LAV3SFUBAR: Senator Stevens wants pork, RAND says Army buying a lemon, Soldiers need the diamond in the rough: the M113 Gavin

The issue is NOT whether Senator Stevens should have a new Army Brigade Combat Team or not, its that the BCT must be on TRACKS in order to be cross-country mobile over the snows of Alaska, Korea and the hot, humid regions of the Pacific--the overweight 19-21 ton lav3stryker wheeled armored car the Army has selected to waste several billions of tax dollars will be restricted to roads and trails and be useless to the Army's 172nd Brigade.


The answer here is to call on the monies for the 5th and 6th Army Brigades to be based on TRACKED armored vehicles not lav3stryker wheeled armored cars. The 172nd in Alaska and the 2nd ACR in Louisiana should be equipped with upgraded 10.5 ton M113 Gavins or 7-ton armored SUSVs that are lighter, more compact for parachute airdrop, helicopter transport and capable of full cross-country mobility via their low ground pressure tracks. The 172nd needs to be able to be mobile in snow/swamps and the 2nd ACR needs to be able to parachute force entry along with the XVIII Airborne Corps which it is a part of. A recent RAND report criticizes the SBCTs as being too runway/airport, seaport/pierside dependant. The U.S. Army should admit it made a mistake......stop wasting billions on immobile wheeled LAV3STRYKER armored cars and upgrade superior tracked M113A3 Gavins that can:

1. Be parachute airdropped from USAF aircraft so airlanding MOG rates and runway conditions are not a factor

2. Can be fitted with ARIS SPA waterjets so they can SWIM THEMSELVES ASHORE from high-speed sealift catamarans regardless of the condition or availability of sea ports.

The issue here is about using Congressional money to buy more capable tracked armored vehicles that will win wars and save our men's lives not put them into harm's way inside wheeled lav3stryker deathtraps.

The recent Comparison Evaluation (CE) test report released on 23 December despite 40 days of Army attempting to "spin" the results shows the tracked M113 Gavins the Army already owns are far more capable, mobile and less costly to operate than the lav3strykers. To hide this truth, the current Army leadership has declared the CE test reports "top secret". I know for a fact that the M113A3 Gavin beat the lav3stryker at the recent Ft Lewis CE tests.

We urge Senator Stevens to publicly call on Dod to make the 5th and 6th BCTs to be TRACKED to get the funding and the proper vehicles for America's Army.

The solution is to upgraded TRACKED vehicles like the M113 Gavin to equip the Army's new Brigades since they are smaller, lighter to fit more inside USAF aircraft, to include parachute airdrop and are amphibious to swim themselves ashore.
January 3, 2003

Rand Report Says Swift U.S. Stryker Brigade Deployment Unlikely

By William Matthews

Although light and mobile, the U.S. Army's new Stryker brigades probably won't be able to meet the goal of deploying anywhere in the world in four days. They will be slowed by inadequate airports and seaports in Third World nations, say analysts with Rand Corp., a think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif.

Stryker brigades are designed to have the mobility of light forces, but the lethality of heavy ones, making them ideal for the kind of conflicts that have erupted in Somalia, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Moving a Stryker brigade's 3,500 troops, 309 armored vehicles, 700 other vehicles, tons of fuel, food, ammunition and other supplies would require loading and launching four giant C-17 airlifters per hour "around the clock for nearly four days. This would be a heroic achievement under the best of circumstances," and is "unlikely when considering the quality of airport infrastructure in much of the world," writes a team of Rand analysts led by Alan Vick at Rand's Arlington, Va., office.

Small airports, runways that crumble under the weight of heavy transport planes, inadequate fueling facilities, lack of storage space, inadequate roads and similar problems are likely to slow the landing and unloading of a Stryker brigade to less than half the pace needed to meet the Army's 96-hour goal, Rand contends in its report, "The Stryker Brigade Combat Team: Rethinking Strategic Responsiveness and Assessing Deployment Options," prepared for the U.S. Air Force.

So rather than taking four days, deployments are more likely to take two weeks to points in Asia and Eastern Europe and three weeks to parts of Africa and Southwest Asia, the analysts say in a book-length study released in late December.

The first brigade, now being assembled at Fort Lewis, Wash., is to be ready to deploy this spring. The Army plans to base Stryker units at Fort Lewis and at bases in Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana.

The Army should reconsider, according to Rand. "Forces with over 1,000 vehicles cannot be deployed by air from CONUS [the continental United States] to the far reaches of the globe in four days." But if Stryker units were forward-deployed in Germany and prepositioned at Guam in the Pacific and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, they could make it to "key regions in five to 14 days," the analysts say.

Another way to speed Stryker brigade deployments would be to send them by ship rather than by plane, the Rand scholars concluded. Delivering a Stryker brigade to Capetown, South Africa, for example, would take 16 days by sea as opposed to 21 days by air, they said. And "air and sea are essentially the same for our European and Saudi deployments." But in many parts of the world, seaports suffer deficiencies similar to those that hobble airports. Shallow ports could require weapons and supplies to be unloaded from transport ships to smaller vessels to be taken ashore, a process that could add days to the deployment.

It may be possible to speed seaborne deployments by pre-positioning Stryker brigade equipment and moving it to trouble spots on relatively small, swift vessels such as the 40-knot, 280-foot catamarans Australian forces used to move troops and equipment from Darwin to Dili, Indonesia. The Army, Navy and Coast Guard already are experimenting with a similar ship - a 315-foot catamaran able to carry 450 tons of equipment and 325 troops at a speed of 35 knots, Rand reports.

Even then, the Army's 96-hour goal might be tough to meet, said Vick in an interview. "But this is mainly a positive story. With a few changes in plan," such as forward basing, prepositioning and using fast, shallow-draft ships, Stryker brigades "can cover most of the world on the order of 10 days. That's outstanding for a mechanized force. We've never had the ability to cover the globe that fast before."