Strategic Capabilities: ISO Container "BattleBoxesTM": Containerize the entire U.S. Army

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Slide 6a of 48

"The ultimate objective of an army is to impose its collective will on the enemy. But its first mission is simply to exist. Its first problem is to feed and clothe and shelter itself, and to be able to move itself from one place to another. Most people think of an army as expending its energy in fighting the enemy. Actually, most of an army's energy goes into keeping itself alive and in being; and in getting itself to where a very small portion of its numbers can fight an equally small portion of the enemy's total army.

As soon as we won in Tunisia, we had no place for our army to fight the Reichswehr. But even when Rommel's armies were still terrible, a surprisingly small portion of the Allied "armed forces" in Africa was engaged in fighting it. And of those who are entitled to battle stars on their ribbons, only a small fraction were killing in the literal sense. And even the killers spent most of their time --I would guess an average of twenty-two hours out of twenty-four-- in house-keeping for themselves, and in moving from one place to another.

Yet the whole effect of the army is as integrated as the 'shaft and the head and the point of the tip of a spear.'

A human being is such a frail thing that he cannot live more than a few days without both food and sleep. Nature is still his real enemy even though he takes his eternal struggle with her for granted. So the army as a whole must survive against nature before it can harm a single enemy by surviving and moving itself from one place to another is ninety per cent of the army's business, and unless it does this well it is not an army. The army solves its problems of surviving by two dull words: organization and standardization --and an enormous personal effort and submergence of the individual will to the collective welfare."

- Captain Ralph Ingersoll, The Battle is the Pay-Off; 1943; pp. 84-85 Regarding operations of U.S. Army Rangers and the 1st Infantry Division near El Quettar, Tunisia in early 1943


I. History of the Concept of Hard Mobile Modules (Gavin's KIWI pods, Quonset Huts etc.)

II. The optimized tactical BattleBoxTM made from ISO sea/air/land containers

III. Early forms of BattleBoxesTM already in use in war by other armies

IV. Extending the BattleBoxTM Reach by land/sea/air transport

V. BattleBoxesTM as True Military Transformational Means (operational analysis, loading scenarios, benefits for security, surprise, political commentary, etc.)

I. History of the Concept of Hard Mobile Modules (KIWI pods, Covered Wagons, Quonset Huts etc.)

The Roman Legions used to carry EVERYTHING they needed to form their own stockade, an armed camp to include the wood for fencing! No matter where they were, deserts, woods, swamps they could stop and set up a protective camp. In fact, you can still see the traces of their encampments today in archaeological ruins.

The Roman Camp was a vital technique used in the military. One might ask themselves, technique? Yes, technique. The Roman Camp was actually a detailed strategy used to prevent surprise attack. The Roman Legions would easily control their surroundings by taking a portable city wherever they went. The Army would march all day, and when they found a spot to settle, the entire army could build a camp that ran as efficiently as a well-planned city. The only difference between the Roman Camp and the Roman City was that the camp would be in a different location the next day.

The Roman Camp was easily built in about six hours. The first step in building the city is constructing the walls. The camp would be surrounded in fossa (ditch) and an agger (wall). This ditch and wall system made it difficult to attack, and often would slow down the enemy.

The Roman Camp was shaped like a square, with entrances at the midpoint of each of its sides. The entire camp perimeter was made of a strong wall, built up by a vallum. This vallum had walkways that were constantly guarded by centurions, and each portae is guarded by an additional watchtower. The guarded gates in the vallum were called portae. The camp was connected by roads which were built as straight as possible. The way the road system worked was that the Via Principia connected the eastern and western portae, and the Via Praetoria connected the north and south portae.

All the Soldiers were quartered inside cantebernium, which were tents that could hold eight men at a time. The general's tent, called the Praetorium, was located in the center of the camp, where the main roads intersected. Outside the general's tent was a flagpole. When certain flags were raised, battle could be signaled. Also in the center were the Taburnaculae, known as the merchant tents.

However, when one examines the U.S. make-shift and now defacto permanent presence in Iraq where our men are getting killed in their vulnerable base camps as they hunker down to avoid getting killed on the main supply routes by roadside bombs and RPGs, you have to wonder if we are up to the task of world conquest when we don't have the Roman Legion's tactically-sound but TEMPORARY encampment and stay ensconced capability. Because we lack a take-with-us-wherever-we-go portable hard-shell encampment capability, we at first live in vulnerable, tactically unsound "tent cities" and progress towards occupying former dictator palaces and static buildings that do not belong to us, inciting the people we are supposed to be liberating to rebel against us. And just being focused on a sub-national conflict within a country doesn't means you are safe from sophisticated, industrialized, nation-state attacks: if near-by Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked, these static bases holding 140, 000+ U.S. troops could be attacked by surface-to-surface ballistics missiles (SSMs) and/or have their paved road-dependant wheeled truck supply lines cut by sympathetic Shia militias since we refuse to employ air or tracked armored vehicle resupply means that can avoid ambushes by taking non-linear routes and fight their way through if need be.

Static Building FOB "From Here to Eternity" Garrison Camp Victory, Iraq, 2005-present

Video Proof of Americans Occupying Permanent Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in Iraq and alienating the people there while we can play garrison Army and marine games (obsess with time wasting paperwork and custodial chores, linear formations, sports PT, find someone of lower rank to defecate on etc.)!

Moldy Tents, Sick Soldiers

We are paying civilian truck drivers to shuttle water, supplies and fuel in unarmored trucks to keep our Soldiers/marines supplied with an electrical power grid in Iraq, and that they are refusing to be a "human BBQ" should comes as no surprise. We are doing the wasteful, throw-away American way of war in Iraq--and it isn't working!. Static buildings make contractors rich but leave our men unprotected and are left behind when we leave so we are unprepared again for the next operation overseas or some remote area. Were we Americans always this inept? The answer to this question can be found in our past and projected into the present with new technologies to reverse the present debacle. The lessons to be learned from the Iraq debacle is to be SELF-SUFFICIENT when you go to war.

1st Air Cavalry Forward Operating Base, An Khe, 1965

Notice the sprawling An Khe FOB is a clusterfuck of vulnerable static buildings.

VIDEO: 1st Cav needs two MONTHS to build base in Vietnam from scratch

See any improvements in the 2005 American occupation "FOBBITs" and the 1965 "Sky Soldiers"?

You know the drill.

We are supposed to be ready-to-fight, STRAC, etc. etc.

We are not if we need to build static buildings and air bases. Especially if they are FLIMSY and vulnerable to enemy commando, rocket, mortar and artillery attacks.

An Khe closer look: TENT HORROR Story, Part 4, "The Pre-quel".

Look at the pathetic fabric TENTS and wooden buildings our troops lived in during the Vietnam war, is it a wonder we lost 58, 000 dead? Injured Soldiers, where do they go to? Why, MORE VULNERABLE TENTS where enemy fires and shrapnel not bound by the "Geneva Convention" can finish them off.

Our troops deserved better then and they deserve better N-O-W.

If 1st Air Cav had been ALREADY IN PRE-FABRICATED, PORTABLE, MODULAR BUILDINGS they would have been combat-ready in 2 DAYS after arrival. Good thing the NVA were not ready to try to split South Vietnam in two and the 1st Cav was able to stop them in the famous Ia Drang battle depicted in the film; "We were Soldiers".

If 1st Air Cav had been ISO containerized in BATTLEBOXes they would have been combat-ready in 2 DAYS after arrival. And they would have been HARDENED by earth fill, sand bags, concrete (Old Ralph Zumbro trick: mix in with sand let rain do rest) etc. and even underground to withstand even the heaviest NVA bombardments. Once you have a rigid metal shape you can do miracles of combat fortifications...

The weight of the hundreds of 30 pounds each sand bags alone could collapse these make-shift "bunkers".

If you do not have a solid structural shape and try to erect shapes out of flimsy WOOD that soaks up rain, moisture and BURNS you are going to waste $$$$ millions upon millions of dollars, countless hours of time better spent defeating the enemy and doing civic action for the civil populace, and when all is said and done you are still living in a shit-hole for a dwelling (hot, dirty, can't keep rain out) THAT DOES NOT PROTECT YOU AND YOUR MEN. "Half-Assed" is being charitable for a description.

How did America win the West?

U.S. Army covered wagon in 1800s at the Fort Eustis Transportation Museum: we were more self-sufficient and BATTLE AGAINST THE EARTH ready in some ways than we are now!

We conquered the west with covered wagons that protected ourselves and our supplies to sustain us for days, weeks and months before game could be shot and killed and crops grown. With Indians shooting at us with arrows and throwing Tomahawk axes, this was good enough for that 1st Generation War threat; but its not enough for today's 4th Generation of War (4GW) threats. We have forgotten that we have a legacy of self-sufficient mobile warfare and need to rediscover it in 21st century form so we bring our own infrastructure to sustain ourselves against the battle against the earth and protect it against man.

Iraq TENT HORROR STORY PART 1a: We must get our troops out of tactically unsound tent cities and plywood shacks in Iraq (and everywhere else)

First Sergeant Perry Jefferies, USA (retired) writes:

"One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him."

WHAT A TRAGEDY. We could have prevented this hero's death. We need to prevent this from happening again. WE WILL PREVENT THIS TRAGEDY from happening again.

Unsafe Plywood Shacks: do these provide our Soldiers ANY protection from enemy attacks?

As Guard Posts?

As Out Houses?

As Showers?

As Guard Towers?

Even with sand bags stacked all around how far can guards see? Can they survive even a burst of AKM bullets if they are not directly behind sand bags?

Living in rotting tents? What protection do these provide?

Iraq War TENT HORROR STORY, PART 1b: False "Victory" Complacency from Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM, 1990-91

The Army Transportation Museum tries to glorify the BS tent with a display of a notional tent with make-shift wood camp furniture that General Sherman of Civil War fame would have collected and burned. None of these ad hoc devices are ready so even more time and funds $$$ are wasted when "suddenly" the Army and marines stop playing garrison routine and start living in the field--badly.

Iraqi TENT HORROR STORY, PART 1c: No Border Security: Without Soil Sealants & Hardened Living Modules, U.S. troops can't stay...temporary sweeps alienate Iraqis

Without portable hard living modules and a way to instantly pave the dirt, troops cannot outpost border areas long enough to stop enemy infiltration. Sweeping through civilian homes and not staying fails to catch the rebels and angers the populace to join side of the rebels. When rains come the ad hoc American camps will be washed out of business. As the New York Times article shows our troops need "BattleBoxesTM" and Envirotac soil sealant called "Rhino Snot" standing behind BORDER SECURITY FENCES like the Israelis use.

Border Security the Right Way: Using Fencing backed by Gunslingers--not men with guns alone

Australia troops in Afghanistan secure their FOBs with chain-link fencing and HESCO Concertainer barrels

Israeli Security Fence System has virtually eliminated terror bombings in their country

U.S. and Iraq Step Up Effort to Block Insurgents' Routes

Published: October 3, 2005

RAWA, Iraq - A few miles outside this sleepy river town, marked in many places with black spray-painted scrawls hailing the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, called Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, American troops are building a desert outpost of plywood huts protected by dirt-filled blast barriers and surrounded by a high berm.

Johan Spanner/Polaris, for The New York Times

A helipad at an American outpost in Rawa, Iraq, where troops are trying to halt the movement of foreign fighters who have entered the country.

American military commanders see this effort as a crucial step in their strategy of cutting off the supply of foreign fighters that has fed the insurgency and threatens to tip the country into civil war.

Attention has focused recently on the northern city of Tal Afar, another entry point for foreign fighters, where 8,500 American and Iraqi troops have been fighting insurgents since early September.

But the greater battle lies ahead, in the towns in the Euphrates River valley, where for nearly two years Mr. Zarqawi's fighters have had free rein, blowing up police stations and building a network of safe houses to stockpile weapons, make car bombs and move fighters into the country from Syria.

Foreigners who infiltrated Iraq through the network are believed to have carried out most of the suicide attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere that have become among the most visible and destabilizing tools of the insurgency.

Now, American and Iraqi forces are trying to change that by occupying towns like Rawa and installing Iraqi Army battalions to keep insurgents at bay. They engaged in heavy fighting with insurgents recently in Ramadi, a major city on the river, and they continued to carry out airstrikes and ground raids against insurgent safe houses along the Syrian border. But American military officials say the strategy, which residents say is killing civilians, is not enough.

American military officials have said they know of no civilian casualties, but emphasize that other measures are needed.

"You can go through these towns again and again, but you can't get results unless you are there to stay," said Col. Stephen Davis, commander of marine regimental combat team 2, which is responsible for a vast area of western Iraq south of the Euphrates. "As Iraqis are getting trained, we're going back to take these towns back and build bases inside for both Iraqi and American forces."

Rawa, built on a finger of land formed by a hairpin turn in the Euphrates, overlooks a major bridge that was an important site in Mr. Zarqawi's network, military officials say. "We believe it was the last point at which they would decide to send the foreigners south to Baghdad or north across the desert to Mosul," said Lt. Col. Mark Davis, who commands the new Army outpost.

The town of 20,000 remains a Baathist stronghold, where animosity toward the American effort runs deep. Army intelligence officers say they believe that some former high-ranking Baathist military figures here have provided active support for the Zarqawi network, but they say the mujahedeen have become the dominant power in the area.

"Al Qaeda came in and established a network along the river valley, and made it stronger based on the lack of coalition presence here," Colonel Davis said. On the sign welcoming people to Rawa, the insurgents wrote: "Long live the mujahedeen. To fight for Islam is an obligation of all Muslims."

Rawa did not exactly send out the Welcome Wagon after the Stryker Brigade Combat Team from the Second Infantry Division arrived in late July. In little more than a month, the unit was hit by two dozen roadside bombs and eight suicide car bombs. It has been backed by two airstrikes; one on an armor-hardened safe house with a large weapons cache and another on a building booby-trapped with artillery shells.

Officers say they have received little cooperation from the town's residents, many of whom are convinced the Americans will pull out when the rains come and turn their desert outpost into a lake of viscous mud.

In fact, there is only a sporadic American military presence outside the few towns now occupied.

Neither the Army nor the marines maintain any permanent checkpoints along the road from the Syrian border to Haditha, another town reportedly controlled by Mr. Zarqawi's mujahedeen. The road, which leads to Baghdad, is the primary route for foreign fighters headed for suicide attacks in the capital.

The marines and the Army rely on periodic checkpoints to catch drivers by surprise. Four of six such operations in a two-week period in August stopped vehicles apparently carrying insurgents, suggesting that men and matériel continue to move despite the American presence. One car turned up guns, grenades, ammunition and a computer storage device filled with files dealing with the insurgency. One of the guns was an M-16 assault rifle taken from a dead marine.

But each of the temporary checkpoints lasts only a few hours and the searches are cursory.

Part of the problem is the size of the force. The Army has about 800 Soldiers on the base but only about 300 leave the outpost on operations and never all at the same time. They must cover an expanse of desert, north of the river to the Syrian border, that is the size of Vermont. The marines, with 3,000 troops covering an even larger area, suffer from the same problem south of the river.

"We have more men on the way," said Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the highest-ranking military commander in Iraq, during a brief stopover at the desert outpost. He said an Iraqi Army division, the Seventh, which would have about 4,000 men, was now being formed for Anbar Province, the predominantly Sunni area that includes the northern Euphrates Valley.

The United States Army is running daily patrols through the narrow, hilly streets of Rawa and westward to the Syrian border, along with 500 Iraqi Soldiers who are based in an unfinished water treatment plant.

In one recent operation in Rawa, the Iraqi forces, protected by Stryker combat vehicles and Army snipers, fanned out across a hillside of new villas, crumbling outbuildings and trash-strewn lots, hunting for fighters who had fired on one of their checkpoints during the night.

They kicked in doors and combed the open ground, quickly discovering the gunner's position. Concealed in the rubbish nearby they found an AK-47, four grenades and a cigarette carton filled with machine-gun rounds. On a nearby wall, someone had scrawled "Join the jihad."

The insurgents continue to operate in the town, residents say, planting roadside bombs like the one that breached the armor of a Stryker vehicle recently, slightly wounding some Soldiers inside.

Two days after the Iraqi Army's sweep, the American Army commander, Colonel Davis, and his Iraqi counterpart, a Colonel Yasser who did not give his first name, faced a crowd of 300 people angered by the house-to-house searches and summary detentions.

"The Iraqi Army will be in every city," Colonel Yasser, a Sunni, told the crowd, urging them to vote in the constitutional referendum, scheduled for Oct. 15, and the national elections, scheduled for December.

He said the town must work with the government of Anbar Province to appoint new town officials and restore the police force. "If we don't unite," he said, "our voices will not be heard."

Colonel Davis delivered a blunter message. "We're not going anywhere," he told the murmuring crowd, adding that as long as there were attacks against Iraqi or American troops the house searches and roadblocks and bridge closings would continue.

"Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire from the base," he said. "I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace."

