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Col. David Hunt on the O'Reily Factor

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dontoe, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    He just stated that about $1000.00 is spent by soldiers being stationed in Iraq for PPE not issued to them. Either because it isn't available or not as good as what they purchase. :eek1:

    He continued, "They can now be reimbursed by the US Government for those expenses". :bow:

    Check into guys/gals! :wink1:
     
  2. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    It really sucks that we waste so much $$$ on crap and don't outfit those guys with the absolute latest/best.
     
  3. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    This is good to see. It's time the military finally came around to realize that the aftermarket tactical gear companies have some really fine equipment and military issue isn't always the best answer.:D
     
  4. cycologic

    cycologic Registered Member

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    1 grand is a drop in the bucket compared to what some of the Marines in my unit spent on PPE. We were told that we would only be reimbursed for gear that was unavailable or unsuitable for our deployment. Who decides what is "unavailable or unsuitable?" To date, not one leatherneck from my unit has been reimbursed, whether failure to apply for it, or fiscal reasons.

    I will give the Corps credit for moving beyond the "every one kitted the same" mentality that used to exist. For the most part, if you buy it, you can wear it (within reason, understandably). However, some civilian manufactured PPE has failed or proved inadequate and there is a current push to standardize the combat load/PPE of the ground Marines in Iraq.

    This issue was talked about before we went on deployment. Our understanding was; shortly after we came back we could make those gear claims and get reimbursed for it.

    My .005 bits.

    Cliff
     
  5. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    That's so true. The tactical gear market is kind of like the 4x4 parts market, most everything is so expensive.
     
  6. cycologic

    cycologic Registered Member

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    OK, I don't want to come across like I'm Captain Buzzkill and the Bring Downs, but this "little" issue rankles me. $500+ for a tactical vest that one can't ditch in a hurry (ditch helmet, slip over head)? Magazine pouches that are impossibly difficult to maintain magazine retention on? Grenade pouches that hold ONE grenade?

    Anyone who purchases civilian PPE has a choice. Roger that. Buy the wrong stuff and pay the consequence. No different than buying explosives, Dana 30's or crappy farm equipment. Get the wrong grade and you'll pay for it one way or another.

    I really, really hate to admit it, but the commercial "Ricky Recon" is getting out of hand with replacement gear. Yes, some of it has been very well proven by LEO and federal types. Yes, some of that same gear has saved many lives. Why market it as combat effective/proven? I would tend to believe that there is a difference between the "action" that LEO's see on a daily basis compared to what grunts see. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Really, the end all, be all of it is: Protect your mates. They will protect you. Great gear, shoddy gear, non-existant gear is all the gear YOU don't have.

    Again, my .005 bits worth.

    Cliff
     
  7. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    While there is some crossover, it can be apples and oranges for the mostpart. I would never wear my SRT vest or entry entry vest for combat patrol. I would take my M-4 clone in a heartbeat. My helmet too, it's lighter than the Kevlar helmet. Boots no. I still have my LBE rig and would take it in a heartbeat. In fact I should actually throw it into the patrol car. What is it, 40 year old technology? As long as the user knows what they are doing, that stuff worked just fine for me. That goofy vest looking thing that started coming out in the 90's, I would get it issued, but I never used it. My boots are definately not suited for combat patrol. I would go back with the tried and trued jungle boots.

    It's just like everything else, you have to take what works for you and ditch what doesn't. I just picked up a catalog from a vendor the other day. The thing must be 300 pages. It has everything from LE to Military and specialized operations for both. Kind of out of control. I can see where some of the new stuff has it's place, but the one area I would love to see strides light years ahead of it's time would be body armor.

    What they have for us these days is pretty good, but when it comes to combat patrols, it sucks. I remember reading not long ago about some Marines bitching about some new armor they were getting. Their bitch was totally geniune cause of the experiences I had and have. There comes a time when too much is defeating the purpose. I wouldn't expect a grunt to wear the lightweight vest I wear under my uniform these days. It may be provide the mobility needed, but to defend against rifle rounds, it takes some heavy stuff to do it. Heck, my entry vest is probably 15 year old technology and it's a freaking monster and I know there is better and lighter stuff on the market, but still, I'm sure a lot of mobility is lost with it.

    It's one thing to pull up, get out and bumrush the front door, do the deed and get out of there. But on a combat patrol or in a standoff, that stuff takes energy out of the guys on the ground and takes away the mobility.

    There really is no easy answer to this stuff. Not everything will work for everything, although a lot of it is marketed as such.
     
