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Deathtrap Discussion

How dangerous are the V-22 Osprey and Stryker to our fighting men? A special exchange. Plus: California post-debate downers.

10.9.02

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A BAD CASE OF THE SLITHERS
Re: George Neumayr's Low Noon:

With regard to Mr. Neumayr's assessment: Competency was not enough for Mr. Simon as far as objectives go for today's debate. I'll vote for Bill, but he was flat and not nearly as aggressive and sharp as he needed to be to spark this campaign. What a shame. Davis is a snake and he slithered away.
-- M. Colacino

Tell George, his comments on the Davis-Simon debate said a mouthful:

"The state is drowning in debt, its schools rank at the bottom of the country, and all the while Davis is running for re-election on issues
such as 'assault weapons,' 'stem cell research,' and 'Roe v. Wade.'"

"Monday's debate was as unfocused as the Davis administration."
-- Kevin Keyes

POST-BABBIN DECONSTRUCTION
Re: Jed Babbin's October SGO:

Sometimes you cannot tell your friends from the guy who wants to do you dirt. In the 8 October issue of your normally authoritative eMAG you carried Mr. Babbin's inaccurate article. The following corrections should be noted. I will list by paragraph number.

1. good.

2. Not my area but I believe that in February 1995, the U.S. Army took delivery of the first PATRIOT Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM). The GEM incorporates improvements to the front end of the PAC-2 missile receiver to enhance its effectiveness and lethality against SCUD-class ballistic missiles. The U.S. Army fielded about 350 PAC-2 GEM missiles. In the 1997 budget DOD added about $230 million for the PAC-3 through the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) and established a realistic schedule to lower the program execution risk by extending the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the program by ten months. System performance will be improved by re-phasing the missile and radar procurements; upgrading three launchers per battery with Enhanced Launcher Electronics Systems; and extending the battery's remote launch capability. PAC-3 Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) will begin in the second quarter of fiscal year 1998, and the First Unit Equipped (FUE) date is planned for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1999. I believe they kept this schedule.

3. Not my area at all.

4. Lead-in answered later.

5. V-22 Osprey. I am not an aviator (I am a armor guy by profession); however, all new aircraft suffer initial problems. When you deal with aircraft these problems are usually fatal to the guys flying the craft. The UH-60 Blackhawk was not breakthrough technology yet it to suffered and still suffers system failures. The Osprey is leading edge tec. As such you can expect trouble. I know several Marine aviators who swore by the Osprey and they are the guys that will fly them.

6. Stryker: Although I believe that the Armored Gun System (AGS a small tank that was CXL'd just prior to production by then COS Rimmer) is a much better system than the Stryker, the criticisms leveled by Mr. Babbin are inaccurate. The primary aircraft the Stryker will deploy in is the C-17 and the C-5 not the C-130. C-17 and C-5 are Strategic Lift (they fly over Oceans) the C-130 are Tactical Lift (they fly short hops in theater). Stripping a vehicle to go in a C-130 is NORMAL!! You strip a HUMMER to go in a C-130; it is a small aircraft. I agree that the Stryker cannot fire on the move. That is because it is not a stabilized system. Because of this and because of several other cost/weight saving measures you have a less capable system than say a M1a2 Tank. But that was the idea from the start. The system performs as designed. I have talked to the people who fight them and have taken them to the National Training Center. They love them. Do I have concerns? Certainly I do. Like I said in the beginning, the Stryker would not be my choice; however, there is no reason to condemn the vehicle and make it sound screwed up when it has performed exactly as advertised. You get what you pay for and this time we wanted to go cheap. This is no secret and no conspiracy to kill American soldiers. This is a developing system that, to date, has performed to Specs. You cannot ask for more.

7. The Marines and the Navy both have the M240G machine gun not the M60. This is the best medium MG in the world.

All in all, Mr. Babbin needs to take a chill pill and use the Internet more.
-- Hilary H. Evers III, LTC
USA Deputy, MLT Moldova

Good reporting about V-22 and Lav3stryker deathtraps!

However, most of the Army and Mc use the M240B 7.62mm medium machine (FN MAG in NATO parlance) and have retired the M60.

My experience with M60 was its weak belt pulling action causing jams. Tell the SEALs they can get M240Bs or if they are stuck with M60s to get plastic ammo boxes to hold up belts to help the gun feed right:

Airborne!
-- Mike Sparks

P.S. It's Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen: if you say you honor us, lifting a finger to hit the shift key shouldn't be a problem when you type...

I love it -- S#@! Goin' On. I have already put this acronym in play in several machine shops I visited today. Thanks,
-- D. Schwalm

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