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  (Source: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Ricky J. Best)
USMC looks to utilize UAVs to help resupply soldiers in remote areas

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) overseas has normally involved smart bomb launches or reconnaissance, but the U.S. Marine Corps is developing a new UAV that will be able to help re-supply combat forces overseas.

The Marines are working with developers to create a new UAV that is able to carry up to 1,200 pounds of supplies on each flight, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John Amos, recently said to the House appropriations Committee's subcommittee focused on defense.

"I'm looking for something now," Gen. Amos said to the subcommittee.  "We want to get a solution into Afghanistan by this summer."

Both the Marine Corps and Army have noticed an increase of injuries related to the heavy amount of weight soldiers deployed overseas must carry, an Army official recently said.  The combat gear weighs up to 130 pounds, and a higher number of soldiers are being hurt by stress fractures, pulled muscles and other issues.  This issue is especially problematic as soldiers prepare to be deployed to Afghanistan, where they'll have to deal with rough terrain, mountains, and bad road conditions.

The UAVs, which the USMC hopes to have by summer, will help transport ammunition, food and water, and batteries to ground troops on patrol in remote areas.

The U.S. military has been thinking about possible ways to help soldiers, and UAV development has prospered since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The smaller craft are silent and fast, which makes them good for reconnaissance, but larger ones can be used to drop supplies or weapons.  The BBC published a brief list of commonly used UAVs by British and American troops in the Middle East.

Precision air drops used by the Army have been able to deliver as much as 26,000 pounds of supplies per day to troops deployed.



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RE: defense spending plan
By daman5 on 3/13/2009 8:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
Come on, seriously let's look at history folks. Power mongers will target the people who are looking to avoid all conflicts. Agreed there's no need to go looking for a fight, but if you just sit back and say "Let's just be who we are, and prosper" and then be oblivious to reality and think that no one is going to target you, then you're sadly misinformed on reality. Power, greed and envy unfortunately drive a lot of people/organization/countries in the world, and as long as those three factors are out there, someone looking for a fight will always be out there, trying to ruin the majorities' "good" time.

The appropriate strategy in the 21st century is to move forward and 1st strengthen alliances and form new ones across the globe to ensure the "that bad guy" is squashed before they do any real damage. This can be done either through militaristic or political means, the reality there is that it must a blended attack of the two since there are pockets of criminals all over the globe that must be handled and taken on a case by case basis, since motives and means of implementing those motives are blended threats as well.


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