Army struggles to maintain ground vehicle fleet.Facing a $12 billion tab to repair and replace vehicles and equipment damaged in combat operations, the Army expects to both reassess funding priorities and take a hard look at its logistics and maintenance practices.
On the aviation side, the funds needed to fix up the fleet will come from the cancelled Comanche program. But the Army may need to cut other programs or drastically change business practices in order to restore ground vehicles and spare parts Spare parts, also referred to as Service Parts is a term used to indicate extra parts available and in proximity to the mechanical item, such as a automobile, boat, engine, for which they might be used.
Spare parts are also called “spares. accounts to acceptable levels, officials said.
"We are not getting more dollars. We have to do things smarter," said Maj. Gen. N. Ross Thompson III, commander of the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command.
The main reason why the Army is in this predicament is that the combat vehicles deployed in Iraq--the Abrams tank and the Bradley infantry vehicle-were among those "legacy" systems that were scheduled to end production, so that Army had not budgeted any money for spares or repairs.
Now, the Army is having a tough time maintaining vehicle fleets at the required "readiness rates," Thompson said in a presentation to the 2004 Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Noun 1. wheeled vehicle - a vehicle that moves on wheels and usually has a container for transporting things or people; "the oldest known wheeled vehicles were found in Sumer and Syria and date from around 3500 BC"
axle - a shaft on which a wheel rotates Conference, in Monterey, Calif. "Readiness is really a challenge right now," said Thompson. "System sustainment really is causing problems."
TACOM TACOM Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (US Army)
TACOM Tactical Communications
TACOM Tactical Command
TACOM Tank-Automotive and Armament Command
TACOM Theater Army Command
TACOM Tactical Army Command
TACOM Tactical Army COM alone will be $600 million short in the spare parts account for fiscal year 2004. "We have been trying to dig ourselves out of a hole," he said.
Thompson noted that, in this case, the Army created its own problems. When the service launched its so-called "transformation" to a lighter, more technologically advanced force, it cancelled programs viewed as obsolete, such as heavy armored vehicles. The intent was to shift the money into next-generation programs, such as the Stryker brigades and the Future Combat Systems. "We took nothing to take care of the existing systems," Thompson said. Those vehicles the Army intended to soon phase out of the fleet were the workhorses during the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the Army now must come up with money for repairs and upgrades.
The overall $12 billion "resetting bill" for ground systems includes 1,555 tracked vehicles, 9,426 Humvees, 7,076 medium and heavy trucks, 3,579 trailers, 82 multiple launch rocket systems and nine Patriot air-defense battalions. The aviation repair backlog has 248 Apaches, 204 Chinooks and 451 Black Hawk Black Hawk
(born 1767, Sauk Sautenuk, Va.—died Oct. 3, 1838, village on the Des Moines River, Iowa, U.S.) Sauk Indian leader. Long antagonistic to whites, Black Hawk was driven into Iowa from Illinois in 1831. helicopters.
The truck fleet, particularly, is taking a beating in the budget. Nearly one-fourth of the Army's 240,000 trucks are in Iraq. The 2004 supplemental appropriation Congress approved last year included $808 million for trucks repairs, spare parts and up armored Humvees. But the long-term budget for truck programs is relatively small, compared to other big-ticket Defense Department projects.
The 2004-2009 budget has $8.9 billion for new trucks, a sum that probably won't be enough to replace the vehicles lost in combat and to finance the development of next-generation trucks, said congressional sources.
Charlie Huoy, minority staff director at the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee said the current Defense Department budget is "not good news for the Army."
J.J. Gertler, professional staff member of the House Armed Services Committee The term Armed Services Committee could refer to:
The production of existing trucks is scheduled to end within the next five years, and there are no replacement programs on the horizon yet. Under current plans, Humvee production would end by 2007, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles The Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) is a series of vehicles manufactured by BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems (M&PS) (formerly the Tactical Vehicle Systems Division of Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group, originally Tactical Vehicle Systems, LP, a by 2008, and the heavy logistics trucks by 2007.
"We don't have enough money to replace all these trucks by 2030," said Lt. Gen. Claude V. Christianson, Army deputy chief of staff for logistics.
A $41 million five-year research and development program, called the Future Tactical Truck System, is expected to pave the way for a new generation of vehicles. Run by the Army's National Automotive Center. FTTS FTTS Fly to the Sky (band)
FTTS FIFRA/TSCA Tracking System (EPA)
FTTS Future Tactical Truck System
FTTS Future Train Traffic Control
FTTS Factor-To-Target Sequence is supposed to address the technological deficiencies in current trucks, such as survivability sur·viv·a·ble
1. Capable of surviving: survivable organisms in a hostile environment.
2. That can be survived: a survivable, but very serious, illness. and lack of command-control and communications systems In telecommunication, a communications system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment (DTE) usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole. aboard.
The NAC See network access control. was expected to solicit industry proposals for FFTS last month. Both military and industry experts, however, question the Army's commitment to this project and wonder if it would not make more sense to spend the money to upgrade current trucks.
"FTTS needs to be a continuous process," said Christianson. He believes that new technology is needed on today's trucks, and that the Army cannot afford to wait for these technologies until FTTS develops a new vehicle design.
A case in point is the "movement tracking system," a GPS tracking See vehicle tracking. device installed on Army and Marine trucks in Iraq, to monitor their movements. Christianson lamented the lack of standards across the trucks fleets, which means that not every truck can accommodate devices such as MTS (1) See Microsoft Transaction Server.
(2) (Modular TV System) The stereo channel added to the NTSC standard, which includes the SAP audio channel for special use.
1. MTS - Message Transport System.
2. . "Why doesn't every truck come with some connection that you plug into?" he asked.