds of enemy troops with auto-grenade fire and RR "beehive" rounds. Recoilless Rifle rounds are cheaper, you can carry more units of fire and are still "fire and forget" like missiles. With laser aiming sights, RRs are deadly accurate against moving targets like missiles and extend the 106mm's range out to 1700 meters, the 84mm's out to 800 meters. The 5 M113A3 Gavins would fight dispersed from 5 different locations with a dismount weapons squad (+) to control a much wider area than a single heavy tank can. The same number of 40mm auto-grenade cannon or .50 caliber heavy machine gun only equipped M113A3 Gavins could transport an entire mechanized infantry platoon (+) with dismount weapons squad. A squadron of plentiful C-130s brings an entire mechanized Airborne infantry company with 12 M113A3s by airdrop. A C-17 squadron delivers 60 M113A3s; an entire mechanized Airborne infantry battalion that can quickly fan out and attain operational objectives as combined-arms teams complete with Javelin fire/forget ATGMs to destroy enemy tanks/helicopters, escort infantry to clear and hold terrain, recoilless rifle direct fire support; mobility for surprise to collapse enemies by coup de main dislocation and the shock action to overwhelm anyone who gets in the way. To get similar combat power using heavy M1A2 MBTs and M2 IFVs would take hours and days by airlanding, months by ship that an alert enemy would be fortified and ready to repel. Smart enemies will not give us 6 months to sail over our forces and train earnestly as Saddam Hussein let us do in 1990. The U.S. Army Armor Center Mission Needs Statement for the "Future Combat System" to replace the M1-series MBT is quoted in the October 1996 Armed Forces Journal International:
"The Abrams tank while currently the most capable in the world, is constrained by its fuel and ammunition requirements. It must stop for refueling at least once every 8 hours, and its limited basic load can be expended in minutes of heavy contact. The Abrams requires a huge logistical infrastructure, which limits its deployability"
A multiple missile-gun-auto cannon weapon M113A3 Gavin Airborne infantry battalion could be flown in hours to any spot on the globe (100% of the earth is covered by air) and hold off entire enemy regiments using a mobile area defense (think OPFOR at NTC) instead of a fatalistic "line-in-the-sand defense". Colonel Hartline:
"One could envision a light cavalry regiment built around precision weaponry, Airborne units that are much more than 'speed bumps'..."
The standard German light tank of the 1940 blitzkrieg of France was inferior to their French heavy tank types opposing them; but the Panzers didn't engage in one-on-one tank duels, they moved in combined-arms formations to bypass, encircle and cut-off entire French Army units: the "Airland battle" and "Maneuver warfare" we so often express to want to achieve. With the M113A3 Javelin missile/Recoilless Rifle/auto-cannon and infantry delivered to any spot in the world within hours by USAF 600 mph transports, we create a synergistic combination, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".
2. Don't be seen or known on the battlefield-see the enemy first The M113A3 Gavin and HMMWV are much smaller than either the M1A2, LAV-III/IAV or the M2 Bradley. With infared camouflage netting, vegetation and cloth strips, and a rubber skirt around the lower body to suppress dust plumes the smaller vehicles are less likely to be optically detected than their bigger brothers. The M113 Gavin's diesel engine and tracks can be silenced as the Germans have done, to be as quiet as a wheeled vehicle. DARPA has an electric driven M113 working.  Both of the smaller vehicles can have their infared exhaust signatures significantly reduced. The M1A2's turbine engine exhaust is so severe its a hazard to be standing close to it when its running; its not promising for IR suppression. Swarms of small, quiet, infared invisible, optically camouflaged Javelin launch vehicles are much harder to subdue than under a handful of obvious heavy AFVs, that will be easily detected, targeted and invite every enemy weapon to fire at them to include top-attack missiles like Javelin clones raining down on them. (I question the wisdom of foreign military sales of Javelins if we want to prevent our own battle-winning weapons technology being used against us) Dispersing Dismounted Javelin hunter/killer teams on foot at high mobility levels (4-7 mph) or on folding All/Extreme Terrain "Mountain" Bikes now being developed by U.S. Army Soldiers Systems Command at Natick, Massachusetts (10-25 mph) could deploy from and return to a pre-determined rally point with their "mother" vehicle (whose IR signatures would be masked by terrain and/or a mylar vehicle "Tarp" camouflage net) after firing pre-positioned caches of missiles, thus remaining individually invisible to IR detection.. Mobile Javelin hunter/killer teams working from a small AFV would multiply exponentially the number of Javelin launchers that must be stopped by an enemy AFV force or else face annihilation.
3. Get into firing position first, shoot first and kill
The up-engined M113A3 has x-country mobility in the open as good as the M1A2 yet can carry Javelin AFV-killer teams ahead of enemy AFV forces into terrain-masked ambush positions.