Afghanistan TENT HORROR STORY, PART 2: U.S. troops in waiting game vs. Taliban, their powers weakened by poor BATTLE AGAINST THE EARTH adaptation

Australian troops suffering in flimsy tents in Afghanistan 0607110158jul11,1,736947.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Taliban haven is GIs' `Camp Hell' Afghan villagers `don't want to help us any'

By Kim Barker, Tribune foreign correspondent.
Chicago Tribune
July 11, 2006

Tribune foreign correspondent Kim Barker reported from a remote region in Afghanistan

MUSA QALA BASE, Afghanistan -- Nobody waves at the Soldiers here. Children do not crowd around the Humvees, asking for pens and candy, as they do in the rest of Afghanistan. Even the girls throw rocks at passing U.S. military helicopters.

U.S. troops set up this base in southwestern Helmand province in mid-June to fight insurgents, part of the largest military operation since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. This area, virtually abandoned by the government for years, is probably the most hostile place for foreign troops in all of Afghanistan. Here, all government enemies have a comfortable home--the opium poppy farmers, the drug runners, the Taliban. Everyone else is scared.

The only Afghan visitors to the new base have either tried to attack it or complained about it. Some Soldiers refer to the nearest large village, Musa Qala, as Taliban Town. Many are resentful of locals who pretend the Taliban does not exist, who refuse to help.

"They just want, want, want," Spec. Jason Ide, 22, said while in his Humvee scouting a route for an upcoming mission. "They don't want to help us any."

To see how violent the war in Afghanistan has turned, look no further than the Soldiers at this base. They have been attacked every few days. On the morning of June 28, a medic known for always carrying a picture of his wife and newborn son was killed when an old land mine exploded. That night, insurgents attacked a convoy carrying supplies to the base.

The next night, insurgents ambushed U.S. Soldiers operating out of a satellite base about 60 miles to the north. Last week, a gunner at the satellite base was shot dead when his convoy was ambushed.

These troops aim to put pressure on the Taliban, to go into areas where the U.S.-led coalition has not had a steady presence before. They are part of Operation Mountain Thrust, in which more than 10,000 Afghan and foreign troops have poured into the southern provinces, attempting to pave the way for a smooth transition in security control later this month from the coalition to NATO troops.

Life on the new base is bleak, a constant struggle in a windy desert where temperatures soar higher than 120 degrees and nightly blasts from 105mm howitzers remind the Taliban that the Soldiers still are there. The camp is protected by barbed wire and a ring of "Hescos," which are large bags that are filled with sand to serve as barriers. Sentries on a hill above the camp and on guard towers can spot anyone approaching.

Everyone lives in long tents that sleep about 50 people. At night the wind picks up, whipping through the tents and covering everything and everyone in sand the consistency of talcum powder. If left alone, the sand would bury this place in a month.

Showers are iffy. Air conditioners sit unused, with no generator to power them. The Taliban destroyed the base's new large refrigerator unit while it was being driven up through Musa Qala, along with the Red Bull, Gatorade and many Soldiers' personal belongings. Soldiers call the base Camp Hell or worse.

"And I thought Iraq was bad," said Staff Sgt. Robert Masher, 29, of Pittson, Pa.

Soldiers here lament that this is a forgotten war, overshadowed by the violence in Iraq, as many Soldiers in Afghanistan have long felt. But increasingly, this is a forgotten deadly war. Just look at Ide's unit, the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division: In the past two months, seven Soldiers have been killed, in fighting and in helicopter accidents.

On June 24, 1st Lt. Joe Lang, 23, of Maui, Hawaii, wrote a letter to his family, talking about the Soldiers who have died, the good men they were, like the fair and even-handed battalion commander who never had seen his new baby daughter. Or the friend shot dead while rescuing an injured man. Or that same injured man and the medic, who both died when the cable on the rescue helicopter snapped. Lang said his heart was broken. He felt strange about his lack of remorse when a key Taliban rebel was killed.

"I still feel alone," Lang told his family. "Realize that no one could understand what I've been through unless they have lived it."

For the Soldiers, life at this base has been a series of attacks. They were first ambushed outside of Kandahar on June 12 while driving to set up the base, in an isolated spot in the middle of a desert, miles from the nearest village. Three days after troops arrived, a man rode up on a motorcycle. As an Afghan army truck drove toward the man, he pulled out a Kalashnikov and began to fire. An Afghan Soldier shot him dead. Two days later, the company north of the Musa Qala base was attacked.

And two days after that, on June 20, a medical convoy tried to give free medical help to the village of Sarbesa. Elders said the U.S. Soldiers scared the women and children and asked the medics to hold their clinic outside the village. Only 30 people came. In other parts of Afghanistan, such clinics typically draw about 250 people.

"We would have been mobbed anywhere else," said Capt. Bill Adams, 36, who has a stash of candy and pens that no Afghans want to take. "The people here are very guarded. It takes patience."

On the way back to the base, the medical convoy was ambushed. Reinforcements had to be sent in, and one U.S. Soldier was shot in the head; his helmet protected him from the bullet.

Days later, 50 elders from Sarbesa came to the U.S. base and asked that the Soldiers not return. The Soldiers have not tried to go back.

On June 28 the Soviet-era land mine exploded, killing the medic, who never complained about the harsh conditions at the base. That night the supply convoy was attacked, and despite reinforcements, insurgents attacked again the next morning.

U.S. troops have tried to win over the locals, by setting up meetings with elders, offering to build wells and handing over gifts of blankets, prayer rugs, vegetable oil, food and school supplies. One village accepted the gifts. But another rejected them, scared of the Taliban's reaction.

Still, a couple of Afghans have agreed to talk about the Taliban. U.S. Soldiers acknowledge that building a relationship here will take time. The Taliban has been entrenched here for years; so have the poppies and the drug traffickers.

"People are more scared of the Taliban," Capt. Scott Horrigan, operations officer at Musa Qala, said of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division. "They know they can lie to us, and nothing's going to happen to them."

Some Soldiers hate this place and these people and they are not shy about saying so. They willingly volunteer these feelings, that they hate Afghans, hate Afghanistan and that they do not understand why anyone would fight over such a desolate country for so many years.

Other Soldiers try to put themselves in the minds of the Afghans, or of the children at least, and wonder what it's like to grow up in a desert on the edge of Earth, in a place where the Taliban burns down schools, where brand-new USAID-funded clinics are not used, where the job options are limited to herding goats and growing poppies.

In his letter to his family, Lang wrote that Afghanistan's mountains looked almost beautiful enough for a vacation. He talked about how wasteful war was. And Lang ended his letter to his family with a piece of hope, a rarity here. He talked about running into an Afghan girl and giving her a Pop-tart, even though Soldiers are not supposed to give out food. Lang and his fellow Soldiers showed her how to unwrap it.

"She smiles," Lang wrote. "Beautiful. Hides the food and walks away."

Camp Udairy, Kuwait: Tent Horror Story, PART 3: they suck: A photo journal of a UNPA Nurse Practitioner

Key photos:

1. Tents burn

2. Tents collapse in high winds

3. Tents don't protect from dirt/dust/enemy fire

4. They try to fortify the tents by concrete barriers, berms and bunker pieces as work-arounds when the basic problem is the tents themselves offer no protection

Notice they had a 40-foot shower ISO container--why not everyone in shipping container "BattleBoxes" that can be fortified in the first place and have built-in living features?

SIDEBAR: Solar Heated Showers in Vietnam

Here is a typical sun-heated barrel shower from Vietnam...why not have "BattleBox" roof tanks solar heated to be a BATTLEBOXshowertoiletTM unit?

Tent Horror Story PART 4: WHY are American troops STILL living in TENTS in combat zones?

A senior NCO writes starting with an excerpt:

"The mortar alarms that sound in Camp Kalsu are sometimes ignored, as Soldiers have become accustomed to the attacks. Playing dominoes in a large tent, a group of Soldiers barely glance up as a mortar alarm begins to sound. The sharp whump of a nearby mortar hit sends them scrambling outside their tent into reinforced concrete shelters. 'The worst is when you get four or five alarms and attacks in one night,' says a sergeant, leaning on his rifle and peering out of the bunker. 'It's hard to sleep through all of that, and you wind up running into the shelter wearing only your boxers."

He then elaborates:

"Concrete is cheap, so a fair question is 'why is not every structure hardened'?

A BattleBox isn't designed to stop attacks from mortars, but because generic containers are cheap they can be throwaway items. It is perfectly feasable to make portable forms that go around an ISO container and rise above it, install some rebar/remat/etc, and pour a nice concrete shell around the results. I could do it in my damn backyard, so I know an engineering unit can do it with their much greater resources. Battleboxes can be built cheaply enough that they can be potted in conjunction with generic ISO containers. Also, a standard container can be torched in half horizontally after having the end doors welded shut. This gives two nice 'trays' that can be stacked and locked to the top of other containers, then filled with concrete, rock, etc.

It is also perfectly feasible to put pre-det grating above a potted ISO, where it could also serve to mount watchtowers and the like.

The cheapo 'bunkers'

...rely on personnel hearing an alert or explosion, then hauling ass to get into the shelter. It would be better for obvious reasons to work IN a shelter. Containers have walls, while the concrete channel has no anti-spall liner.

BBox HVAC packs could be pulled for reuse if a potted Box is abandoned. Steel cans are cheap compared to G.I. lives.

This is starting to chap my ass. Containers are cheap, concrete is cheap, the tools are available and the work isn't hard. Who could we suggest this to that might give a shit? They could even strip the lights and HVAC units FROM tents and hook them up in containers. Just yank the hoses, cut a couple of holes in the container (drill first hole, finish with jigsaw or Sawzall), and feed them through! No nice ducting (unless someone bothers to make it out of the many optional materials) but it would work fine. The tent lighting harness could hang from the tiedown loops in the top of standard containers. The tent entrance could be attached to the end of the container, and an emergency exit in the other end or side of the container is simple to cut.

I don't know how deep a hole common insurgent mortars dig, but a half or full ISO-worth of barrier concrete is better than a foot (or nothing if you don't make it to the shelter!)."

U.S. News & World Report
March 12, 2007

The Things That Get You

By Alex Kingsbury

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU—There are plenty of nasty ways to meet with death or injury in Iraq. Examples of some of the cleverest devices targeting American troops are mounted on large sheets of plywood outside a dining hall at FOB Kalsu, about 25 miles south of Baghdad. It's a sobering display of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the enemy: antipersonnel mines hidden in household items, pressure-sensitive explosives fashioned from slats of wood and wire, garage door openers that trigger artillery shells to rip open tanks. The letters IED, for improvised explosive device, have become forever associated with the war in Iraq. These weapons are the greatest day-to-day threat to U.S. forces. The military reported that at least 60 U.S. troops have been killed in IED attacks so far this year (the military doesn't report the cause of death in all instances). IEDs were responsible for more than half of American hostile-fire deaths in the past 12 months.

The military has struggled to develop practices and gear to counter the IED threat, with an array of devices designed to trigger the bombs prematurely or render them harmless. It's punch and counterpunch, as each new design breeds a new defense, and vice versa.

The display at FOB Kalsu, intended to help troops recognize common IEDs, is a poignant reminder of the dangers that Soldiers routinely face in or out of their vehicles. The variety known as explosively formed penetrators—which American officials assert are coming from Iran—are particularly dangerous because of their ability to penetrate even armored vehicles. An EFP consists of a short tube that acts as a barrel for a machine-milled concave copper plate. When the explosive charge detonates, the force of the explosion creates a hot copper projectile that shoots from the barrel at hypervelocity and through nearly anything in its path.

"Getting clever." It's hard to fully appreciate the force of this small weapon, even seeing how it can punch a hole through a vehicle's armor. One EFP attack on an American light armored vehicle a few weeks ago sent a copper slug a distance of more than 70 yards, through a concrete wall, then through the rear of a car, tearing through the trunk and the front and back seats, and finally settling in the engine block. In this case, the slug missed its intended target, and no one was injured.

Increasingly sophisticated EFP attacks involve four or more such explosives timed to explode simultaneously or in sequence against a single target. "They are getting clever about aiming EFPs at the engine and troop compartments," says an American commander who witnessed an EFP attack.

But the EFPs against patrols and convoys are only the latest weapons of choice for targeting U.S. troops. Insurgents still use traditional military weapons like mortars as well. Either hand-held or mounted on the back of a pickup truck, mortars can fire an explosive shell a distance of a mile or so, delivering a powerful, if often inaccurate, punch.

The mortar alarms that sound in Camp Kalsu are sometimes ignored, as Soldiers have become accustomed to the attacks. Playing dominoes in a large TENT, a group of Soldiers barely glance up as a mortar alarm begins to sound. The sharp whump of a nearby mortar hit sends them scrambling outside their tent into reinforced concrete shelters. "The worst is when you get four or five alarms and attacks in one night," says a sergeant, leaning on his rifle and peering out of the bunker. "It's hard to sleep through all of that, and you wind up running into the shelter wearing only your boxers."

Phil Hubbard doesn't show his office to many visitors, but the manager of an Internet cafe and coffee shop at FOB Kalsu has had some close calls. Looking at the 20 jagged shrapnel holes in his office wall, he gestures to the point of impact a few yards behind his trailer. "The guy who was working in here at the time just missed being turned into Swiss cheese," he says. Shrapnel tore through the wall, punching several holes into the faux leather chair at his desk, then through another wall on the opposite side of the room. Several Soldiers were injured in the attack, one of the largest mortar attacks against FOB Kalsu.

Incidentally, the camp itself was named for the only recently active professional football player killed in the Vietnam War. Robert Kalsu was a lineman from the University of Oklahoma who was voted the Buffalo Bills team rookie of the year in 1968, his first and only season with the team. He was killed two years later in the A Shau Valley in Vietnam during a mortar attack.

Death-from-a-Shack-in-Iraq: Half-Assed Buildings Kill Soldiers but Make Contractors Rich

The pics below show the horrible cheap, flimsy contractor building-itis we are paying $BILLIONS for just because we are in denial that we as Soldiers need ANY buildings at all (ICRI Myth) and can just live in tents. Tents don't protect and neither do flimsy contractor lash-ups which when the war is over get forfeited over to the locals---often the ENEMY.

The answer is to stop saying "I can rough it" (ICRI) and start DOING WHAT WE NEED WE CAN ROUGH IT. This means ALWAYS HAVING MOBILE SHELTERS before the war for everyone, we suggest using ISO containers and making them into "BATTLEBOXes" (BBs) to create our FOBs.

To do this we have to UNDERSTAND and appreciate the dominance of HIGH EXPLOSIVES on the modern, non-linear battlefield which means COMBAT ENGINEERS need to be in charge not kinetic energy (bullet) "shooters". One way to attain this would be to create a Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps (NLB-SC) which would specialize in sub-national conflicts instead of using nation-state war shooter egomaniacs who lack an appreciation for the ground and the people who live on it.

1. If we fully understood the BB concept, all BBs configured as troop living/work areas would be LINED WITH ANTI-BALLISTIC MATERIAL. Those shown in these pics are just the steel box itself which does provide far better protection than tents and flimsy contractor buildings but let's not be lazy here.

2. THE WHOLE POINT of BBs is that they HAVE A RIGID SHAPE THAT ENABLES US TO LAY EARTH-FILL CONTAINERS AGAINST THEM AND ON TOP OF THEM. If however you are HALF-ASS and do not even stack sandbags or better yet CONCERTAINER barrels all the way up and on top of the BB ITS YOUR FAULT IF THEY DO NOT FULLY PROTECT YOU. Maybe if we spent less or better ZERO time on sports PT running around in shorts/t-shirt and more time on COMBAT PHYSICAL TASKS this would have been done?

In our BB system the required number of CONCERTAINER barrels or SOA blast walls would ALWAYS be with every BB to prod the dumbass users to fill them and surround their BBs.


3. BBs can also be dug-in under the ground

The BB shape also enables us to BURROW them under the ground, which I see no evidence yet of Americans doing it in Iraq. We have evidance of the Iraqi Army doing it before the war and even A-10 strikes couldn't penetrate this "bunker".

If we can develop folding-wing aircraft to fit inside super-sized ISO BBs, there'd be huge mobility and camouflage/protection benefits to be had. Revetments only protect from sideways blast effects as the burning Humvee truck in the pictures shows. You also see a flimsy contractor building smashed from an overhead attack probably a mortar round surrounded by CONCERTAINER barrels. You get what you pay for in the laws of physics running life on planet earth. Its time we woke up and started looking at everything we do from a combat engineer's anti-high explosives attack perspective because IRAQ IS A ENGINEERING WAR not a shooting war. Obviously when "shooters" are in charge of your ground forces, its no surprise that car bombs, land mines and large FOBs with half-ass buildings within running "presence patrols" and "sweeps" that gets everyone back by chow time with a tail-to-tooth ratio of 120, 000-to-10, 000* is the consequence.

