Print 52 comment(s) - last by Donovan.. on Mar 18 at 11:42 AM

  (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: Easy?
By ebakke on 3/13/2009 9:24:12 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed, it seems like a very logical extension of the original UAV capabilities. Frankly, I'm surprised they haven't been doing this for years.

RE: Easy?
By quiksilvr on 3/13/2009 2:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
Three guesses why.

RE: Easy?
By DASQ on 3/13/2009 4:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's the military, It's the military, and it's the military.

Am I winrar?

RE: Easy?
By Chillin1248 on 3/15/2009 12:24:12 PM , Rating: 3
In the Israeli Army we came up for a solution for this years ago... wait for it... wait for it:


They are somewhat easy to control, can cary very heavy loads across rough terrain and make good bullet barriers (they do not get startled by gunfire).

Then again you better treat them right.


RE: Easy?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/16/2009 11:38:43 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Easy?
By afkrotch on 3/16/2009 5:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, but I'd rather have a UAV that will drop your supplies and also fire missiles at your enemies.

Not to mention after one supply drop, you can have the UAV load back up at the base and send it off to drop off more supplies.

Llama isn't going to walk back to the base to get resupplied for ya.

RE: Easy?
By Donovan on 3/18/2009 11:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
Then we just need llamas that shoot laser beams out of their eyes!

Oh man, that would be so frickin' awesome.

RE: Easy?
By quiksilvr on 3/15/2009 1:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
You know how diamond makers keep extra diamonds away from the public eye so that the price of the diamonds go up to keep it rare and expensive? Similar concept. They have the technology, but sat on it for a while beforehand so as to justify more money to be spent on the war. But now that the economy is collapsing, they flooded the military with this technology because they aren't getting as much money as before.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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