  8. cycologic

    cycologic Registered Member

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    You are absolutely correct in stating that every piece of gear has a cost/benefit weigh out. If the kit don't fit, ditch it.

    Body armor, as you stated, is a major issue. Yes, troops are bithcing about it being cumbersome, awkward and restricive. Rightfully so. Foot patrols, cordon operations convoys and IED interventions are made just a bit more difficult with: Flak with 2 ESPI plates (estimating 25 lbs), Side SAPI (estimating 10 lbs), anywhere from 6 to 12 magazines 5.56 (or 600 7.62 for machine gunners), throat protector, groin protector, kevlar, camel-bak, for those assigned it, a radio, and not to mention pyro, frags, LAW's or SMAW's. Typical loadout, without machine gun, was 90 lbs. worth of PPE and ammo. Too friggin' much.

    Agreed, buy what you need or as the task sees fit. My point is, the knucklenuts I call my brethren do not know what is the "proper" gear to buy. With marketing and glamorizing the way it is these days, what gear can truly help prepare you for such a wide spectrum?

    No easy answers. Unfortunately, I'll have to remember that.

    Anyhoo, I appreciate your input and perspective on this, 'cause it is something that grates my skinny @ss on a daily basis.

    Cliff
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Experience is the only real way to tell really. When I was a nOOb trooper, I borrowed ideas from those that had been around. A lot of them worked, just had to tailor those ideas to my personal preference.

    Funny story, I got my ass jumped by two senior NCO's when I was in concerning my personal preferences with my LBE. Even though they were :cough:combat vets:cough:, I was a straight up jungle bunny and those two idiots were nothing more than mechanized misfits that probably never left their vehicles further than 100 yards while in the Middle East while my stuff was setup for grunt work for several days on end. All they cared about was people being uniformed across the board and that their way was the only way. That one E-7 was a riot in the last two months that I had to suffer with him as the platoon sergeant. He would always go on and on about how they did things in the 3rd ACR and did things at Ft. Bliss. I wished I had the rank at the time to tell him to STFU, he wasn't in the 3rd ACR and at Ft. Bliss and explained to him that he was in a light cavalry unit where mechanized movement was no where near doctrine for the time due to the terrain and that in my three years prior to his coming, I had been brought up by a group of kickass NCO's that had spent their formative years doing real world ops in real neat places like South Korea and West Germany. It was funny though because that guy was such an asshat that within his first couple of weeks, command was 10 feet into his ass for being an incompetent leader.

    :D :D :D
     
  10. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    We need to keep things in perspective. Its not practical to re-gear the entire military every single time there is a new technology in the armor field. God knows I wish our grunts had force fields and were invulnerable, but it just isn't practical yet... and too much armor can hinder troop effectiveness. When I was in (and it wasn't that long ago!) I didn't have any armor on my body that could stop a round from an AK... even when I did support for Force Recon on hostage rescue ops. How much armor did the guys who fought in Nam have? How about the guys who landed on Iwo? It may have sounded "mean" when Rummy said "you go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had", but its the truth... and say what you want about our grunts gear, its better now than it has been in the history of combat.

    j
     
  11. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    The problem has always been there is more Flash in billion dollar bombers than a better rifle. The DOD needs more funds in research for better grunt gear. I am not talking about crazy scifi crap.
     
  12. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Well, it's Rumsfeld's job to ensure the army we have, IS the army we wish we had. Or, at least, to get as close to that ideal as possible.

    Agreed - the gear today is far better than what was once issued... but...
    In '03, I damn near went to war with a flak jacket manufactured in 1980. NINETEEN-F**KING-EIGHTY! Said so right on the label! Why? Because there wasn't enough money in the budget to buy the then-new Interceptor Body Armor for everyone in the Corps. That, friends and neighbors, is f**kin' pathetic. Now I'll be the first to admit that as a helicopter guy, I would have been wearing a different vest while flying, but while on the ground I woulda been wearing Kevlar that was over 20 years old. I'm glad the IBA that the Corps did have went to the grunts, but at the kickoff to OIF, not all the grunts in-country had the IBA yet. Again, not enough money in the budget.

    Worse yet, these crooked f**kstick politicians pork-barrel the federal budget to dizzying heights of insanity, then these same criminals tell the troops fighting and dying in the field that there's no money for research into new, lighter, more effective body armor, and they'll just have to suck it up. It's f**kin' criminal... It's 2006, dammit, not 1942. Our men & women in uniform (who, by the way, I am once again a part of) deserve better support than this.

