Thursday, February 22, 2007

Enemy At The Gates

Via Obsidian Wings, it appears there is a new equipment shortage for US troops:
"“We’re behind the power curve, and we can’t piddle around,” Maj. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, commander of the Oklahoma National Guard, said in an interview. He added that one-third of his soldiers lacked the M-4 rifles preferred by active-duty soldiers and that there were also shortfalls in night vision goggles and other equipment. If his unit is going to be sent to Iraq next year, he said, “We expect the Army to resource the Guard at the same level as active-duty units.” (...)

Capt. Christopher Heathscott, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, said the state’s 39th Brigade Combat Team was 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers and also lacked its full arsenal of mortars and howitzers."

Too few rifles? I seem to recall this problem cropping up before...for the Russian army in World War II!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a common misunderstanding of how the army is logistically supporting the war. It is difficult to transport large ammounts of equipment across oceans and have it in the right place at the right time. The army is set up to leave the weapons in Iraq and rotate the troops home, the troops ariving to relieve them use those weapons. It is foolish to expect the army to fly plane loads of rifles, night vision goggles and other equipment back and forth to Iraq each time a unit arives or departs, much less full arsenals of mortars and howitzers. The weapons could be transported by ship but then the troops and weapons do not arive at the same time which is definately not perfered.

I'm not sure how the Army handles its weapons in the US, but in the Navy they are maintained in an armory and issued when needed. I doubt that all 3,500 soldiers of the 39th Brigade Combat Team are on the range at once. Although again I am not an expert on the army.