December 19, 2004

Durbin Doesn't Know Dick

You could this one coming a mile away too...via Hindrocket:

This press conference by Major General Stephen Speakes and several other officers, which took place on Wednesday, is worth reading in its entirety.

Q On the 278th, can you repeat this? At the time the question was asked, the planted question, the unit had 784 of its 804 vehicles armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Here is the overall solution that you see. And what we've had to do is -- the theater had to take care of 830 total vehicles. So this shows you the calculus that was used. Up north in Iraq, they drew 119 up-armored humvees from what we call stay-behind equipment. That is equipment from a force that was already up there. We went ahead and applied 38 add-on armor kits to piece of equipment they deployed over on a ship. They also had down in Kuwait 214 stay- behind equipment pieces that were add-on armor kits. And then over here they had 459 pieces of equipment that were given level-three protection. And so when you put all this together, that comes up with 830.

Q At the time of the question -- summarize this, now -- that unit that the kid was complaining about was mostly armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Yes. In other words, we completed all the armoring within 24 hours of the time the question was asked.

Q If he hadn't asked that question, would the up-armoring have been accomplished within 24 hours?

GEN. SPEAKES: Yes. This was already an existing program.

This next exchange is illustrative of the media's ignorance.

Q I mean, this is a hypothetical -- but why not say if you want 8,000 vehicles this month and here's the money --

GEN. SORENSON: Well, sure, but as I mentioned earlier, I mean, this is not Wal-Mart. As we've gone through, this is a very detailed process in terms of trying to get this capability. Steel -- we had, in some cases, to ramp up -- I said it before. We had one steel producer; we had to go out and get two more. In some cases, the steel was 12 to 16 weeks. Ballistic glass. There are a lot of long lead parts.

One would think news organzations would assign journalists who had at least a working knowledge of the DOD.

It appears that another part of the media armor story isn't accurate either:

All Trucks in Iraq Have Some Form of Armor, General Says

BALAD, Iraq, Dec. 16, 2004 -- All of the medium and heavy trucks soldiers drive in Iraq have some form of armor on them, said the logistics boss in the country during an interview Dec. 14.

Army Brig. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, the commander of the 1st Corps Support Command, spoke to reporters traveling with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. The chairman was in the region to bring a United Service Organizations tour headlined by Robin Williams to entertain servicemembers in the region.

Fontaine said that soldiers have not waited for kits to arrive from the United States to add armor to heavy and medium trucks that are the logistical workhorses in Iraq.

As early as August 2003, soldiers took armor from Iraqi vehicles and began welding it into their vehicles. It is not level-one armor, which is the kind put onto the vehicles at the manufacturer, Fontaine said. But the steel used is the same as in the add-on kits that have been arriving in Iraq.

Isn't the point here that our military is adapting in the field as opearations evolve as it always has? My father went into battle in Germany without winter gear or boots and ran out of ammunition. I am sure the media could point to stocks of stockpiled surplus or left-behind materials in forward staging areas that proved to be unsuitable in the field. You may note that the up-armor kits were described as "left-behind". Anyone who has ever lived orworked on a forward staging base understands that logistics is not a science nor are shortages on the ground due to a lack of planning or careless leaders, it's the shifting nature of war on the ground and the old bugaboo of inventory, whatever you've got in stock, something you don't is always needed/wanted. Yesterday.

It will be interesting to see how the Dems remove their feet from Senator Durbin's mouth, perhaps they'll finally choke on the rank opportunism they've employed since 9/11...oh, they did so last month, didn't they?

Posted by feste at December 19, 2004 12:57 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?