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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 theapparition on 3/13/2009 9:46:15 AM , Rating: 2
Given that even then, the US doesn't rank in the top 25 of countries military budgets as percentatge of GDP, I'd say that the US's defense budget is too light.

So even after this bad economic recession and depression, the US is still the largest economy in the world, by a long shot. So what? We're not allowed to spend that.

RE: defense spending plan
By nafhan on 3/13/2009 12:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, you have to look at stuff in perspective.

If you had a room full of midgets and a 6ft tall guy steped in, you wouldn't say he was fat because he weighed twice as much as a midget.

RE: defense spending plan
By inperfectdarkness on 3/14/2009 12:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
considering most military pundits believe our defense spending should be ~4.0% of our GDP. this does not include war-expenditures.

and considering that our defense spending is ~3.9% INCLUDING war-expenditures...

i'd say you were 100% spot on with that assessment.

RE: defense spending plan
By Kuroyama on 3/14/2009 11:24:59 AM , Rating: 2
Look down a list of the top defense spenders as % of GDP.

Other than a few small island nations the countries in the top 50 are either dictatorships (gotta repress those peasants), had wars on their own territory in recent times (Israel, El Salvador, Bosnia), or have neighbors they have frequently warred with (such as Greece's love of Turkey). Most fit all three categories.

So, which country on the list were you trying to compare the US to?

RE: defense spending plan
By theapparition on 3/15/2009 6:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
So, which country on the list were you trying to compare the US to?

Let's see.

If you want to compare using cold war rules, the US's defense spending is very close to Russia (ranked 28th and 30th respectively). And let's face it, Russia has been exceedingly hostile towards US interests lately. Also of paramount note, they are the ones supplying all the technical advice and equipment to help Iran with nuclear power.

As for the others on that list, using the more modern: War on Terror, a good portion of the top 25 are either middle eastern countries that don't like us too much (Let's see: Iran, Syria, Yemen et al), or semi-hostile countries like China. Thier combined military expenses certainly constitute a threat to the US.

So the question has to be asked, who on your own link wouldn't you compare to?

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