* We're being charitable. Probably less than 1, 000 troops leave the FOBs each day, why do you think Keane/Kagan's 20K "troop surge" is seen as some sort of miracle by the foolish? They THINK that the "tail" is already set and they are sending over 20K "shooters" when really the same tail composed ratio is inherent in the "surge".

BATTLEBOXes & Special Operations: Already Being done

In Victor Ostrovsky's book, "By Way of Deception", he describes a MOSSAD deception where an agent posed as a humanitarian aid worker who modifies shipping containers into housing for third world refugees. This shows that its a good idea that even kill/capture/spies are aware of. In the '90s American SEALs used ISO containers to infiltrate into Bosnia.


World Report 7/6/98
Hunting war criminals

The first account of secret U.S. missions in Bosnia


An unusual shipment arrived at the U.S. base in Tuzla, Bosnia, early last December. Inside the hull of a C-17 cargo jet were several 8-foot-high metal containers--modern-day Trojan horses filled with a total of about 65 commandos from the Navy's premier counterterrorism unit, SEAL Team 6. Handlers whisked the human payload into a nearby hangar to avoid notice by Russian, Polish, and other little-trusted allied troops on the base. Once the SEALs had been unpacked in secrecy and joined by others who drove in from Germany, they headed to CIA-run safe houses in the surrounding countryside. Their mission: to apprehend five PIFWCs (pronounced PIF-wix), an acronym for "persons indicted for war crimes," in northern Bosnia.

General James M. Gavin in Airborne Warfare: KIWI pods

Click on picture for full size or link underneath for no captions version

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General Gavin as the U.S. Army's Head of Research and Development employed young talent like then Captain Hal Moore to come up with improved parachutes and later tracked armored fighting vehicles. This was the first "heavy drop" of a platform-loaded artillery howitzer using a delayed opening, two-state cargo parachute system, which we take for granted today. Here the extraction chute pulls the load out the back of the C-82.

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After the extraction chute has cleared the load from the aircraft it pulls out the main cargo parachute which is set to deploy vertically so the load comes down on its platform. Platform airdrop loads enable the entire gun and even prime mover vehicle and ammunition to be dropped as an intact unit compared to the WW2 artillery pieces that were dropped in pieces by underwing bundles (most WW2 cargo planes did not have a twin or t-tail for a large, unobstructed rear opening for large parachute loads to slide out) widely scattered on the drop zone.

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Gavin here has a jet KIWI transport with forward swept wings probably an idea he got studying captured German scientist documents on how to delay sonic boom compressibility to get faster speeds.

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Both jet-engined and prop-driven KIWI carrying planes are shown here taking off from a CONUS airfield/runway. The artist did a great job bringing General Gavin's ideas and gives you a real 1940s George Pal science fiction movie feel.

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General Gavin clearly sees KIWI pods like our "BATTLEBOXes" as living shelters for Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). The KIWI pods like today's ISO containers also carry all the vital supplies they need to survive and can be configured for different tasks, ready upon air delivery to go into action. Here General Gavin has an arctic scene and today as we speak, scientists are living in the South Pole in Jim Brennan's SeaBox living quarters made of modified shipping containers.

Gavin also realizes such modular shelters mean the entire base can be moved in an instant to a new location as required, so no time or money is wasted on inferior static buildings you cannot take with you on peaceful expeditions or expeditionary warfare.

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The KIWI pods themselves can by a myriad of special function shops in addition to troop living quarters. Here an aircraft repair shop with all the required tools are in two side-by-side pods, a capability we need to do more of today to get away from fixed location, vulnerable air bases easily targeted by enemy missiles and commando attacks.

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More proof that the current USMC is living off the legacy of the past lusting to re-enact WW2 beach assaults. We do not get a clear signal from the NAVSPECWAR community whether its safe to drop SEALs in a rubber boat 5-10 feet above the water from the rear ramp of a C-130 using LAPES. Richard Gabriel in his book, Military Incompetence says it was tried in the 1983 Grenada invasion but with disastrous results. If the carrier aircraft is a seaplane, it simply lands on the water, comes to a slow taxi or halt, then detaches the floating KIWI pod. The Geiger Board of 1946 said to avoid nuclear targeting of the vulnerable and obvious surface fleet, marines should come ashore by seaplanes. An actual "Flying LST" was fielded, the R3Y Tradewind but the WW2 re-enactment bureaucracy with billion dollar amphibious ships for Navy officers to play Captain Kirk killed the whole seaplane option when they found a flimsy technical excuse to kill programs. In the case of the R3Y it was problems with their engines that gave them their excuse and voila! a U.S. Navy without ANY aircraft capable of landing in the water. That we could have amphibious KIWI pods that would be the only part of the carrier plane to touch the water, then take-off is a level of sophistication several steps ahead of the current marine and naval mind.

Notice as far back as 1947, General Gavin has TRACKED tanks coming out of his KIWI pods to render fire support for his beloved Paratroopers who realize OPEN TERRAIN when they see it = DROP ZONE for them. Another of the tracked tanks is shooting a barrage of rockets to saturate bombard the enemy, yet another capability absent in today's Navy/Mc team. The tragedy is that 60 years later AMERICA'S PARATROOPERS STILL DO NOT HAVE ANY TRACKED LIGHT TANKS AND PERSONNEL CARRIERS while the rest of the world's Airbornes include impending foe, Red China's Paratroopers.

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"Precision Guided Munitions" circa 1947. Clearly, when you read General Gavin's book he knows its not just nuclear weapons that demand we decentralize our maneuver units, but also precision guided high explosives, too. This is why for the Pentomic Army he had our Soldiers in air-transportable, armored M113s on tracks so they could fan out on the non-linear battlefield and keep moving even if there was no roads/trails via cross country and amphibious mobility.

The official history of the U.S. Army for that time period says the following:

The seven divisions stationed in the United States constituted the strategic reserve. Four of these—two airborne and two infantry—were designated in 1957 the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) and were maintained in a high state of readiness for quick deployment in event of an emergency. The other three were earmarked as STRAC reinforcements and as a training base for expansion of Army forces should the crisis become prolonged or develop into a full-scale war.

With the emphasis on mobility, even the larger and heavier weapons and equipment were designed to be air-transportable.

A program to produce ground and air vehicles with the necessary battlefield mobility led to the development of armored personnel carriers, such as the M113 with aluminum armor, that could move troops rapidly to the scene of operations while providing greater protection for the individual Soldier. Since


highways and bridges might be damaged or destroyed, dual-capability amphibious vehicles that could travel on rough terrain and swim across rivers and swamps freed the fighting units from total dependence upon roads.

What today's planners don't realize is that what was required for a nuclear battlefield is required today with PGMs in a Surveillance Strike System (SSC) that can be as equally devastating but in a more localized way: units ON TRACKS not wheels. We need GREATER PHYSICAL mobility, firepower, protection and livability features not less regardless if tied in to a "Mother May, I?" computer network to alleviate the anxieties of senior officials.


1. General Gavin's goal is to get THE ENTIRE Army "Airborne" and capable of 3D maneuver by aircraft delivery. Today's C-5s and C-17s make this a reality, we just have to CONTAINERIZE everything the Army owns so we do not waste precious time break bulk loading & unloading the USAF's current internal cargo volume T-Tail airlifters and the Army's internal volume CH-47 heavy lift helicopters.

2. Nore that the ideal KIWI pod carrier is still a specially designed aircraft that the pod snaps into for maximum efficiency since the aircraft doesn't carry the dead weight of a large internal volume cargo fuselage. The aircraft depicted here is like the XC-120: a CH-54 SkyCrane but with fixed instead of rotary wings.

3. Once a KIWI pod system is fielded all kinds of options become possible from the very aggressive to the very safe. The most aggressive is DROPPING the pod a few feet above the ground or water; if the carrier aircraft is a Burnelli ESTOL design the slightly above stall speed would be just 60 mph so a LAPES without a parachute or perhaps with a tail parachute on the KIWI pod may not be so severe an impact that the pod gets damaged. People inside are another matter. If its a land carrier plane, with tracked or air cushion landing gear ON THE KIWI pod itself, the plane could detach the pod once firm contact with the ground is made and pull up to return to flight back to base. The conservative option would be to land then could come to a taxi or stop and then detach the pod.

The KIWI pod has tracks to propel itself over the ground after detaching from its carrier aircraft.

4. The KIWI pod. First notice the two cargo cranes in back to load/offload supplies on pallets. There's a side door for Paratroopers to enter/leave the KIWI pod.

5. There are two sets of tracks which is incredible that General Gavin proposes this since it enables a vehicle to run over a land mine and still have 3 sets of tracks intact to keep going. On top of the KIWI pods are two machine gun or autocannon turrets to defend itself from enemy attacks or to attack the enemy, whichever happens first.


Why its a LIGHT TRACKED ARMORED FIGHTING VEHICLE...sort of like a M113! Notice on its front are two mine roller wheels to sacrifice themselves if a land mine is run over to keep the main vehicle's tracks intact to stay mobile. And right behind it is either a Paratrooper on a motorcycle and/or pedal bike!

7. Here is retired LTC Chuck Jarnot's "T-MARS" minimalist 227mm rocket launcher described in our Air-Mech-Strike book to offer a barrage of rockets to saturate the Paratrooper's enemies for maximum "bang" with least amount of weight for air delivery purposes. Certainly General Gavin saw our own and the Russian and German WW2 barrage rockets on trucks and trailers and wanted the capability continued. Where are they today? Heavy units have 227mm rockets on very heavy MLRS tracked launchers and a few Airborne units are getting the HIMARS FMTV truck with a single 6-rocket MLRS 227mm rocket pack...otherwise there are no ground rockets in our Army light units and marines today! Gavin's trailer mobile rocket system still has merit.

The Current Future Combat System (FCS) of 2006

8. 60 years later, the Army is still playing with "futuristic" concepts like FCS when we could have had them back in 1947! Compare the current "Future Combat System" of 2006 (see pic above) to Gavin's of 1947...his vision is actually more revolutionary, creative and practical because its PHYSICALLY offering capabilities while the current FCS is all about joining hands mentally with Tofflerian computer networks and embracing PHYSICAL WEAKNESS when we still live in a very large PHYSICAL world full of real, PHYSICAL enemies! Here Gavin shows a future TANK with 4 sets of tracks to like today's Bv206S keep moving in event of a landmine attack. Notice he has the driver in the hull center like today's M1 Abrams heavy tank. The turret has twin autocannon like the German Geopard for a high rate of fire to shoot down aircraft or ground targets.

Another amazing concept from General Gavin: Airborne Combat Engineers arriving inside KIWI pods with ALL the gear they need to scrape out and pave a runway for an assault landing zone. Gavin has a front bulldozer blade and a backhoe with operator facing rearward like on today's John Deere 510 combination front end loader and backhoe. He even has a sprayer vehicle that today could be Rhino Snot [Envirotac II] instant soil pavement for follow on echelon aircraft to land. Also notice he has a small 2.75" or 5" rocket barrage tracked vehicle that may even be UNMANNED. So much for the "new" and "revolutionary" unmanned ground vehicle concepts we hear today.

Lastly, General Gavin was THE driving force behind the Army getting thousands of
helicopters. It also cost him an early retirement when he made lots of enemies at the Pentagon to get this to happen. Here he's got some help from the legendary Frank Piasecki, another (still living) legend and maverick with a tandem rotor heavy lift helicopter with what looks strangely like a detachable 40 foot ISO shipping container underneath as armored half tracks drive in and out from front/rear ramps long before the C-5 was created with them in the 1960s.

General Gavin's KIWI pod concept was and still is far ahead of its time.

The piston-engined XC-120 simply did not have enough extra power to spare for the extra tare weight of a detachable pod. Today's turboprops and turbofans can enable a modular pod equipped plane to work but anti-physical DoD is not interested and wants to play with mental gadgets to steer firepower when Planet Earth is still a very big place where MANEUVER is the key to changing peoples and governments. We have the world-wide ISO shipping container system to be our "KIWI pods" we just need to design a fixed-wing cargo plane around these "BATTLEBOXes". The S-64 SkyCrane can carry one ISO container now snug up into its skeletal body (see description below). Pods would enable every unit in the U.S. Army to be READY-TO-FIGHT at all times with "BATTLEBOXes" ready to operate as soon as they are delivered by air, land or sea.

The Answer is staring at us right in our faces: Hard-Shell ISO Containers

Why not after they are emptied dig them in and surround them with earth-filled metal walls and use them for guard posts and troop living spaces instead of flimsy tents and plywood shacks?

Sidebar: How did we win World War 2? rethinking BattleBoxesTM as Quonset Huts---but better

1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) Director, Mike Sparks writes: I can't believe I didn't make this connection sooner! In 1986 I went to USMC OCS at Camp Upshur living in the last of the marine quonset huts.....the point here is that we knew as far back as WWII that tents are not good enough....we retired the quonset hut and did not replace it....planet earth has not changed....we still need portable hard shell housing...but the way to do it better is by using ISO containers that can be fortified and transported by land/sea/air...BattleBoxesTM! Why live in a tent and run to a bomb shelter every time the enemy attacks giving the enemy the disruption he seeks when we can already be in fortified BattleBoxesTM as bomb shelters?


by John H. Lienhard

Click here for audio of Episode 1278.

Today, we build an instant house. The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.

As WW-II war clouds gathered in 1941, the Navy knew it would soon face vast problems of moving and housing people and materiel. War is about logistics, and people need shelter. Someone had a bright idea. Why not create a cheap, lightweight, portable structure that could be put up by untrained people?

So they went to the George A. Fuller construction company in New York. The Navy wanted buildings within two months. The British had developed a light prefab structure called a Nissen hut during WW-I. Now the Navy wanted an improved version.

And they got it: Peter Dejongh and Otto Brandenberger went to work. Within a month they'd set up a production facility near Quonset, Rhode Island. They moved so quickly that they were producing units while the design was still being tinkered.

That's how the famous Quonset hut came into being. Some people thought the old Nissen hut had been modeled on Iroquois council lodges. Now the Quonset hut version had the same shape and an Iroquois-sounding name. The Indian connection was probably fortuitous. Still, the resemblance was strong. The Quonset hut skeleton was a row of semi-circular steel ribs covered with corrugated sheet metal. The ribs sat on a low steel-frame foundation with a plywood floor. The basic model was 20 feet wide and 48 feet long with 720 square feet of usable floor space. The larger model was 40 by 100 feet.

So we entered the war armed with this cheap housing meant for airstrips, MASH units, barracks -- you name it. Historian Michael Lamm tells how Quonsets were strung together in Guam to form a 54,000-square-foot warehouse.

Around 170,000 Quonset huts were produced during the war -- enough to house the combined populations of Portland and Seattle. Then the war ended, and they were too good a resource to throw away. So the military sold them to civilians for about a thousand dollars each. They made serviceable single-family homes.

Returning veterans now occupied Quonset huts by choice. Universities made them into student housing. Architects took an interest and gussied them up in odd ways. Churches and small businesses took up residence in them. In 1948 the Sacramento Peak observatory was housed in Quonset huts. Playwright Robert Finton has written a play about them. He titled it Tents of Tin.

Drive your streets today and you'll see them here and there. Much more than relics of war, they're icons of a day in our history -- icons that spread all the way from North Africa to the Aleutian Islands. And now, a new memorial museum for war correspondent Ernie Pyle has just been built of Quonset huts. Once in a while, a really good design surfaces -- robust, simple, and enduring. The DC-3, the Jeep, and the Quonset hut are all examples of the clear thinking that was needed to keep us out of serious trouble, back in the 1940s.

I'm John Lienhard, at the University of Houston, where we're interested in the way inventive minds work.

(Theme music)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lamm, M., The Instant Building. Invention & And Technology, Winter, 1998, pp. 68-72.

See also the following websites which reflect some of the continuation of the Quonset hut in our lives today:

While we see few orginal Quonset huts around today, we do find the form being utilized in modern versions of it. See, for example,

Here is a U.S. Government photo of Quonset huts as seen in front of Laguna Peak, Point Mugu, in 1946:

Today's covered wagon descendents, the soft-skin, canvass covered rubber-tired truck with an internal combustion engine will not cut it against RPGs and RSBs let alone weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) delivered by theater ballistic missiles (TBMs). See William Story's thesis at bottom of this page. A SCUD missile in the first Gulf War narrowly missed the USS Tarawa packed full of 2,000 marines and a nearby pier with ammunition and fuel by just 300 meters. Today's TBMs are getting exceedingly accurate via GPS/Glonass and if we do not get away from large and easily targeted fixed air and sea bases we are going to have an immense catastrophe.