    Throw some of that pork money at the manufacturers of armor systems; turn 'em loose on the problem. If they come up with something that gives a little more protection but is way lighter and just as durable - buy the s**t out of it, pay for 3 shifts to manufacture it at multiple facilities, and get ALL the troops outfitted ASAFP.





    Whoa, that turned into a nice little rant... I'll step off the box now.
     
  13. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    When I was in the Corps, it was bronze swords and helmets, I don't want to hear it!:D Really though, there is only so much armor a man can put on. Speed and stealth is a lot better than the best kevlar. Semper Fi.

    John
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Having gear that isn't as good/new as what the Army has is one of those things you have to deal with being a Marine. Its not like its a new developement... Marines have never had, and never will have, all the bling the Army has. If you want the coolest newest stuff, you go Army. Cool tech has never been what makes the Marines the best. That would be training, will and brotherhood.

    I agree that its "BS" if any of our grunts went into Iraq without atleast packing Interceptor-class armor... and we all know its lame political in-fighting between the various clowns in the Pentagon that is most of the problem. Considering the current defense budget, I wouldn't hang this issue on politicians. Its a pretty damn huge budget.. but somewhere in rooms filled with lots of stars they decide to spend it where they want to spend it. Over the last 5-6 years the military has been transforming itself into the first 21st century military... the "information age" as they say. This is expensive... and time consuming... and some people don't like it... and mistakes will be made... but in the end, our military capability will be light years ahead of everyone else, we'll be much more effective against asymetrical-warfare-using enemies and our men/women in uniform will be safer and more capable.

    Like I said before, I wish everyone had the newest bling bling bling armor there is... but when you are talking about an entire military force it isn't always practical to be constantly upgrading everything all the time. The "flak jacket" I wore when I was in was just-after-Nam vintage. So basically, there was 20-25 years where we didn't upgrade grunt armor at ALL. Interceptor was first used (in the field) in Somalia by the Army, if I'm not mistaken (93?). Marine grunts prolly didn't get it until, what... 2000-something? and 5 years later we need to upgrade everything again?

    IMO, they should allow grunts to wear whatever they want to buy, assuming it surpasses some minimum specs... reimburse them for the first $1k... and offer 0 percent loans on anything above that that they want to buy. Lil' more cash for new armor tech research and call it good.

    j
     
  15. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    In all the years that we have been around, I think I finally found an issue we disagree on..........................................:D

    You have a valid point about the Army getting high speed stuff, but during my time in, there was a pecking order on who got what. For example, my unit in Hawaii, we seemed to be the last in the entire Army to get anything. We were one of the last units to field the M9 pistol. While every other light scout platoon seemed to be equipped with .50 calibers, our gun trucks were running with M-60's. While the vast majority of the Army had received Apaches, our air guys were running around in Cobras 20 years old. While the grunts down in Infantry land seemed to get some of the latest and greatest, our gear was the oldest. I will have to say that I was happy that we didn't get stuck with any SAW's while I was there and even though my second scout platoon had them, I never had to deal with them; but even that second unit got the shaft on a regular basis. While everyone else in the division was running around on A2 Bradleys, the scout platoons were still stuck with retrofitted original models.
     
  16. Stickseler

    Stickseler 3/4 ton status

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    Exactly, lets talk flack jackets and diapers that werent much good for anything except a seat cushion, infact if you wanted bullet proof you had to wear a flack jacket that was a size too small under you regular vest and hope the outer would turn the bullet enough for the inner one to stop it :haha:

    782.jpg
     
  17. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    99% of the time, I agree with you on this.
    However, we're talking about BODY ARMOR, not bling. It's gear to keep your tender ass ALIVE, not gear to warm your MRE ham slice to a perfect 160*, or bring MTV to the kids in the field. We (the Corps) should not have to suck hind tit when it comes to tactical personal protective equipment.... especially not because of some silly "my wang is bigger 'cause I'll go into combat with a s**tty flak jacket" competition with the Army.

    I have no idea when the Army first got IBA; I was under the impression that IBA wasn't issued to anyone (regardless of branch) until '00-01. I could be off on this though. :confused: I DO know that a BATTALION of Marine Infantry from Lejeune went to Iraq for the kickoff without IBA, because it wasn't in their budget.
    And YES, I think we DO need to upgrade again. We need body armor that performs at least as well as the current IBA package (which, from what I've seen on the 'Net and heard from friends in the sandboxes, works pretty well), but is less bulky and weighs half as much. I'm sure it can be done... we just need to fund the research for it.

