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Marines eye expansion of light armor units.

Marine Corps war planners at the Pentagon are studying options to create more armored units in Iraq. Specifically, the Marines are looking for additional light armored battalions, says Col. Len Blasiol, director of materiel capabilities at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. A "force structure review" is under way to consider the possibility of taking infantry reserve units and converting them to light armored battalions, Blasiol tells an industry conference.

Marines in Iraq are finding new ways to employ the light armored vehicles, explains Col. John J. Bryant, LAV program manager. Commanders have asked for additional LAV companies, at least one per battalion, he adds. As to how the Corps will come up with additional vehicles, Bryant says it remains an open question. "We don't know what the strategy is yet." He notes that the current Marine Corps budget has no dollars to buy any new LAVs.
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Title Annotation:Washington Pulse
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:147
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