Our civilian lives are held together today by "covered wagon" tractor-trailers piloted by brave truck drivers who go without sleep, but of course no one is shooting at them as long as they don't go on strike. So why should we try to resupply ourselves with unarmored tractor-trailers in a shooting war? War is different than peace-time. The U.S. Army has been inadequately cobbling together ad hoc, non-comprehensive field living work-arounds for decades after the motor driven truck was invented and are still not properly adapted to the earth environment. Human needs are scoffed at with machismo disdain. The U.S. Army still lives in completely vulnerable tents that we pack, repack and erect wasting enormous time and of course fail to protect our Soldiers! The time has come for us to adapt once and for all to earth field living conditions, the non-linear battle enemy threat and end the scourge of the garrison pampered/field deprivation feast/famine mentalities. We can no longer every time we go to war learn our adolescent machismo is no match for bullets, bombs and infections. We need to grow up about field living and war conditions, and admit we are not third world fighters who will live in squalid conditions and trade years off our lives in order to win in battle. The way to success is to properly take care of our high health standard human needs and then focus all of our, in general, greater available energies to warfighting.

Click Here to return to Table of Contents.

II The optimized tactical BattleBoxTM made from ISO sea/air/land containers

Make Sea/Air/Land ISO Containers our "building blocks", our "BattleBoxesTM"

FM 55-80 Army Container Operations states:

"The DOD relies on commercial sealift to move 85 percent of cargo during contingency operations. The U.S. and world merchant fleets are dominated by large, fast containerships with supporting corporate infrastructure (for example, CHE [Container Handling Equipment], terminals, information systems, tractors/chassis, and experienced personnel). Experience in ODS [Operation Desert Storm] revealed that DOD was unprepared to use effectively, containers and containerships to move UE [Unit Equipment] and ammunition. This contributed, in conjunction with port saturation and lack of ITV, to the slow deployment of CS/CSS forces and resulted in significant delays in moving Class V [ammunition] resupply. Also, large numbers of small, slow breakbulk vessels were used instead of containerships which resulted in significant costs in time and money.

The transition to a CONUS-based, power projection force increases the need for the Army to be able to rapidly deploy anywhere, anytime. Strategic lift must be maximized to rapidly project power to meet our force projection goals. Strategic lift is supplied by either ocean-going vessels or air transport. Both are limited resources. Having the largest requirement for strategic lift demands that the Army maximize its use of containerization. Containerization increases the types of ships available to support strategic deployment as well as increasing the cargo capacity of other available ships. It also streamlines handling requirements within the distribution system. Other added bonuses of containerization are increased protection against shipping damage and safeguards against pilferage."

The number one, central piece of "equipment" for the Navy is ships. For the Air Force its aircraft.

For the Army/marines its BUILDINGS.

Do we go to war with buildings?


Then why are we spending most of our garrison day on lawn and building care on buildings that do nothing for us in a fight?

We have a solution.

Awhile back, British military expert, William Owen suggested we put light tanks like M113 Gavins inside sea/air/land containers also known as "milvans" in U.S. parlance to container ship, rail and truck them into battle areas.

Its a great idea we haven't stopped tinkering with. We think small aircraft and helicopters need to be carried inside armored milvans as suggested by Captain Brent Orr to effect the ground mobility we propose so we don't have to work around them like we do now and get them co-located with ground maneuver units for more responsiveness.

My buddy from college is a SF MSG, and he just returned from Iraq. He gave me this picture of the Sea/Air/Land container HOUSE he lived in called a "Cormex". He says its made in Italy and not only stacks like a container for ship, truck, air transport, they FLATTEN, too. I haven't found much on the www of this development.

Here's the pic:

Here's some info: newmonmsg/oct242003/m43qatar.htm


"As a deployed civilian, I was assigned to live in a 'Cormex,' a steel box composed of "storage container" components. Storage containers are often stacked three high on the deck of ocean-going ships. The interior walls and ceiling of units were covered in thick plastic, with a linoleum-covered floor. Cormexes have a front door and small window. The unit is eight strides long and three strides wide and contains two beds, two nightstands, a shelf attached to one wall and two chairs."

Scott Miller adds:

"This isn't a bad system but we can actually do better as well - expandable containers are available in a variety of designs allowing for even more room. I've advocated these for years as replacements for all major tentage. Keep the force mobile in the early stages of conflict and when it's time to settle in, truck in these shelters on load handling trailers. Also ideal for office space. The medical corps is already working on converting to this format with the primary mode of transport being an LHS-equipped MTV."

So let's get rid of all the buildings and lawn areas possible from the Army and marines. What are we waiting for? Are we warfighters or janitors?

The key invention here is the sea/air/land ISO shipping container which easily stacks on top of each other for container ship delivery by sea, mounts on railroad flat cars, truck beds and in aircraft. Here is where equipment and doctrine collide. Replace everything with military ISO sea/air/land containers that are mobile by trains, trucks and planes. If it cannot fit in an ISO and deploy with us to war, throw it out. What we do in garrison out of ISO containers better damn well be exactly what we would do in war.

Thanks to my friend Last Dingo, we have done a quick "market survey" of the military ISO containers out there. There are ISO containers that FLOAT that connect like lego pieces to form piers and causeways...there are several fully functional hospitals with patient bed ISOs....aircraft workshop repair facilities (no excuse not to do our aircraft-in-a-box idea!), kitchens, commo facilities, CPs.....

Researcher Phil West uncovered the following:

"Some more stuff on container living from the guy who first put me onto them"


There's a follow-up article for your 1st link:

I must admit that I have lost track with the majority of my shipping container housing URL's, having gone through a number of computers since posting to you on that subject. I have looked through your links (thanks) and searching through several Google results pages and see the topic has proliferated. As I recall, the container that caught my eye was an expandable mil spec unit...from a Norwegan company named Uniteam (at ,it was designed as a command post or something, with the sidewalls sliding outwards (like a Caravan or RV's "tip-out" rooms) to convert from a standard container-width, to triple size after being towed to a destination. Made for NATO.

Exterior view:

Interior view:

Uniteam International AS
Tevlingveien 23
PO Box 200
N-0614 Oslo
Tel: +47 23 14 22 80
Fax: +47 23 14 22 90

There are also a number of pre-fab shelters that are sold in a shipping container and which setup "quickly". One such are Deltec prefab homes. Google it. Also a yurt is a very livable shelter which can be transported in the back of a truck. Build a deck and setup on top. Might look at some at - Here's a compact treatise on how to make a small fortune by living in a yurt. Inspiring:

"Stop paying rent without mortgaging your next 30 years. Shelter is an area where all people experience a common ground - everyone needs a place to stay warm and dry. Fortunately, we have choices. For example, instead of paying $600 a month rent, why not stay at a friend's or camp out for 3-4 months?

You could use the $2400 you would save to buy a Yurt. Then find some land you could use for low or no cost. In 2 years, you could save $14,400 - enough to buy some nice land and move your portable Yurt. 10 years of saving the $600 a month rent yields $72,000; over $100,000 if reinvested at 10%"

Retire in some easy 3rd world country. Someplace like Goa, Thailand, Panama...move to Brazil and take up the's your call.

Good hearing from you, but I've been up about 24 hrs., so must steal some sleep before doing another night know how it is.



These are some I found l

BATTLEBOX or FLIMSY TOWER? Noahs's Ark or Nimrod's Tower of Babel?

The inspiration behind the BATTLEBOX is Noah's box-shaped, sturdy Ark. Look all around you.

Most everything is a box. Your computer monitor is a BOX. Your CD case is a thin BOX. Your room you are in is a BOX. The box is the fundamental artificial way to keep out the forces of the earth, be it dust from your CD or to group electronic components together or keep the rain and wind out from your body creating an indoor, safe environment. The box is HORIZONTAL and is humble, admitting that man has limits and needs help to survive against the battle against the earth's forces (TBATE). Taking ISO container creator, Malcolm McClean's box and making it into portable, sturdy military BATTLEBOXes is to extend Noah's Ark principle to withstand against evil men seeking our damage in war.

Compare Noah's humble box to Nimrod's VERTICAL Tower of Babel. Noah's Ark withstood a world-wide flood for a year, and Nimrod's tower fell at the first earthquake. Being arrogant and trying to be god is physically unsound and is the driving force behind the mental RMA stupidity driving the U.S. DoD. DoD is trying to use the mental powers of computers and air/space sensors to lord it over its enemies throwing firepower thunderbolts at them without being physically grounded to withstand the force of planet earth much less human attacks (the battle against man or "TBAM"). The flimsy, long runway air bases which the RMA launches its unarmored air and space craft are easily targeted by an alert enemy and knocked out; just as Nimrod's tower fell from just a slight shift at its foundation.

America needs a a href="">humble and sturdy military based on Noah's Ark completely BATTLEBOXed so it can prevail in TBATE and TBAM and not one with its head in the clouds.

Here's one way the U.S. Army fortifies ISO containers above-ground using HESCO Concertainers and sandbags: an ammo dump in Iraq.

More Progress in Iraq: marines using dug-in ISO containers near Ubaydi

"For now, marines maintain a permanent checkpoint about 1.5 miles south of the town and camp out at a desert outpost they call Battle Position Belleau Wood -- a cluster of berms and shipping containers half-dug into ankle-deep fine dust and covered with sandbags and camouflage netting, surrounded by a 7-foot wall of dust and rocks. The outpost, which the marines set up 12 days ago, is being shelled by mortars almost daily, Fischer said. 'The job here is to just have the presence,' he said. Occasionally, the marines launch what they call 'presence patrols' near the town, to see what kind of firepower their enemy has."


Superb photos by SPC Mark Getman, NYARNG (click on picture for high resolution version)

Soldier & Private Security demonstrators: LTC Larry Altersitz USAR (R), Vasilios G. (Bill) Perselis, Sam Altersitz, Joe Altersitz and the lovely Kim Williams from SeaBox.

Today's Soldier cannot waste time mowing lawns and polishing floors; he has to be "STRAC": Skilled, Tough and Ready-Around-the-Clock; he is instantly able to deploy anywhere in the world inside his highly modified ISO shipping container "BATTLEBOX" full of all the supplies and equipment he needs to fight & win on Non-Linear Battlefields (NLBs) by land, sea and air. Upon arrival, he can create Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) by fortifying his BATTLEBOXTMes into 360 degree security defensive shapes; he doesn't need someone to come in and build an ice cream parlor that doesn't move that will be left behind when he leaves. He takes with him all his equipment in his BATTLEBOX to be ready to fight again when America calls to defend freedom.

The BATTLEBOXTM is the creation of Jim Brennan of [1-800-SEABOX-8] in 802 Industrial Highway, East Riverton, NJ 08077-1910, (856) 303-1101, Fax: 1501, E-mail: and the BATTLEBOXTM Development Team lead by 1LT Mike Sparks USAR The BATTLEBOXTM is an insulated---with the option of kevlar armoring---20 foot long by 8 feet wide and 8 feet high ISO shipping container configured to comfortably house up to 6 x Soldiers. There is no reason why 2-4 Soldiers couldn't be housed as SOP, the ability to protect up to 6 Soldiers is a tactical capability we need and makes the BATTLEBOX concept affordable. It comes with end doors and a side troop door. BATTLEBOXTMes can be stacked on container ships for transport and can even be used as berthing while at sea.

Each BATTLEBOXTM comes with forklift slots for materials handling equipment (MHE) to lift them onto the back of railroad cars or truck/tracked vehicle flatbeds or to move them around as needed to create the tactical arrangement required.

BATTLEBOXTMes come in camouflage colors upon customer request, the prototype here in OD Green blends in well with the woodline and would not have the SEABOX logo and BATTLEBOXtroopsTM white lettering which is there for promotional/informational purposes.

Unlike flimsy tents that lack a hard shape to bear weight, the BATTLEBOXTM itself can be dug in under ground to fortify it and its Soldiers from enemy artillery, mortars, RPGs. Above ground, it can carry inside itself several SOA plastic blast wall sections that can be linked together to form perimeter walls that when filled with dirt protect against all types of bullets, RPGs and even 25, 000 pound bomb blasts as recent U.S. Army ERDEC tests prove.

HESCO concertainers come in compact packages so many can easily fit inside the BATTLEBOXTM

HESCO Concertainer power point show

Another option is to carry beaucoup HESCO Concertainers sand/dirt barrels to surround the BATTLEBOXTM for 360 degree protection from all threats.

A British product called the Hesco Bastion Concertainer Revetment System is another expedient protective system that was recently evaluated and fielded. "Concertainer" is a geocomposite construction material that, when expanded from its shipping configuration, forms a wall section of linked, self-supporting cells. These cells can be filled with earth or rubble to provide ballistic and blast protection from a variety of direct- and indirect-fire munitions. After expansion, the typical Concertainer wall section is about 4.5 feet high, 3.2 feet wide, and 33 feet long. The sections can be stacked two high and spliced together to form walls of various lengths. When empty, each section weighs 300 pounds. Two Soldiers can erect and prepare the wall sections for filling with on-site materials. The Concertainer protective system provides better protection with far fewer assets than sandbags or other materials and can be used at fuel points, helipads, artillery/mortar positions, and vehicle barriers. The Hesco Bastion Concertainer Revetment System, which is less expensive than other expedient protective measures, has been exceptionally successful in Bosnia. Units may order Concertainer through normal procurement procedures. National Stock Numbers vary depending on the length, width, height, and color of Concertainer needed.


Location: West Yorkshire , UK Markets: Direct; also in North America through the Trading Force Ltd, Orleans, Ottawa, Canada

Product: Blast wall made of welded wire mesh baskets filled with material such as sand, rubble, soil, rocks, snow, etc. Can be stacked

Product name: Concertainer

Web site:

Test data available: Testing by ERDC, DSWA, and USAF Wright Labs; also extensive testing in the United Kingdom (contact manufacturer)

POC: Al Grice (613) 526-3908 and fax (613) 733-3154
POC: Gary Bergland (229) 630-3479 and fax (229) 247-3264

Testing Data (for Concertainer):

Structural Mechanics Division, Structures Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Vicksburg, MS, Telephone: (601) 634-2666 or Fax (601) 634-2309

Procurement Assistance: Defense Supply Service Center, Columbus, OH; Telephone: (614) 692-4003 or DSN 850-4003

Additional Information: U.S. Army Military Police School, Directorate of Combat Developments, Materials Division, Ft. McClellan, AL; Telephone: (205) 848-7576 or DSN 865-7576, Fax DSN 865-6209

USACE PageMaster-
Telephone - (402) 221-3063
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Protective Design Center
Omaha District, CENWO-ED-SH
Omaha, Nebraska 68102

On the end of the BATTLEBOXtroopsTM is a recessed air conditioning unit that in combination with the white insulated walls keeps the Soldiers inside cool and rested even in middle eastern climates.

The side opposite the A/C unit has full-sized container doors to facilitate the offload of full-size equipment from SOA blast walls to even a small M113 Mini-Gavin tracked armored fighting vehicle since the 6 x troop bunks fold up flush against the inner wall when not in use.

BATTLEBOXTMes come with integral 110v AC wiring and plug outlets for Soldiers to operate mission equipment, desk and laptop computers, TVs, DVDs, CD players etc. Lighting overhead by long-life flourescent bulbs is easy on the eyes and long lasting before needing bulb replacement. However, the BATTLEBOXTM does not need to be dependant on a FOB AC power grid and can have 12v DC overhead lighting and plug outlets powered at the box itself using solar, wind and pedal power charging a row of deep cycle storage batteries. Another option for small FOBs/pillbox operations would be to use a small JP-8 fossil fuel generator surrounded by HESCOs would be fairly sound proof to power the unit during the day and charge a row of deep-cycle 12v batteries for night sensor use. Note the integral locking rifle rack, circuit breaker box, fire extinguisher and bunk ladders. The old style rifle rack is shown to demonstrate the concept, but the new rifle racks that enable collimator aiming sight and other optics to stay attached to keep their zero would be standard equipment.


Under the 8 x personal valuables storage lockers is a work desk shown here with two M4 5.56mm carbines, a PASGT kevlar helmet, a Meal-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and a cup-of-soup.

Here, Bill Perselis begins to clean his M4 carbine to prepare it for an upcoming mission.

In this picture, Vietnam combat veteran and weapons developer, retired Army Reserves LTC Larry Altersitz discusses with Bill Perselis and Joe Altersitz the upcoming raid target's details from a digitized intelligence report displayed on a mission laptop computer. The BATTLEBOXTM could easily be fitted with Category V C4ISR electronics wiring for SIPRNET, NIPRNET and FBCB2 digital communications since the robust metal box itself is easily adaptable by skilled craftsmen and handymen.

Black operator Joe Altersitz points out an important detail on the mission target map for the team.

The RAID team study the lay of the land for the upcoming mission. A much larger map could be clear plastic laminated and posted on the BATTLEBOXTM's huge empty wall space behind them with push pins to idicate moving enemy/friendly units or a large flat screen digital display could be used.


Bill Perselis exits the BATTLEBOXtroopsTM' side troop door weapon shouldered to begin his raid mission outside the FOB perimeter.

Once BATTLEBOXtroopsTM are in large numbers, they can be used for specific purposes like holding enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) after being captured during a raid.

The BATTLEBOXTM has plenty of space inside to detain and restrain EPWs like Sam Altersitz depicted here, with the bunks down or up.

After the RAID, LTC Altersitz debriefs Bill Perselis as he sits on the edge of his bunk with his TA-50 gear and weapon at his side.