    I guess this has turned into one of my hot-button issues... I hate hearing people who've never worn a vest in ANY sort of military situation, running their mouths about how we need to add more plates, and more material, to a vest that already weighs too damn much. I also hate that research into lighter-weight and better-performing body armor designs seems to not be much of a priority for funding.

    We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one...



    Stickseler, that shirt is too damn funny! :haha: :haha:
     
  18. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I guess I was using "bling" a little bit liberally there. Back in the day I would have said "high speed"... that better? :thumb:

    The Armys cool toys are life savers in a lot of different situations, just like armor is. They got cooler night vision gear before the Marines did... think that could be a life saver? There are lots of other examples... almost everything the Marines use, the Army has already had for years. In the mean-time, the Marines used less effective stuff... which inherantly put Marines lives in greater danger. Armor is the simplest example, but crapy gear of other kinds can get you just as dead. Speaking of crap old Marine gear... anyone else have completely worthless radios when they were in? lol. These days the CINC at Central Command can watch units as small as a platoon or a single vehicle moving around on cool giant plasma screens back here in the USA. When I was in (again, NOT that long ago) there was NONE of that cool com/GPS/intel capability. Every time I learn about this new tech that the military is using now, I am just amazed how far we have come in such a short time. I got out in 1997... and pretty much everything has changed.

    When I was in Cuba we got our good night vision gear from the Navy guys (yeah, they needed it!)... the Marine-issue stuff at the time was practically worthless. You sure as hell couldn't/wouldn't fight with it on. I assume that has changed since then, cause I see guys in the sandbox all the time on tv and such with good night vision toys that I only dreamed of when I was in. At any rate, IMO the Marine-gear-deficiency issue will never be resolved unless some Congress or President makes the Marines a truly seperate branch. From what I understand, the Navy gives the Marines whatever the Navy decides they should have, and thats the end of it.

    more later...

    j
     
  19. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Back in '94, I remember that some guys in the 24th ID (now 3rd ID) were getting some sort of body armor for Somalia deployment and IIRC, they were calling it Interceptor. Definately not what is being issued today, as it was a little larger, yet the same premise. It wouldn't surprise me if that was a early version as the technological advances in body armor has made strides.
     
  20. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I wasn't in Somalia, but I read a lot about it. It may have been spec ops guys there, but I'm almost posetive that some units had Interceptor. There was even a story about a guy in Soldier of Fortune where a guy got hit in the chest with an RPG... which didn't explode but did throw him through a wall and he lived. The same article talked about the new vest stopping AK-47 rounds. I know there are always better armors coming out, but consider this... in the history of modern war (which began with the crossbow IMO) no soldier has ever walked the battlefield with armor that could stop the enemies standard primary weapon's missile... until now. Something to think about.

    Lighter armors that are just as effective are definitely possible... they have been trying to develope an armor based on woven artificial spider web for some time. Apparently they can mimick 15-20% of spider webs strength with current techniques. If they can get it closer to 75-80% they could make an armor significantly stronger than Kevlar as well as being lighter and negating the need for rigid ballistic plates. That'd be pretty sweet.

    Couple other issues I have thought about. First, if you are going to re-fit the entire Marine Corps every single time a new kind of armor comes out, you're gonna have some problems. Gear familiarization is a process that takes time and is directly related to grunt combat effectiveness. Anyone who has been a grunt can remove mags, canteens, flashlights, knives etc from the gear they have trained in FAST, in total darkness, without looking at it and without thinking about it via muscle memory. This can definitely save your life in combat. Whats going to happen when we bring in the "new armor comes out, we buy it the next day and issue it" policy... and grunts get all new gear a week before they do an op?

    Second, some of these new armors need LONG term testing. That POS hybrid armor that Second Chance was selling for years... for example. They later found out that heat in the trunk of a cops car caused the vests fibers to break down over the long term and GREATLY reduced the vests effectiveness. How would it have worked out if the military had just dove on the armor (which is superior to kevlar in every way in testing of brand new vests!) and bought it and our boys took it to the sandbox with its hellacious heat?!? Opps. In a matter like this, being an "early adopter" could be fatal.

    Like I said before, if grunts went in without good armor for OIF, then thats BS...... grunts should also be able to buy approved extra gear that meets certain specs and wear it if they so choose. I don't see what other policy makes sense when all the issues are considered.

    j
     

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