Thursday, August 04, 2005

Article in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer about those goddamned AAVs the Marines are using in the Triangle. They're huge, vulnerable, and ancient. Those yahoos who were bitching about the Humvees last year *should* have been grousing about the AAVs, which are as old as the M113, and probably more dangerous to use. It's a big vehicle, which means that a IED hit on one of them has the potential to kill half a platoon if the explosion catches it right, such as what happened yesterday. They're not designed for urban warfare, as the article points out, and are really out of place on any battlefield away from the water. They've been used to some effect on riverine crossings in the area of al Anbar where that Ohio Marine unit was operating, but one can't help but feel that this sort of usage is unfortunately similar to the Marines' Vietnam-era habit of mounting multiple and frequent amphibious landings, just because that's what they're trained to do. I can't help but think that the AAV battalions ought to be cross-trained on LAV-25s, and deployed in them. They're much better patrol vehicles.

Unfortunately it sounds as if there's a limited inventory of LAVs, and it might be easier to re-equip them with the much more expensive and modern, non-amphibious Strykers, not that the Marines would like that much. But, since the Marines seem to be moving away from their old role as naval infantry anyways...

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