Acting as a notional medical doctor, LTC Altersitz checks the pulse of his son, Joe Altersitz with his portable medical cabinet of supplies nearby.

"Dog Tag check!" LTC Altersitz requests to see the I.D. tag of his new patient, Bill Perselis who has checked into his BATTLEBOXTM mobile medical clinic.

Once BATTLEBOXTMes are in use in large numbers, some could be designated as Troop Medical Clinics (TMCs) for Soldiers and contractors with minor ailments to get a check-up and minor care.

Up to 6 patients can be accomodated in the BATTLEBOXtroopsTM, here are 4; a Soldier, Bill Perselis, two Black operators, Joe and Sam Altersitz and the lovely Kim Williams from SeaBox.

There is plenty of living space in the BATTLEBOXtroopsTM for all the patients to hand their gear and towels.

"Am I going to live, doc?" Here LTC Altersitz breaks them the good news; his son Joe Altersitz and civilian contractor from SeaBox, Kim Williams will make a full recovery in the BATTLEBOXtroopsTM.


Both Military, police and private security firms can better move, house and protect their men/women by BATTLEBOXTMes.

BATTLEBOXkitchens: Soldiers eat in their decentralized, dispersed area not collect at a centralized DFAC presenting target to the enemy

BAD: H/KBR giving hot chow to Soldiers they should be cooking for themselves BS, no chlorine in water storage tanks!!, had malaria, typhus, dysentary, 63 out of 67 water treatment plants were not providing safe H2O, 1 wait in line each meal at chow hall, exposes men to enemy fire, H/KBR refuses to have 24 hour feeding to minimize troop clusterfucks that enemy can target

GOOD: Company-sized units feed themselves in the company area, saving time and reducing Soldier exposure to enemy fires

Details: of Proposed Optimized U.S. Army Standard ISO BATTLEBOXTM (BB)

* Each BattleBox contains sections to form an outer sacrificial blast SOA wall wall to predetonate RPGs, roadside/car/truck bomb blasts which can be filled with ice/sand/dirt via exclusive SOA expertise proven in DoD tests...below is one modular wall section...

* Butch Walker's ANT-ISO trailers or M1022-A1 Dolly Set Mobilizer wheels so units self-move when required

* PLS interface built-in to be picked up and dropped off by PLS system equipped vehicles
* Wartertight, able to float to form bridges
* Insulated to be cool in summer/warm in winter even without heat/AC
* Electrical outlets/wiring for 110V and 12V via roof solar panels
* Top troop hatches or guard towers on roof to fight from while moving as troop transport or stationary as pillbox/guard towers
* Side entrance/exit doors
* Link together to form unified walls, larger enclosed bunkers/meeting places
* Lightweight AirBattleBox versions airland and cargo parachute air-droppable

BATTLEBOXcivilian: Zero Energy Homes already in use made from ISO containers! Below is a video clip of an outfit out on the west coast that modifies ISO shipping containers into comfortable civilian homesthat live "off the (power) grid".

* ISUs can fit inside to be weapons vaults, securable sub-storage units (see above)
* REQUIRES NO PETROL FUEL WHATSOEVER: combination of solar panels, 12v deep-cycle batteries and peda-generator exercise bikes powers lighting, cooling, recharges flashlight, night vision device and laptop computer batteries, DVDs etc. Options include David Butcher's recumbent exercise bike, attaching a folding military mountain bike to a Windstream generator stand or their very small hand or pedal crank unit.

The case for Solar Power = BattleBoxesTM could use them, Soldier's backs probably not without camouflage compromise

In the RDECOM magazine article below, they make a case for lightening the Soldier's load via rechargable batteries to sell his solar power cells. It doesn't do much for a Soldier on the move but back at his Forward Operating Base camp if he has ISO container BattleBoxesTM , he has the necessary large surface area on the roof for solar cells.

However, human power generation should be the primary way to recharge batteries for self-sufficient BattleBoxesTM since it can be taken with you and doesn't need sunlight to work. Fossil fuel powered TAFVs like the M113 Gavin when moving should be recharging batteries and purifying and drawing out water from the ambient air and engine exhaust.

RDECOM Magazine | in the lab |

Photovoltaics Shine Into New Territory
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center

NATICK, Mass. -- Sunlight is the bright filling station above that never asks for money or runs out of fuel for photovoltaic products, and some scientists believe that the sky is the limit for a new generation of photovoltaic technologies in development at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center here.

A promising technology that's existed for decades, photovoltaic (PV) solar cells convert light energy into electricity without noise, moving parts, fuel consumption or pollutant emissions. A breakthrough arrived in the past five years when PV technology transformed from the traditional large, heavy, rigid, reflective and expensive glass panels into lightweight, conformal and inexpensive devices that now can be directly integrated into textiles and warfighter systems, according to Lynne Samuelson, a research chemist in the Science and Technology Directorate.

"There's a lot of room to grow on how power is harvested according to the ambient light," Samuelson said. "Already it's at a usable level."

It's seen as boon to the military for a variety of reasons. Warfighters could cut their battery load weight in half when PV cells are used in combination with rechargeable batteries to power individual items such as night vision goggles, according to Steven Tucker, an electrical engineer in the Collective Protection Directorate.

"On 72-hour and longer missions, it makes a lot more sense to carry rechargeable batteries," Tucker said. "You get rid of that logistics tail by minimizing re-supply with disposable batteries. The benefit/weight payback for a photovoltaic charger and rechargeable battery combination is incredibly quick, and out past 72 hours it just keeps getting better."

Less weight means better mobility, and the ability to recharge batteries on-the-move can increase sustainability, extend mission times and distance from tactical operations centers, and reduce logistics support requirements.

Replacing or decreasing the number of liquid-fuel-powered generators further reduces logistics, and lowers the heat and sound signature in the field for improved stealth. It's also a potential lifesaver as an emergency back-up power in case generators fail, say, in a field hospital.

These benefits are possible because of new lightweight and flexible solar cells made with two complementary PV technologies, amorphous silicon and dye-sensitized nanocomposites.

Of the two, the mature amorphous silicon is the "workhorse" of photovoltaic technology, Samuelson said. "Basically, wherever there's a surface, you can lay it out and generate electricity. These things are so versatile, you can make them to do whatever you want."

Iowa Thin Film Technologies in Ames, Iowa, advanced this technology through a quality award-winning Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) effort by manufacturing a PV cell .005 inch thick, rollable to 3 inches diameter and less than 1.7 ounce per 250 mm by 300 mm frame.

Furthermore, the company developed a high-speed manufacturing process for the film and a unique process that allows finished PV product to be roll-laminated directly onto large swaths of shelter fabric.

"This gets away from the heavy glass of prior PV technologies," Tucker said. "PV made from amorphous silicon is mobile and deployable. It can take abuse. I've seen it cut and punctured and still be usable. What degrades over time is the protective covering, not really the PV cell itself."

Three prototype power-generating solar units were manufactured using the speedy process. A "Power Shade" that fits over two kinds of Army tents has PV material laminated into a mesh fabric that reduces solar load by 80-90 percent while generating up to one kilowatt of power for shelter electronics or battery recharging. The smaller TEMPER tent fly generates up to 750 watts, and at one-fourth the size of the fly, the "Quadrant" was designed to be placed wherever convenient and can be adjusted for better exposure to the sun. Its maximum power output is about 190 watts.

On a larger scale, PV cells on shelters for aircraft or field hospitals that cover thousands of square feet could generate 40-60 kilowatts of energy in peak sunlight. "These shelters are out there in the sun baking away, so why not try to take advantage of it?" Tucker said. "This is not just a one-pronged approach. We're approaching the issue of getting power to the warfighter from all sides."

A spin-off from the SBIR is a roll-up module that charges AA batteries. Tucker said the software algorithm that controls the charger was designed to deliver more current to the battery.

"This is a big one. There's nothing out there like this that we're aware of," said Samuelson. "This is the one (Special Operations Command) is excited about and is willing to try."

A colorful approach to PV technology is seen in dye-sensitized nanocomposites, which brings a new wave of possibilities without any sacrifice in power output to amorphous silicon.

Out of an Army Science and Technology Objective, Konarka Technologies in Lowell, Mass., formed to develop PV cells based on light-harvesting dyes that are adsorbed onto titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

Reliable, flexible power for warfighters can be manufactured from a PV layer less than .0005 inch thick that is manufactured onto plastic and into textiles, according to Samuelson. It's made possible because of lower manufacturing temperatures that will not melt the plastic.

"The molecules give it color. We're looking at different color dyes and want to mimic the pattern used in the military," she said.

Demonstration of a photovoltaic fiber is a unique breakthrough for dye-sensitized nanocomposites, according to Samuelson, which could be woven into novel fabric-based PV devices that could be used where traditional PV devices were never thought possible, such as a detachable patch worn to prevent friendly fire or alert to chemical or biological agent contamination.

Konarka's reel-to-reel processing advantage is that it's inexpensive and widely available in foreign countries, and it may fulfill a dream of the late company founder as a way to produce inexpensive electricity in underdeveloped countries, said Samuelson.

"The applications will evolve with the technology," said Tucker. "It could be applied to toys so they don't need batteries or be a way to recharge cell phones or (personal digital assistants)."

Eventually, direct integration into soldier-borne systems may create electronically-active textiles to minimize cables and connections, and provide a more streamlined and multi-functional warfighter system, according to Samuelson.

A new Science and Technology Objective, beginning this year and continuing through 2008, looks to branch out the self-powered electrotextiles theme to achieve PV power generation from virtually any surface.

(Submitted by U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center Public Affairs Office)

Windstream Power Systems: Human Power Generator

The Human Power Generator is small, portable, and dependable - perfect for emergencies, power failures, remote locations, and off-grid applications. It can be pedaled or cranked by hand to charge 12 volt batteries and run small appliances. Incorporate it into your existing 12 volt system or simply plug your 120 volt appliance into the Portable Power Pack outlet and start pedaling.

The typical average continuous power that can be generated by pedaling the Human Power Generator is up to about 125 watts. The maximum power obtainable through hand cranking typically is about 50 watts. The pedals and optional hand-cranks are interchangeable.

The MkIII Human Power Generator has a durable powder coated steel frame, large rubber feet, and vibration isolated generator. Reengineered for more strength, easier adjustment, and smooth operation, the new MkIII Human Power Generator is the tool for energy education and self-reliant electrical production.

The Human Power Combo comes with the Mk III Human Power Generator (pictured at left) and a stand-alone Portable Power Pack which includes: storage battery, 200 watt inverter (with 300 watt peak power), LED battery voltage readout, connection cables, and a 120 volt outlet to turn your calories into useful power. All you need to do is plug into the Portable Power Pack outlet with your standard AC or DC lights or appliances. To keep your system charged, you just hook up the Human Power Generator to the Portable Power Pack, and pedal or crank by's the same way you would recharge an ordinary battery, except you provide all the power!

Though even the Tour de France winner (Lance) could not run an entire household’s electrical appliances with it, the Human Power Generator System can give you a boost when and where you need it most (charge your car or boat battery, recharge portable electric tool batteries, run emergency back-up lighting, run your PC at your remote cabin). You can maximize the use of your Human Power Generator System by retrofitting your cabin with compact fluorescent lighting and energy efficient appliances.

Stock No. 454213, Mk III Human Power Generator $497 Order Now

SAVE! Stock No. 454217, Human Power Combo (with Portable Power Pack) $850 Order Now

Stock No. 341213, Set of Hand Cranks $25 Order Now

Windstream Power Systems: Bike Power

If you are a cyclist, you know the value of winter training. But do you know the value of your exertion? Your energy is being turned into heat by your trainer. Recapture your energy! The Bike Power generator is the answer for making more power, faster. Attach your bicycle using our tool-free stand and start generating. Pedal to charge 12 volt batteries and run small appliances. Incorporate it into your existing 12 or 24 volt system or simply plug your 120 volt appliance into the Portable Power Pack outlet and start pedaling.

If you already have a trainer or want to build your own stand, the Bike Power Module consists of only the generator, bearings, and friction wheel all conveniently mounted on a steel bracket.

Look for 100 to 300 watts from the Bike Power generator. Just remember that all the energy that you are generating is coming from you; be prepared to give.

The Bike Power generator comes with adjustable folding stand. Place your bike in the stand and secure it with the mounting knobs, adjust the friction wheel with a tool-free knob, and pedal. You'll have DC power ready to charge a battery or power DC loads.

The Bike Power Combo comes with a Bike Power generator and a stand-alone Portable Power Pack which includes: storage battery, 200 watt inverter (300 watt peak power!), LED battery voltage readout, connection cables, and a 120 volt outlet to turn your calories into household current. All you need to do is plug into the Portable Power Pack outlet with your standard AC or DC lights or appliances. To recharge, just hook up your Bike Power to the Portable Power Pack, and's the same way you would charge an ordinary battery, except you provide all the power!

Save $$$ with a COMBO!

Stock No. 454104, Bike Power Module $450 Order Now
Stock No. 454105, Bike Power generator $558 Order Now
SAVE! Stock No. 454116, Bike Power Combo (with Portable Power Pack) $899 Order Now

Windstream Power Systems: Portable Power Pack

When you want to extend the use of your Human Power or Bike Power generator beyond direct current, you need a Portable Power Pack. To operate standard 120 volt AC lights and appliances, plug directly into the outlet on the Portable Power System. If you use the Human Power Generator without the Portable Power System, 12 volt DC lights and appliances can be connected to the HPG output or to a small battery (for stabilization).

The Portable Power Pack includes storage battery, 300 watt inverter (with 800 watt peak power), LED battery voltage readout, connection cables, and a 120 volt AC outlet to turn your calories into convient easy to use power. All you need to do is plug your standard AC lights or appliances into the Portable Power Pack outlet. There are even separate DC outputs. To keep your system charged, simply connect a Human Power Generator or Bike Power generator to the Portable Power Pack, and's the same way you would recharge an ordinary battery, except you provide the power!

Now the Portable Power Pack does even more with wind, solar, PV inputs. A Windstream or AIR wind turbine and a solar panel can now be connected along side a Human Power Generator to pack even more power into your Power Pack.

LOWER PRICE!! Stock No. 454219, Portable Power Pack $397 (was $425) Order Now
SAVE!! Stock No. 454217, Human Power Combo (with Portable Power Pack) $850 Order Now
SAVE!! Stock No. 454116, Bike Power Combo (with Portable Power Pack) $899 Order Now

Windstream Power Systems Incorporated
PO Box 1604
Burlington VT 05402-1604 USA
Tel (802) 658-0075 Fax -1098

What about Command & Control BattleBoxesTM that need much more power than troop-living units? --The SkyBuilt Power unit

"The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is reportedly investing in a power unit that can generate substantial electrical energy without using any fuel.

The units manufactured by a small Virginia start-up company - SkyBuilt Power - are so rugged they can be dropped by parachute from an airplane and operate so simply, two people could have a unit running in just a few hours, the Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

The generators are fueled by solar and wind energy, with a battery backup for use during the night or when winds are calm. And the units are designed to run for years with little maintenance, the newspaper said.

Depending upon its configuration, SkyBuilt's Mobile Power Station can generate up to 150 kilowatts of electricity."

Proposed U.S. Army BattleBox 1: 18 Scale models by the 1st TSG (A)

Actual First Prototype U.S. Army BATTLEBOXtroopsTM by

BATTLEBOXshower units: clean-up-in-a-box! 3D CGI by Ms. Carol Murphy

A standard 20-foot ISO container is used to create a BATTLEBOXshower unit.

BATTLEBOXshower comes with shower units, toilets and shaving/wash sinks to clean-up Soldiers' bodies to the same standard as in civilized life. The BATTLEBOX keeps out sun, wind, dust, sand, insects, heat and cold to preserve the health and fighting powers of our Soldiers.

The water for shower units can be collected from the roof using pebbles and a drain into barrels for solar heating.

Our goal was to get the maximum hygiene bang for the buck by enabling Soldiers to simultaneously shower, shave and relieve themselves.

Viewed from ther outside, the BATTLEBOXshower looks like all the other BATTLEBOXes and can even be connected so Soldiers need not have to expose themselves in the open at all to reach the clean-up area.

There are many ways to make toilets self-eliminating, the macerating toilet is a new and promising means. Self-composting and incineration toilets are already in use and eliminates Soldiers and marines having to burn their food wastes.

We estimate that 10 men every 10 minutes can shower/shave and be ready to get dressed for duty in each BATTLEBOXshower unit. A 120 man company sized unit with 2 x BATTLEBOXshower units should be dressed and ready to go within 1 hour.

The impact of the BATTLEBOXshower would be limited to just the "gray water" from the showers and sinks. If biodegradable soaps are used its possible for this run-off to be drained right into the ground without ill effects.

SIDEBAR: Israeli underground bomb shelters use bunks and lay-out similar to our BATTLEBOXtroops!