"M-113A3 APC beats Bradley by four lengths..or more" Armed Forces Journal International, May 1992:
"The latest version of the Army's M-113 armored personnel carrier, which was first fielded in the early 1960s, proves it can still keep up with modern maneuver forces. An M-113A3 pulls away from a Bradley M-2A2 fighting vehicle as it crosses the finish line at an Army 'drag race'. held March 19th at FMC Corp. in San Jose, Ca. The M-113A3, which weighs about one-third as much as the 33-ton M-2A2, is equipped with a 275 horsepower Detroit Diesel 6V53T turbocharged engine. The Bradley has a 600-hp Cummins V-903 turbocharged diesel engine...."
If M1A2s, BFVs, LAV-III/IAVs or HMMWVs encounter a river they must stop and wait for engineers to build a bridge. If they try to bypass, the typical local third world country bridge is not likely to be wide enough for either the HMMWV or Abrams nor strong enough for the 70+ ton M1A2 or 20-ton LAV-III/IAV to cross. What bridges the 11-ton M113A3 cannot cross (any bridge that can hold a commercial truck can hold a M113A3) it can swim across immediately or be carried by CH-47D Chinook helicopter to any spot on the battlefield.
The marines are desperately developing a narrow (56") electric drive "dune buggy" type wheeled vehicle that can fit into their multi-billion dollar dud Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft since the 86 inch wide HMMWV is too big.  An Osprey with a HMMWV slung underneath flies no faster than the helicopters its supposed to replace. The electric drive is good for stealth, but "the war is over" if searching artillery begins to land near exposed roll cage, air-filled tire "dune-buggy" type vehicles like the Chenoweth "Fast Attack Vehicle"/"Desert Patrol Vehicle"/"Light Strike Vehicle", Ranger Special Operations Vehicle "RSOV" etc. popularly used by world special forces units and now the leatherneck's pet vehicle; you have no motor mobility if you and your vehicle are arterially bleeding, damaged or destroyed. If the enemy recons by artillery fire and it lands near the M113A3 Gavin, however it can "button-up" and continue on to Javelin ambush positions where the unarmored HMMWV and the myriad "dune buggies" in military colors would be disabled/destroyed, stranding in the latter case our Special Forces men hundreds of miles behind enemy lines. U.S. Army Special Forces CV-22 Osprey ground vehicle developers should focus their funds on a micro-tracked armored fighting vehicle like the German Airborne's Wiesel that can fit inside the CV-22 so it can fly at the 250 knot speeds advertised yet land a vehicle that can survive and fight without being turned into a flaming wreck by the slightest enemy resistance. Put electric drive in a Wiesel which is already extremely difficult to see and you get internal helicopter-transportable armored mobility that is also "stealthy". Fire Javelins from a stable tracked platform like the Wiesel or M113A3 not a fashionable-looking "dune buggy" that will get torn to pieces from the slightest of enemy fire and whose tires go flat over the debris-strewn battlefield.
4. Be self-sufficient
"If the Service's vision for a next-generation tank is realized, never again will the armored force allow its fuel reserve to determine the pace of attack, as it did in the Iraqi desert. Nor will future armies be held to old warfighting tactics rooted in the Cold War paradigm..."
-Jason Sherman, Armed Forces Journal International, October 1996
The U.S. Army Armor Center, Mission Needs Statement for the "Future Combat System":
"The Abrams tank while currently the most capable in the world, is constrained by its fuel and ammunition requirements. It must stop for refueling at least once every 8 hours, and its limited basic load can be expended in minutes of heavy contact. The Abrams requires a huge logistical infrastructure, which limits its deployability..."
The 505 gallons of fuel required to fill-up a single M1A2 MBT could instead power FIVE M113A3s for 300 miles!. A convoy of fuel/ammo trucks must accompany even a handful of M1A2s to keep them able to fight. The M113A3 Gavin uses fuel at a much slower rate than the M1A2 and has large internal volume to keep large quantities of ammunition on board to stay engaged for days on end where a M1A2 would be out of ammo after one day-long battle. . The M113A3 force carries its own escort infantry to clear out possible enemy ATGM firing positions ahead. If the M113A3 or Wiesel gets disabled, the men can continue the mission at 10-25 mph on folding A/ETBs carried onboard and/or exfiltrate back to friendly lines faster than a foot slog nor fight off the enemy until rescued. Additional airlift space must be used to airland Air Defense Artillery vehicles (HMMWV AN/TWQ-1 Avengers with .50 cal HMG/Stinger SAMs, Bradley Linebackers with 25mm autocannon/Stinger SAMs) just to protect Abrams tanks since they cannot defend themselves from enemy air attack with cannon-only armament in situations where we have anything less than total air supremacy. With Javelins, M113A3s can defend themselves from enemy helicopters and with Stinger SAMs, enemy fast-attack jets. Is there really a lack of money or is it just a lack of will? There is no excuse why 45 x M113A3s couldn't be supplied to the 82nd Airborne Division to give needed fire support and maximize Javelin capabilities to replace some of what was lost when the M551 Sheridan light tank battalion and the M8 Armored Gun System were taken away or not provided as promised to our paratroops. 12-14 x M113A3s for a company of the 75th Ranger Regiment-America's "shock troops" to have organic shock action would guarantee that we don't have to beg again from our allies for ground-level fire support or risk annihilation in the next "Somalia" we face. The Pentagon wastes over $150 million on musical bands, and $24,000,000 PAPER STUDIES on how to fight urban battles instead of buying actual weapons that can win these battles. In a commentary titled, "Arms, not studies" from the June 19-25 Defense News:
"The United States is about to spend $24 million on yet another study on urban combat that will tell us what we already know: buildings and people will block indirect fire, so we need direct-fire weapons at ground level to hit the enemy....We don't need another pile of papers-we need actual hardware to do the job or else good men are going to die needlessly..."