New Guard Tower Options: Centurion & SkyWatch

ICX in cooperation with the Army has fielded amazing trailer-mobile 30-foot guard tower systems that would work very well with a FOB composed of BATTLEBOXTMes. Using the stabilized Konsberg common remote weapon system (CROWS) not to be confused with the defective, unstabilized RWS system used on Stryker trucks, their Centurion tower has the ability to fire light, medium and heavy machine guns and a Javelin top and direct attack anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) out to 2, 000 meters away from the base perimeter using infared "thermal" imagers poewered by a JP-8/diesel generator not consumable batteries. Its conceivable that the BATTLEBOXTM FOB's power grid using solar/wind energy sources could power these towers to eliminate the fuel requirement with the diesel generator as a back-up. The Javelin ATGM can be used against specific point targets like enemy ground and air vehicles or a clusterfuck (non-dispersion) of enemy troops and will hit them directly with devastating high explosives (HE) effects greater than a strike of a light, medium or heavy machine gun bullet with just kinetic energy (KE) damage effects. The Skywatch tower has an air-conditioned shack for Soldiers to surveil their surroundings but current weapons response is limited to hand weapons being fired through the windows slid open. We have suggested that RWS be placed ON TOP OF the SkyWatch shack to make it a "SkyKill" system offering the best advantages of both human investigation observation with sensor aided firepower. Unlike an UAV, a tower isn't going to crash 50% of the time and be lost. Unlike an "aerostat" AKA a tethered observation balloon, it cannot break free and float away or be deflated and fall to the ground. Like the Roman Legion fort, we can with these mobile towers "see over the hill" to get 360 degree surveillance. Every battalion should have several mobile guard towers to get 360 degree coverage of them in their BATTLEBOXTMes.

Another option would be to place a RWS on top of a BATTLEBOXTM itself for surveillance/weapons firepower albeit at a reduced height/field of view. However, a RWS on top of the BATTLEBOXTM itself can also provide additional firepower to ground movements when they are moved during nation-state war phase or during a long-term occupation to evade enemy targeting.

Someone likes our Ideas: Clever, Professional Brits using BATTLEBOXes with Remote Weapon System Sangers

Each base has a Sangar which is in effect a barricade and look-out station monitoring the overall security for military personnel on site as well as in the surrounding areas. Sangars are fortified positions and standby base entrances to improve the level of security. Those manning the Sangars have to physically raise their bodies into the direct line of fire to either survey the area or return fire, which causes significant safety risks.

The digital display and joystick

A new 'Super Sangar' was unveiled at the UOR Day which plans to eradicate many of the security risks that can leave a base open to attack, creating a multi-layered surveillance and integrated strike capability. The Contingency Operating Base in Basra is acting as the testing ground for some revolutionary new equipment, the same as the systems used in Warrior and [tracked FV432] Bulldog vehicles, which have day and night Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities combined with effective weapon systems. Five Sangars around the perimeter of the COB have already been fitted with RWS's, which allow the operator to control not only return fire without physically putting themselves at risk, but also by being able to see a small screen inside the Sangar, the operator can monitor the area from a position of much greater safety.

Capability Integration Manager at the Equipment Directorate Land Forces, Major Donald Hodgson, explained:

"We have three ISO containers stacked on top of each other with the RWS fitted on top of that. In total, they come in at around 10 feet with a daylight camera and a thermal imagery camera to allow Soldiers to sit inside the structure protected by bullet-proof windows. This gives us the method of providing enhanced optical capability as well as being able to fire weapons from inside a protected area.

"So far we have found that the 'Super Sangar' has been effective overcoming the challenges we needed it to and we've recorded less break-ins, as well as significantly less indirect fire attacks. There is a feeling that when people see the capability of the 'Super' Sangar that it may be rolled out in Afghanistan."

The 'Super Sangar' was trialled, tested and legally approved within four months and became operational at the COB Basra in July 2008.


Mike Sparks

Jim Brennan
Sea Box, Inc. Corporate Office
802 Industrial Highway, East Riverton, NJ 08077-1910
Phone (856) 303-1101, Fax (856) 303-1501

Air-Deployable ISO BattleBoxesTM

SeaBox of New Jersey has created a new type of ISO container that can fit side by side inside the C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet's dual airdrop system (DRAS) rails. Each 96" wide ISO container is narrower at the bottom to fit into the 88" wide rails gaps and about 6 inches up expand back out to the normal 96 inches. The center DRAS rail gap is 11.8" so the side-by-side ISO BattleBoxesTM do not touch.

To roll onto the C-17 without needing to be on another platform/pallet which costs weight/complexity, these are flat bottom ISOs. Thus, 8 x ISO BattleBoxesTM fit into the C-17 with a weight penalty of only 24,000 (aluminum) to 40,000 pounds (steel) out of the C-17's 160,000 pound payload total. The benefits of being pre-loaded and having better climate and combat protection via a rigid box make the 3-5,000 pound weight and $5,000 cost money well spent. 120,000 to 135,000 pounds of cargo/vehicles etc. can be carried within the 8 x ISO Air BattleBoxesTM , or 15K per box.

Detachable ISO Container Legs to enable Sealand Transport

If the flat-bottom "AirBattleBoxesTM " need to go by ship or other land inter-model transport means, 4 legs can be attached to each underside corner to make them interface like regular ISO containers that are not flush bottomed.

Sea Box, Inc. Corporate Office
802 Industrial Highway, East Riverton, NJ 08077-1910
Phone (856) 303-1101, Fax (856) 303-1501

Parachute Airdrop of ISO Container BattleBoxesTM ?

The January 2007 issue of Popular Science has at the end of the magazine a section called "The Future Then" showing an airplane parachuting a pod with Soldiers inside from the 1940s no doubt inspired by General Gavin's KIWI pods. More recently, the USAF has considered placing men in containers to airdrop them from higher altitudes to avoid air defenses. This is a hard sell on the U.S. Army Airborne Paratrooper who sees himself as jumping in by himself ready-to-fight. Its not unlike the entire reluctance to be in gliders, which is another form of AIRLANDING afterall. If the parachutes descending the container GLIDE is it now an uncontrolled airland or here-comes-the-ground airdrop?

Certainly, there is no reason why tracked combat vehicles, supplies and field living modules cannot be parachute delivered (you decide if this is airland or airdrop!) inside BattleBox ISO containers. The following video clip while from a Hollywood comedy movie, "Spies Like Us" has a lot of truth to it:

Click Here to return to Table of Contents.

III. Early forms of BattleBoxesTM already in use in war by other armies

THE U.S. NAVY: already using ISO containers as living modules

Master-at-Arms 2nd class Adam Ortega, assigned to Mobile Security Detachment Two Five (MSD-25), makes his way to his sleeping quarters after completing a long watch.


See them defeat the Taliban mentality in Afghanistan with smart COunter-INsurgency (COIN) strategy, tactics and BATTLEBOX and M113 Gavin light mechanized equipments!


EXCLUSIVE! See Finnish Naval Infantry using ISO container "BattleBoxesTM "

THE BRITISH ARMY: Guess who have used ISO containers as "BattleBoxesTM " in war already?

British troops man a tripod-mounted .50 caliber heavy machine gun on the top of ISO containers lashed to the top of the Canberra converted cruise ship passenger liner during the 1982 Falklands War to provide close-range anti-aircraft defensive fires


As bad as the Iraqis were at times technotactically, one thing they did NOT do was occupy Saddam palaces and try to fight from them. Today, Americans are still occupying dictator palaces in Iraq. In Chapter 18 title "The Bridge" of the book, Thunder Run: the Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad starting on pages 277, author David Zucchino describes how Iraqis guarding the approaches to the bridge over the Tigris river where to the east the marines had yet to show up had thousands of enemy Soldiers crossing over to fight them. Denied permission to blow the bridge, they sought to physically block it with tracked armored fighting vehicles (TAFVs) and got engaged by well dug-in Iraqi troops in bunkers. Organic 120mm tank, 25mm Bradley and .50 caliber Gavin direct fires, and 120mm mortar indirect fires did not suppress the enemy fires and the task force led by Captain Wolford had to withdraw with several damaged tanks and wounded Soldiers. A-10s and F/A-18s were called in and did little damage. Only after the Iraqis had given up were these bunkers able to be cleared.

Page 320: "At the intersection near the Jumhuriya Bridge, Wolford discovered an elaborate bunker at the southwest corner. It was made from a metal cargo container that had been buried underground. It was equipped with a thick wooden door, and inside were a desk, a nonworking military field phone, and piles of supplies--an entire command post".

AMERICAN HOME OWNER: using ISO container as "BattleBox" in event of attack on Homeland USA

Picture sources

Underground Shelter

There are many interesting ideas for underground shelters on the Internet.

An underground shelter is a good place to store food and munitions and to stay during emergencies and disasters. The temperature stays a relativley stable 65 degrees or so, so you don't have to worry so much about the outside elements. Also, if there is a nuclear attack or other atomic fallout, it provides better protection from fallout than a wood frame house. If you have a basement or cellar, this will have added benefit, but a true underground shelter will have a foot or more earth covering on top and provide added protection.

My underground shelter is a simple 25 foot steel ocean container that I prepared for burial by painting with asphalt. After the hole was dug with a ramp at one end, the container was slid into place. Several bales of straw were then packed around the outside to wick moisture away. On the open end a steel culvert was put in place for the ladder access. Air vents were installed with a hand operated pump installed on one. The whole unit was then covered with two feet of earth. To make it much stronger, add a 6" concrete slab over the roof before backfilling. Make the slab 2 feet wider and longer than the container and add rebar for additional strength..

Inside are shelves for food and supplies, cots for sleeping, two 55 gallon water drums and a porta potti installed in a corner with walls built for privacy. The only electrical installed is a single 12 volt circuit for one small emergency light. This is connected to a bank of batteries stored topside. Enough supplies can be stored to easily support four people for 15 days or more.

Here are links to other underground shelters on the Internet.

Dont forgot to share any ideas you have. Email me:

OK, the Euros may not be the most willing to fight, but they are sure damn well better organized to do it than we are! Chuck Jarnot here is your "modules" you wanted for a future Army aircraft. Air-Mech-Strike co-author, Chuck and I have long advocated the Army needs to start training as we would fight by using modules that would be ready to go to snap into deployment aircraft CH-54/S-64 SkyCrane/AirCrane style. Well we don't have to wait. We should get on board with the sea/air/land ISO concept and containerize EVERYTHING, troop barrack areas, bunkers for defenses, ammunition, supplies, transport our aircraft and tanks in ISO containers. What are we doing in the U.S. Army? We are still foolng around with TENTS that don't protect against SQUAT, be it the battle against the earth weather let alone the battle against humans. If we are serious about rapid-deployment, we should cut out all of this break-bulk packing and repacking non-sense that is hidden away during garrison and get everything ready-to-use and ready-to-go NOW via ISO BattleBoxesTM . Palletized Loading System/ISO container interface kit exists---what are we waiting for?

The rest of the world uses ISO containers to move everything to include our NATO allies; everybody but the U.S. Army seems to have grasped some but not all of their utility and potential. What we need is for the U.S. Army to develop a family of ISO container "BattleBoxesTM " that can deploy ALL of its men, equipment and supplies and then dig them in if necessary to withstand possible WMD attacks. We need to "circle our wagons" but they need to be armored to withstand Indians with modern weaponry like RPGs, RSBs, AKMs and WMDs. We need to containerize the entire U.S. Army to instill an expeditionary mindset NOW and to get our geare packed NOW.


Civilian Chuckhouses: Solar/Battery-Powered ISO Container Housing Modules: Almost a BattleBox!

Solar Powered

"The ChuckHouse"™ portable building comes standard with an onboard Solar Power system with back up battery supply included providing lighting and basic electrical service anytime, anyplace.


SOLAR ENERGY AND BATTERY STORAGE - The 8' x 20' ChuckHouse™ has 150 watts of adjustable solar panels supporting 600 amps of DC power through 6 maintenance free deep cycle batteries. Our 8' x 40' ChuckHouse™ has 300 watts of adjustable solar panels supporting 1200 amps of DC power through 12 maintenance free deep cycle batteries.

Control panels are installed inside each ChuckHouse™ unit for monitoring and management of electrical systems.

In addition to the solar power, all units are pre-wired for 110/220 vAC power and can quickly and easily be connected to a local power grid or generator.

12 VOLT DC ADAPTERS - Each unit has two 12 volt DC adapters for powering cell phones, small appliances, electronic equipment, and can accommodate a DC/AC inverter for computer, fax, printer or small 110 AC appliances. LIGHTING - 12 Volt DC ceiling mounted lights with standard 12" fluorescent tubes.

FAN - Each unit is supplied with a 12 volt DC fan to provide additional ventilation.



Danish Container Supply manufactures the patented Container Load Trailer (CLT) with its range of accessories for inexpensive, flexible handling and transport of ISO containers and military shelters on-road as well as off-road. An additional feature incorporated is its capability to be used for aircraft loading of containers.

The inherent versatility and unique design characteristics of the CLT concept significantly reduces the labour, time, and on-site facilities required to handle, transport and deliver a variety of containers and shelters.


The CLT system is designed for multiple applications and affords easy local maneuvering. It can eliminate the need for various other handling systems and accessories, keeping the equipment costs to a minimum.

The CLT system can selfload and transport any ISO container over the road and on rough terrain and unload and deliver them at their final destination. The CLT can litterally stay with a container all the way from factory to foxhole, or can be selectively placed in-theatre to load and deliver containers to the desired forward positions.

With its sidelift capability the CLT also acts as true container handling equipment to level load and offload other trucks and trailers. With this capability it supports existing cranes and lifters at major intermodal points, or replaces them at forward locations. The handling method follows the ISO recognized method for bottom-sling lifting and is therefore also approved for the handling of commercial ISO containers often used in a military built-up.

Each CLT system includes two selfpowered halves, each with a 6.2 HP diesel-powered hydraulic system to perform the alignment, connection, and lifting functions. This unique geometry permits operation in two modes: a three-wheel maneuvering mode and a vertical container connection mode.

With a handling capacity of 24000 kg and a transport capacity of 20600 kg, the CLT system is perfectly suited for logistic support of heavy containerized loads like food, water, gasoline and ammunition.


The CLT Dolly Set, a 9000 kg capacity variant of the regular CLT system, has been developed primarily to U.S. Army requirements, with a system for handling and transporting lightweight tactical shelters for deployed Field Hospitals, Aviation Maintenance Units, Command and Control Systems, and Soldier Sustainment Units.

The CLT Dolly Set can be moved in all environments up to military standard type V terrain (severe) by a 5 ton tactical truck and is therefore useable together with the most common transport equipment in any military support group.

Adaptors are available to connect to also non-ISO type military tactical shelters.


The high end-lift feature of the CLT permits easy roll-on and roll-off capabilities for most military transport aircrafts, but especially for the C-130. Container height can be adjusted by the CLT to maintain a relatively level attitude throughout the loading process for loading of either 8 or 8½ foot tall shelters or containers.

If space and weight considerations for flight is essential, a special loading kit called CLT/C-130 kit is available. With a steerable CLT halvpart on the back end of the container, the C-130 loading kit is installed on the front. The kit raises the front end of the container to provide for ramp clearance and cresting and provides steering for this end of the container as it is either pushed or winched into the aircraft.

Once inside the aircraft, the container can be lowered to the floor or rollers and the kit can be disassembled in a matter of minutes without special tools. The kit can then be stowed inside the aircraft or removed through the side door.

If the container is loaded with pallets compatible with the C-130 roller system, the container can be pushed all the way forward inside the cargo area to make room for a second container loaded in the same manner.

Customer groups for the CLT concept includes the armed forces of USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, England and Denmark.

Danish Container Supply's other product areas includes production and sale of specially designed ISO containers for military support functions such as fieldhospitals, reefers, field kitchens, laundries, workshops and office facilities.

Danish Container Supply Aps
Virkelyst 8
Dk-9400 Noerresundby
Tel: +45 70231380
Fax: +45 70231381


Germany's ISO Container BattleBox people transporter!

Defense Iindustry Daily source:

If we developed our BattleBoxesTM to have SOA blast wall sections ATTACH DIRECTLY TO THE OUTSIDES, we could transport Soldiers inside them by towing behind using ANT-ISOs or on top of the back of a PLS truck or better yet XM11108 Gavin armored tracks.

Ralph Zumbro's idea of having BattleBoxesTM with ballistic windows and firing ports makes a lot of sense, too.

German EADS: Armored ISO Container BattleBoxesTM to TRANSPORT PEOPLE by truck in war zones!

For more pictures:

EADS, in cooperation with the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Munich, has developed a protection system for transporting people safely in crisis areas. As EADS Defence Electronics announced on Tuesday, the multifunctional container for protected personal transport ("TransProtec") has now proved its high protection capability in a series of blasting tests that have been successfully carried out.

The new kind of flexible protection system “TransProtec” offers optimal protection against attacks with explosives, sniper fire, shrapnel, mines and ABC attacks. The tests were carried out at the Military Technical Centre WTD in Meppen. TransProtec offers a high degree of driving comfort and very good ergonomics. The protective container can accommodate up to 18 people including equipment. A modified version of TransProtec is capable of transporting a larger number of casualties and nursing staff together with the necessary facilities. TransProtec can be transported on different makes of protected trucks. A hook loading system makes it possible to load and unload the container quickly.

Peace making and peace keeping missions carried out by the international community and anti-terrorist operations are always exposed to great danger. In particular, transporting Soldiers and civilians in crisis-hit regions constitutes a high risk, as can be seen almost every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB – Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) ordered several TransProtec systems last year in order to counteract this potential danger and to ensure the best possible protection for Soldiers and civilians being transported. The intention is to order further units.

“Up until now, the protected vehicles available have only been able to offer a limited number of seats. TransProtec is capable of transporting a large number of passengers safely under different operational conditions. The level of protection and comfort during transportation is well above that offered by vehicles already used for this purpose”, explained Bernhard Gerwert, Head of the EADS Defence Electronics Business Unit.

How Transpotec began: with a scale model!

U.S. Army ISO container BattleBox Mobile Hospital System


Mobile Medical International Corporation (MMIC) offers a revolutionary medical solution that requires the least amount of time to deploy, while being fully integrated and one of the most technologically advanced on the market. This includes a fully integrated medical unit that can be fully deployed and functioning within two hours; primary systems - ECU, HVAC, filtration, medical gas, power and lighting - already integrated; surgical, triage, emergency room / intensive care, diagnostics, treatment, and / or laboratory functions, as needed; it can be as small as 20 beds or complexed together to support up to 500 beds or more and can protect from hostile environments, including nuclear, biological and chemical agents.


MMIC is dedicated to building the world's most advanced mobile medical solutions that are ultra-efficient and immediately deployable. MMIC has designed an advanced field hospital system, called the 21st Century Military Hospital System™ (21CMHS) that represents a significant improvement over current medical deployable rigid and soft-wall systems.

The 21CMHS shelters are based on a proprietary, lightweight, ISO platform with fully integrated systems including power, environmental control unit (ECU), and medical suite infrastructure. The 21CMHS significantly improves strategic deployability by reducing airlift requirements and facilitating tactical mobility by enhancing transportability and reducing deployment, set up and strike times.


The basic building blocks of the 21CMHS are:

One expandable Mobile Surgery Unit II™ (MSUII) which can be used for any number of medical surgery, diagnosis and treatment needs; 20ft (6m) 1:3 ISO Container One non-expandable Universal Support System™ (USS); 20ft (6m) ISO Container Two integrated 10-bed, soft-wall patient wards which are connected to and deploy from the Universal Support System™


The MSUII is configured in a hydraulically expandable 20ft (6m) 1:3 ISO container. The unit is manufactured as a fully integrated, fully self-contained unit with redundant power and lighting with a large medical suite that provides for two simultaneous operations. The operating room can also be reconfigured and utilized for triage and trauma care, an intensive care unit, or any number of other specialty diagnostic activities and is equipped with four patient care stations. The MSUII has the following fully integrated components requiring no external connections:

Two surgical stations or four patient care stations (automatically manufactured with appropriate connections and floor space for surgical stations and patient care stations - can be utilized however the purchaser desires; readily configurable for either use.)

Integrated medical gas, power and LED lighting systems
Integrated Environmental Control Unit (ECU)
Integrated HEPA and NBC air filtration system
Full compliment of modular medical cabinetry


The Universal Support System™ USS is configured in a non-expandable, rigid-wall 20ft (6m) ISO container and contains the following fully integrated components requiring no external connections:

Two self-erecting 10-bed soft-wall patient wards
Integrated power and LED lighting systems
Integrated Environmental Control Units (ECU) (one per patient ward)
Integrated NBC air filtration system and NBC-hardened patient wards
Integrated wash basin / scrub sink
Full compliment of modular medical cabinetry
Please contact us for a customized solution plan to fit your needs.

Mobile Medical International Corporation
PO Box 672
St. Johnsbury
VT 05819
Tel: +1 (802) 748-2322
Fax: +1 (802) 748 2323

Click Here to return to Table of Contents.

IV Extending the BattleBox Reach by land/sea/air transport

Transport Helicopter BattleBox Mobility: the Next Chinook should be a SpeedCrane

SkyCrane carrying an ISO Container

NEW VIDEO! CH-54 SkyCrane Pod System in Action

Another Air Mobility Division innovation we've lost but need to regain is the Gavin Kiwi Pod concept, except using ISO container "BATTLEBOXes" as the pods.

If the Army had brains they'd buy at least 50 x New S-64/CH-54s from Erickson AirCrane and develop a "BATTLEBOXfuel" to avoid convoys getting whacked by roadside bombs.

Fiddler's Green reports:

The Sky Crane was a most noteworthy program for the Army as it was desperately needed to off load container ships in 'Nam" since "Nam" has no deep water ports to accommodate large freighters.

Other research has found that the U.S. Army's CH-54 Tarhe ("SkyCrane") heavy lift helicopter's universal cargo pods also proved very useful, for they could be used to carry up to eighty-seven troops in addition to serving as mobile hospitals, command posts or barracks.

If the Army were smart, its next Chinook should be a Piasecki SpeedCrane type helicopter that can transport ISO container "BattleBoxesTM ".


Historical Discovery Below from Naval Aircraft Combat Developer, George Spangenberg.

My observations:

If the Army was not so foolish wanting 22 tons for the XCH-62 Heavy Lift Helicopter (HLH) to lift the MICV (the early version of the now 33-ton Bradley) we could have had a SkyCrane that could lift 18 tons to lift M113 Gavins EASILY or the heaviest 40 foot ISO Container BattleBoxesTM . Carry people in a pod, what's the mental block here?

I think we are going to make the same mistake with the 20-25 ton FCS that needs a non-existant FTR/JTR/HLH with a huge fuselage. At the end of the day we might have another BS medium weight ground vehicle with no V/TOL aircraft to fly it. Not enough money even in the U.S. of A.

We need to stop trying to lift ground vehicles that are too heavy and make the light ones we have more combat capable (multiple armor layers, 1-man autocannon turrets etc.) and fly them with EXISTING AIRCRAFT for our 3D forces and use the heavier vehicles for 2D maneuver forces. Two basic forms of maneuver for the open and closed terrain types we find on planet earth.

The CH-47F has progressed to where it can carry the 10.5 ton M113A3 Gavin for short distances (about 50 miles). I think we should take the CH-53E's 3-engines and splice them to a SkyCrane so we can lift the 17-ton M8 Buford AGS light tank as well as ISO containerize the entire U.S. Army to get it out of its garrison doldrums and be packed and ready for war at all times. The SkyCrane configuration eliminates the sling load swinging and 100 mph speed restrictions that happens when you can't load the M113 Gavin or M8 Buford into the CH-53E's fuselage. We could make the fuselage bigger but then you lose 2 tons of payload and can't lift ISO BattleBoxesTM .


George Spangenberg:

The next program that also is not on the chart is the CH-53E and that's because it didn't get started until after the chart was drawn, and also an HLH which also would not have been on there because it turned out to be an Army program. The whole effort really started when they deployed the CH-53A which you will remember was started in '63, flew in '64 and then deployed in early '67 to Vietnam. When it reached Vietnam the marines found that they had a problem, they had so few of these helicopters available to them and if one went down in enemy territory they could not retrieve it. The other helicopters, CH-46 for example, could be picked up either by the Army Chinooks or the 'Cranes, CH-54, or by the H-53s and brought back. It apparently became a severe enough problem that the marines got together and came up with a requirement for a crane-type helicopter with self-retrieval capability. In other words, if one went down a similar helicopter could go in and pick it up. The marines were really working quite closely with Sikorsky at the time and Sikorsky then came up with a study for a modification of the CH-53 in which they added a seventh blade, increased the rotor diameter from 72 to 81 feet, added a third engine of the same type as the other two and went to a crane-type configuration similar to the CH-54 which was also one of their designs, of course. At the time it was estimated that configuration would give a lift capability of about eighteen tons and that became really the selling point for the program. NAVAIR was willing to buy the design. In other words, if performance and the weights were agreed upon, we wanted to buy it on a directed procurement. However, the ASN (R&D) decided that we should have a competition and let other manufacturers bid. The program then ran into budget problems. The crane configuration of course was a pretty specialized one and eventually when everyone finally got together on the specification requirements, a conventional fuselage on the helicopter was required. We ended up losing a couple tons worth of lift capability when we did that so the helicopters that resulted were more like a sixteen ton lift capacity.

We had proposals from Sikorsky, Vertol and Hughes, that I remember, perhaps there were others too. The Hughes was the least attractive of the three proposals. Vertol submitted a version of the Chinook. The Chinook was always a competitor for the CH-53 but the height of the helicopter was enough so that Vertol never did get around to really working out an arrangement where it fit well on the ships. The tandem arrangement of course always gave a nice compact spot, an advantage for shipboard use. Well, Sikorsky ended up winning the competition and we had only lost a couple of years fooling around with the competition rather than going with them in the first place. But it's also clear that having a conventional fuselage on the design was a good decision.

When the item went into the budget it was unfortunately called the "marine HLH." At the time the Army also had an item in the budget for an "HLH", and as presented initially, the marine version was described as an 18 ton lift, the Army design as 22 ½ ton lift capability. The Army wanted the ability to lift any of the containers that went on container ships which explained the 22 ½ ton lift requirement. It was basically a crane-type helicopter, although they could put container pods on the bottom to carry people as well. The Army did not have their program well defined and for several years they refused to define their long-range plans and only talked about technology, an R&D program, or a prototype program.

At the time within OSD there was an active duty Army Colonel assigned to DDR&E. Naturally, he pushed very strongly for all Army programs over those of the competing services and did his best to, I'll say, mislead, he probably said, to educate, his bosses into the fact that we could have a joint program, with no need for separate marine HLH and Air Force HLHs. In his version of the DCP (the Development Concept Paper), part of the acquisition process at the time, he claimed by combining the two programs the country could save a half a billion dollars. This related to the one billion that McNamara had claimed that he could save on the joint TFX program. The Navy's stand on the DCP was actually signed by the assistant secretary of the Navy, the R&D secretary, Mr. Frosch. It seemed to him that we could probably save money by doing separate programs, that the extra costs that the marines would suffer from the size of the Army HLH was enough to pay for the development of the Navy HLH. Well, it became a big issue for a long time. The general feeling was that among those that just glanced at numbers that you certainly ought to be able to compromise with a single project if you're only talking the difference between 18 tons and 22 tons. Unfortunately, that wasn't the whole story.

The Army requirement also said they should do the lift at what I believe was a 4,000 foot altitude and at 95 at that altitude, a tough requirement. The marines also had a high temperature requirement but it was 90 at sea level, really our standard hot day requirement for the Navy.

After the big argument on the DCP and with nobody being able to agree, a joint Army-Navy-Industry study was set up in which the participants tried to arrive at a common helicopter to serve the needs or meet the requirements of the two services. It turned out about as expected that the biggest one that the marines could accept provided too little capability for the Army and the smallest one the Army would accept was too big for the marines to operate from most of our ships.

About the same time there was a budget hearing in the Congress and Mr. Foster, who was then DDR&E, was asked a question, "Why can't you combine them?" and in widely read testimony he promptly said, "Oh, we can. There's no problem to that." He obviously did not know the background at all. Well a joint program then got directed, despite the studies, by Mr. Packard, then DepSecDef. It was an extremely stupid decision and since Mr. Packard was not a stupid man, all I can conclude is that he had to have had bum dope. Eventually the working level part of the Navy and of course the marines finally got to see Secretary Chaffee, Secretary of the Navy, and appealed to him. He would not permit us to go directly to Mr. Packard but he said give him the dope and he would go to Packard, which he did. Packard made the decision then, "Well, we'll go ahead with this joint competition with the Army requirements being specified as the most difficult to meet but that it also should have shipboard compatibility requirements." If the industry proposals then confirmed the statements that we were making to Packard, he would reconsider the decision.

So the next step of course was to run the competition. Actually the Army ran it. But we had to work with them on getting the specs out and then of course later we had to evaluate the proposals when they came in. The Navy's main input to the spec of course was just ship compatibility. The marines wanted full shipboard compatibility with the LPH-2 (a former Essex class CV) and this of course gave them more problems than if they had specified a larger ship. OSD finally directed the Navy, or the marines really, to require shipboard compatibility only with the larger LHA class, the first ship of which was under construction. Since the total number of these ships wasn't really very large there was a lot of opposition to the fact that the shipboard compatibility requirements had been cut back. The Army set up their typical remote location kind of an evaluation board. Evaluation was held at Ft. Eustis, I believe. We had one representative that we sent down there and then evaluated the helicopters in place at NAVAIR. We had five competitors who submitted proposals -- Boeing Vertol, Sikorsky, Hughes, Kaman and even Gyrodyne. All the designs came in just about as we expected. The Army versions running about 120,000 pounds gross weight, and really impossible to operate in any normal way from ships. Obviously you could put them aboard the big carriers and you could operate from the decks of the LHAs but there wasn't much clearance with the island and getting them down below was impracticable. The Army ended up by recommending the Boeing Vertol design, a tandem helicopter similar to the ones that -- well, it was a big Chinook in a crane version. Had 90 foot rotors, was 150 feet or so long, with a huge operating spot on any ship. We obviously couldn't accept any of the designs.

Eventually Packard reviewed the situation. Some of the Army DDR&E people still wanted the joint program I presume because they thought that we would never get approval for two heavy lift helicopters at once. So we really argued that we (the marines) didn't have a heavy lift helicopter, we certainly were on the low side of what the Army was trying to do. Packard finally allowed us to get started again with the CH-53E. We finally got a go-ahead for the CH-53E in November of '71, a decision delayed from January of '68, so we had almost a four year delay between the time we wanted to buy the capability and the time we were allowed to get started. The situation then went from bad to worse as the acquisition system was being changed by the proponents of prototyping, "fly-before-buy", and so on. The CH-53E production release got delayed until actually 1976, although Sikorsky had built two prototypes and then two preproduction models before that production release. The first real production delivery didn't come about until late in 1980. I've always used the program as one of our best examples of how not to buy aircraft. It's very, very expensive to stretch things out that long. If a program is going to take ten or fifteen years to go from concept to fleet it's going to have a lot of changes and the costs are going to skyrocket. And when it gets there it may well be obsolete A schedule comparison of the CH-53A with the CH-53E should be instructive. If you compare the two programs, the E obviously took years longer. In fact the first production E was the fifth actual aircraft built. It was delivered some nine years after go-ahead while the fifth A was delivered in less than two years from go-ahead. The four-year delay in getting the E started was about four times as long as the delay introduced in the 53A program by those in OSD who forced the poorly conceived Tri-Service Transport Program on the services. Again, it's not the right way to buy aircraft.

To finish up the HLH, the Army went ahead with its Vertol design, but advertised it as only a technology program, with some calling it a prototype program. In their Congressional testimony, they claimed they had made no cost estimates of either the engineering development or production. This caused them all kinds of trouble in Congress of course and why they took that tack I'll never know. If they had never made any cost estimates as they claimed they should never have been allowed to get started and all the delays could have been avoided. They ran the program for a while, let an engine contract, but eventually cancelled the program after a year or two. I think that probably ends my official involvement with helicopters. I had retired before the Black Hawk and the UTTAS came along. Those were programs that probably should have ended up by replacing the CH-46 as well. A replacement for the 46 could have been a marinized version of the Army's Blackhawk."

Unfortunately the current bloated CH-53E with cargo/payload eating heavy fuselage is what we got! Look at the current CH-53E Super Stallion lifting an ISO container that even with dual-point sling-load is slow and prevents the aircraft from evading enemy defenses!


We spliced a very-hard-to-find 1/72 scale model kit MH-53E Sea Stallion's 3 engines, main and tail rotors to a 1/72 scale CH-54/S-64 SkyCrane to illustrate what we could do today to effect SeaBasing and Air-Mech-Strike. No model kit exists for a 17-ton M8 Buford AGS so we did the best we could and hooked up a 8-ton Scimitar light tank with a sizable turret to illustrate somewhat that the CH-53E SkyCrane could be the AMS delivery means for a M113 MTVL Gavin/M8 Buford/Tracer 3D maneuver force. Note that the CH-53E SkyCrane has Infared CounterMeasures (IRCM) and an in-flight refueling probe to extend its range indefinitely if tankers are available.

CH-53E SkyCrane Flexibility!

Maximum power, minimum weight: CH-53E SkyCrane sheds 6 tons of CH-53E fuselage to become a 20-ton cargo lifter!

Note the powerful 3-engined CH-53E powertrain & 7-bladed rotor system

The streamlined CH-53E SkyCrane should fly as-is @ 200 mph!