We couldn't agree more. The Army took $100 million of the Armored Gun System money to fund a PAPER study for a "more deployable", "future combat system" 43-ton tank to replace the M1 Abrams series decades from now, Jason Sherman in the October 1996 AFJI:
"While the technology for such a system is perhaps 20 years away, momentum for an FCS program is building..:"
Another $45 million was spent to pay off the M8 AGS contractor who was told to build the light tank then told not to... yet officials say "they don't have enough money" to buy an armored gun system for our light forces? Officials also say the AGS was a "nice-to-have" but not essential weapon yet are going to replace the entire Abrams fleet with a "more deployable" tank when they have both the money and the opportunity to buy such a light AFV NOW?  If "Momentum is building" for a "more deployable" tank, why not field one now instead of 20 years in the future so our men don't have to die needlessly as they did in Somalia? In the Fayetteville-Observer-Times, Thursday 13, 1996, "Sheridan is rolling for now" Henry Cunningham quotes Major Tom Rheinlander, a spokesman at Army headquarters at the Pentagon on the status of the M8 Armored Gun System: "The 1996 federal budget includes about $142.8 million to end the program and no money for 1997".
In a letter from Stan Crist to General Dennis Reimer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 19 July 1996 he was asked why couldn't the $140+ million spent to close down AGS be used to buy at least a company's worth of M8s or at the very least M113A3s with 106mm Recoilless Rifles be provided to the 82nd Airborne Division? In response, the Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, 11 October 1996; Brigadier General John P. Rose wrote:
"The $140 million you attribute to closing down the program is actually the amount of Fiscal Year 1996 AGS funding that the Army reinvested in other high priority programs. The actual termination cost is approximately $45 million and includes items such as employee actions, property disposal, and completion of contractual commitments..."
According to Armed Forces Journal International, $100 million of that money has been slated for a "air-deployable" 43-ton "future combat system" (tank) to replace the M1 Abrams series. Does "property disposal" mean the Army is going to throw away the 6 x M8 Armored Gun System prototypes already built when they could be used to provide desperately needed air-droppable firepower for the 82nd Airborne? The Army buys 6 light tanks at $5 million dollars of tax-payer money each then throws them away, content that America's Paratroopers will fight and die without a shred of tank support when they jump into the next conflict. If you took all the monies wasted on music bands, paper studies and program cancellations ($322 million) the Army could buy 64 x M8 AGS systems to replace the 56 x M551 Sheridans in the 3/73rd Armor. BG Rose conveniently omitted any reference to using M113A3 Gavins/106mm RRs as a AGS substitute that Stan proposed in the letter to him. Probably because there is no excuse why M113A3s cannot be provided to the 82nd Airborne Division and/or their attached combat engineers. If the real reason why the 82nd Airborne isn't being provided light AFVs, has nothing to do with money, than what is it?
Just recently the Army Operations Staff (DCOPS) requested M113A3 Gavin-based force packages from USAEUR [re: Soldiers magazine, November 2001] and the 4 existing M8 AGS light tanks (see rejection letter from HQDA to Senator Santorum here) be attached to a ready Brigade of the 82nd Airborne be flown into southern Afghanistan to hold the airstrip that Army Rangers had cleared weeks before in a parachute assault to use as a forward operations base to catch fleeing terrorists. CSA General Shinseki rejected this because it would show the world the Army doesn't need $7 BILLION dollars of rubber-tired LAV-III/IAV "Stryker" armored trucks, it already has the best C-130 air-transportable AFV in the world: 17,500 M113 Gavins. So reluctantly, low-skill level marines were sent from their ships to a nearby Arab country and flown in by USAF aircraft to hold the airstrip. The current Army leadership hates the Airborne and light tracked armored vehicles so much they would rather have the chest-thumping marines embarrass the entire Army by going in just so they can protect the purchase of rubber-tired armored cars with computer screens they lust for to do pretend bombard & occupy posturing instead of real maneuver warfighting. The U.S. Army is ready for 21st century combats, its senior leaders are not.
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