The extra lift capability is contained within the SkyCrane's compact body

SEL: Streamlined External Loads

Instead of hanging AMS combat vehicles by sling-loading which reduces speeds to 100 mph or less without evasive maneuvering, SEL enables the SkyCrane to fly at full speed, aggressive flight profiles to evade enemy air defenses and get combat power to the ground faster.

Other views:

CH-53E SkyCrane SEL Front-View SEL SEL on the ground

SLING-LOADS: Winch-Up/Winch-Down from a hover

However, SEL does not preclude the AMS tracked combat vehicle from being winched up/down from a hover to offer deliver into tight spaces where the CH-53E SkyCrane cannot land.

A M113A3 Gavin infantry fighting vehicle is winched up to the hovering CH-53E SkyCrane

MODULAR PODS = 3D Maneuver Air Assault "BattleBoxesTM "

In addition to AMS combat vehicles by SEL, CH-53E SkyCranes can lift a family of modular "BattleBoxesTM " in the ISO container format. Here, a BattleBox has delivered infantry with a Wiesel tracked AFV towing a 105mm howitzer artillery piece.

Landing Ship Tank BattleBoxTM (LST-BB)

British Harriers on a sea/air/land ISO container ship: what if the aircraft had folding wings to fit IN the boxes? What if tanks and other equipment were in these "BattleBoxesTM ", too?

As Colonel Douglas MacGregor surmised in his visionary book, "Transformation under Fire" we again need a new fleet of Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) that can deliver Army forces right onto beaches by bow ramps since the navy/marines have given up on the idea. Churchill's idea of a LST saved the day in WWII and in Korea and many wars before the seamine problem overcame the complacent navy/marines leading them to their current impotent over-the-horizon (OTH) mentality of problem avoidance. At some point we are going to have to clear the sea lanes of mines and we don't need to be pussy footing around with offloading because we are in a wimpy high speed, fuel hog catamaran ferry that needs a pierside port or a RO-RO ship that needs deep waters near the shore just to get close to a port. We need a new technology LST that is a fast catamaran for better stability in the oceans than the flat bottom LSTs that made them unpopular with sailors but can land its bow upon a beach to roll off Army tracked armored fighting vehicles and BBs in trailer configuration. David Giles' FASTSHIP proposes to do just this.

We also need a seaplane transport that can do this with M113A4 AmphiGavins, too. A LST-BB would have overhead snatch and move superstructures to pluck a BB and lower it onto the front bow ramp when beached so a prime mover can hook up to it after its picked up by ANT-ISO trailer wheels. If the sea lanes are not clear the superstructure should be able to lower a BB over the side onto a landing craft air cushion platform with a LCAC parked on it so it can be shuttled at 60 mph ashore on a 5-8 foot air cushion above the water and sea mines.

Another option to create RO-RO ship berthing for 200 drivers to already be on the ship to offload their vehicles is to use ISO Container "BattleBoxesTM " with living facilities built into them. Place about 10-20 living area ISO BBs on deck.

ISO BattleBox Containerized Army Faster to deploy than the Roll-on/Roll-Off Army?

The U.S. Army relies on Bob Hope class Roll-On-Roll-Off medium speed ships to get itself to global battlefields. APS-3 has its RO/RO ships pre-loaded with 2 armor and 2 mechanized infantry battalion's worth of vehicles and supplies. These tracked combat vehicles could be expedited ashore even without a pier if floating causeway sections are placed under their stern and side vehicle ramps for USN LCAC hovercraft to pick up vehicles and speed them to shore as BLA has pioneered. If their combat crews and Soldiers can somehow link up at sea before the LCAC shuttling takes place, this force can fight immediately after the vehicles leave the LCAC onto the beach. Details:

Strategic Maneuver Home Page:

However, the majority of the RO-RO ships are empty and are "surge" vessels that sail to where the nearest Army unit has its SPOD and load up their vehicles.

My contention is that by insisting that we work around our ground vehicles as the cornerstone of our unit's identity we have created the resultant garrison break bulk culture of "tent cities" that when pitched in combat zones do not provide any protection to our troops from enemy ballistics missiles, artillery, mortars, ground attacks and little protection from the harsh environment of thew earth itself. The Army break bulk tent city culture lives a double life; during garrison the canvass tentage rots in ISO containers and supply rooms and are rarely opened up and used in training. With no place to live using field equipment, our troops 9-to-5 live in permanent barracks and office buildings and end up mowing lawns and polishing floors instead of training for combat. When its time to go to war, the rotting tents are thrown into the back of the unit's vehicles and driven onto RO-RO ships. In the paragraphs above I've explained why its far better to do shelter volume right the first time with stackable ISO Container "BattleBoxesTM " that can be hardened to resist the effects of enemy fires. The $5,000 and 5,000 pound cost per BattleBox is well worth the revolutionary capabilities we gain.

Let's consider a notional Army unit with 100 x M113 Gavin sized vehicles loading onto a surge RO-RO ship.

Army Post-to-SPOD (Post-to-Port)

If the Gavins are already loaded into ISO container 20 foot flat racks with posts to stack, a truck can pick up each within 2 minutes and start driving to the sea port. If we keep the Gavin free to RO-RO, we have to gingerly drive it onto a truck tractor-trailer flat bed and chain it down, taking dozens of minutes. The 100 vehicle unit in ISO containers could be headed down the road or down the rail road tracks within 200 minutes, the tractor-trailer unit will need 1,000 minutes.


Forgetting the head start the ISO containerized Gavin unit has, let's say we are even and both units are at pierside at the SPOD.

Go! Shouts the judge with a starter's gun.

Immediately, a container crane starts picking up an ISO flat rack with a Gavin in it and lowers it into a small 2,000 container ship within 1 minute has it onto the cargo top deck; in another 30 seconds its locked down onto the hull. The crane goes for another Gavin/flat rack.

Meanwhile, one Gavin has driven onto the RO-RO ship ramp and is getting parking instructions. 5 minutes later, its chained down taking another 5 minutes.

200 minutes (3 hours, 20 minutes) later, the Gavins in ISO flat racks are stowed ready to go on their container ship.

1,000 minutes (19 hours) later, the RO-RO Gavin unit is loaded.

Ship-to-Friendly Pierside (Port-to-Port)

Small Container ships have their own cranes to load/offload their ISO containers. The container ship pulls up alongside pier and offloads its 100 Gavin vehicles within 3 hours, 20 minutes. Their drivers, Track Commanders and infantry detach them from their flat racks and drive them off into combat, within another hour tops. 4 hours total.

The RO-RO ship pulls in to pier and starts driving off 100 Gavins. 19 hours later, they are pierside and ready for combat operations under their own power. Assuming that 3 Gavins can be RO-ROed out the stern and left/right ramps, that's still 7 hours to offload.

Ship-to-Unfriendly Shore (Port-to-Foxhole)

Small Container ships have their own cranes to load/offload their ISO containers onto a floating causeway section for LCAC pick-up. As the flat racks are emptied they are stacked and brought back onto the ship during the lulls when no LCAC is on the causeway section for loading.

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V BattleBoxesTM as True Military Transformational Means (operational analysis, loading scenarios, benefits for security, surprise, political commentary, etc.)

BATTLEBOXtankTM: Gavin Light Mechanized Infantry Company: trains exactly as it fights, packed and ready at all times, NOW

Consider a Light Mechanized Infantry Company designed for 3D air/land/sea maneuver with 14 x M113A4 Gavin hybrid-electric 500 hp drive (HED) light tracked Infantry carriers. They would have 14 ISO BattleBoxesTM (BBs). In CONUS, 7.5 BBs would store their M113A4s, 2 per BB to keep them out of the sun, heat, dust, rain, snow, cold to better preserve them for when they are needed in battle, saving millions of dollars in the long run. PMCS can be done within the BB to protect Soldiers from skin cancer causing sun, saving more money and making motor stable less onerous a task. There is no "motor pool" to guard and have vandals take parts from vehicles. The 14 Gavins are securely locked in their BBs in the company area which can be guarded at the same time the company office, also in a BB is manned by a phone watch CQ. The 8 BBs used for vehicle storage in the field would be used as armored troop barracks/pill boxes as the tactical situation dictates by snapping in bunk hammocks into slots in the BB walls. The unit is in combat mode at all times even in CONUS.

Another option would be to M113A4 Gavin-mechanize the Delta Weapons Companies/AT platoons of every infantry battalion out of vulnerable 35+ Humvee trucks to render armored mobility for A, B and C company riflemen as needed. Assign a combat engineer squad or platoon and the unit becomes an Engineer Cavalry or "ECAV" troop that can deal with obstacle, land mines, road side bombs ahead and fortify their BattleBoxesTM when stopped.

For units like the 101st, Special Forces and Rangers the M113s could be "Mini-Gavins" of reduced size for CH-47 internal carry and vertical insertion/extraction capabilities.

A Mini-Gavin can fit inside a standard 20-foot long ISO container "BATTLEBOXtankTM.

Except for weapons that would be secured in a static building's security vault, EVERYTHING the infantry company or ECAV troop owns would be in their 14 BBs and ready to go to war instantly without days, weeks and months of break bulk packing to fit into trucks and other makeshift schemes to get overseas. There would be enough BBs space for over 1 year's of food and just before deploying months of ammunition and water. One BB would have decontamination/shower/washing machine/toilet facilities with water tanks on top and below to recover from NBC attacks as well as to sustain the troops indefinitely in the field. Power would be from solar panels stretched on top of the roof and pedal-power, 12 volt deep-cycle batteries and JP-8 generators from the M113A4 Gavin's HED or other power piped in only as the last resort. Its time we stop the macho posturing and face the fact that the human body cannot stay healthy and dirty at the same time. So instead of living in denial, let's factor this need in and make it organic to every company-sized unit in the army to be self-sufficient. Clean Soldiers and uniforms saves money and logistics for medical care and replacing ACU uniforms at $80 each. Another BB unit would be a solar-powered kitchen with insulated refrigeration and bulk water purification capable of walk in and out feeding of the entire company in the field. The men would return to their troop living BattleBoxesTM to eat under armor protection. All Soldiers in the company would take turns being cooks. A water well drilling kit would be standard to get water from the ground to purify if a lake/river is not nearby. In the future the M113A4 Gavin will be able to draw drinking water from the ambient air itself and from its own exhaust! One BB would be conference room/recreation room with computers to stay in contact with home when overseas via satellite link up.

The point is that the Infantry Company even in CONUS need not get bogged down with lawn and building care, they work out of the exact troop BBs that they would use in combat. When time to go into the field maneuver train, they can use their 14 x M113A4 Gavins to tow their BBs to their training area and set up a Forward Operating Base (FOB) just as they would during real world missions. With 14-30 BBs each with 10 or more SOA blast wall sections; a multiple walled inner perimeter could be made (circle-the-wagons) to protect the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) M113A4 Gavin from observation and possible enemy snipers. A landing spot for helicopters to land and take-off (sealed with Envirotac "Rhino Snot") could be formed as the British container Ship Atlantic Conveyor did for CH-47 Chinooks in the Falklands war in 1982. If the BN M88 or a M113 (M806) Gavin recovery vehicle's crane is available, BBs could be stacked to be elevated guard towers. The BBs could stay on their ANT-ISO trailer towing wheels or be lowered onto the ground for better protection. With a blade-equipped M113A4 Gavin, all 14 BBs could be dug into the ground for further protection from enemy weaponry, concealment to include WMDs. The outer perimeter would be manned by the ultimate mobile BattleBox itself, the M113A4 HED Gavin with lots of battery electrical power to operate turrets and electro-optical sensors like TOW-ITA or LRAS and its Soldiers on foot and on pedal and electric mountain bikes. As these Soldiers need relief they can go into the company perimeter center and get hot chow and a shower as well as a safe, protected night's sleep in a BB in the inner perimeter.

To deploy off-post, the company gets its last minute fill of ammunition/supplies, draw weapons and hops on a train co-located with their BBs for a trip to Fort Iwin, NTC or Fort Polk, JRTC saving the Army lots of money. To go overseas, their 14-30 BBs can be loaded onto a civilian contract or a new high-speed U.S. Landing Ship Tank BattleBox (derived from David Giles' FastShip). If they are needed faster, they can fly by 7 x C-17 Globemaster III jet sorties. Its even possible that BBs could be cargo parachute airdropped along with the men who would jump using personnel parachutes. Once on the scene of battle, the BBs could be opened, their M113A4 Gavins driven out, and used to destroy the enemy and secure the drop zone. After this, the BB's ANT-ISO wheels could be used to towed them out of the DZ or picked up by a XM1108 Gavin variant with PLS flat rack/BB pick-up capability to be positioned as pill boxes to further strengthen the perimeter defenses or moved out to follow the light mechanized infantry company as it moves ahead on offense. Once the BBs catch up with their Gavin infantry they can form their own company perimeter defense or with other units form an outer-walled perimeter (think Fort Apache in the Old West movies or the Mormon base camp in the film Starship Troopers). If the Gavins deploy inside their BBs in less dramatic form, their ships could offload them and prime mover truck drivers link them up with their infantrymen at an assembly area prior to going into battle. The mech infantry company could tow their own BBs and their own protected logistics if there is still more distances to travel or leave them behind at the assembly area to be shuttled forward. This could mean their own JP8 fuel in Flex-Cell bladders strapped to their vehicle outsides and/or packed in their 7.5 BB's space freed by their vehicles no longer inside. When you consider a Hybrid-Electric drive M113A4 Gavin gets twice the fuel economy and range compared to a conventional engine (7.0 mpg for 600 mile range vs. 3.5 mpg and 300 mile range) the ability to essentially have several ARMORED tractor/trailers full of fuel enables the force to operate for days and weeks without vulnerable resupply along road MSRs. Once the infantry company has its BBs its almost completely self-sufficient and need not occupy former enemy palaces to inflame the locals who we are trying to win over by toppling their former dictator(s). They even have the infrastructure to share with suffering peoples who need water, food and power. At all times our troops have at least some protection from enemy artillery and indirect fires while in base camps.

BATTLEBOXaircraftTM: the WW2 SC-1 SeaHawk seaplane fighter precedent

SC-1 SeaHawk-in-a-Box

More proof that the SeaHawk seaplane fighter was too far ahead of its time for the small-minded egomaniacs in the USN.

U.S. Naval Aviation News also reported how the Navy was storing WW2 fighters to have a lot to use up post-war:

Aircraft that are ground-mobile and not dependant upon fixed air bases.

Americans in China: SC-1 SeaHawks ground-mobile

The concept of a SMALL, COMPACT fighter plane whose wings can fold has YET to be fully exploited to enable ISO shipping container "BATTLEBOX" fortification to evade enemy HE attacks and instant barracks/hanger capability. These aircraft can operate at sea from nearly any suitable sized ship using floats/cranes and can even launch/recover from mid-air from a "mother" airborne aircraft carrier. The SeaHawk was truly the first "Killer Bee" and we didn't even know it at the time. This is what GIDO does; it creates the Killer Bees we need to do the LARA tasks KP Rice/Beckett wanted to do in 1960 that Army/marine grasshoppers had been doing sans armament since the 1930s....observation/attack is MANEUVER AIR SUPPORT that provides continuous overhead presence. The SeaHawk was MAS COOP for cruisers/battleships.

Since these SeaHawk pilots didn't fly EVERY DAY they argued about whether they should stand watch (Navy version of guard duty) or not...what a bunch of small minded resentful, blue-collar, zero sum reverse snobs... Its the same crap others warn will happen if pilots are co-located with ground maneuver elements in BATTLEBOXes and lack officer rank---they will be made to do guard duty, not get enough sleep then crash. Blue-collar types who resent officers and aviators also fail to understand one of the reasons they are in an inferior social class is NOT because they are necessarily damned to stupidity physically because of their bodies but because of THEIR BS VALUES THAT CREATE INFERIOR THINKING AND ATTITUDES. So when helicopters came along that required NOTHING from the battleship/cruisers to do in way of ship manipulation, the officers now had an out-of-sight-out-of-mind aviation presence on the ship they could better shield from the small minded snobs on board. Nevermind, that this puts the ENTIRE SHIP AT RISK of being sunk and everyone dying or that gunfire will hit squat ashore killing marines and Army troops....

Today many aircraft as-s are easily carried inside ISO containers.

BATTLEBOXapache: AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter Company new mobile, non-linear warfare capabilities

Consider an AH-64 Apache gunship company that would have BBs and be able to do everything the mech infantry company could do with its BBs; plus it would be able to sea deploy without costly and time consuming plastic shrink wrapping that doesn't physically protect the birds. America no longer has unused aircraft carriers that can be filled with shrink-wrapped helicopters to get from CONUS to global point B. The LPH-2 USS Boxer depicted below from Vietnam shows a by-gone era/possibility:

Video: shrink wrapping & using surplus aircraft carriers to move Army Helos.

In BBs, the Apaches are totally safe from bumps and collision damages. Standard container ships instead of non-available aircraft carriers or top deck space on RO-RO ships can now transport Army helicopters. The BBs enable the force commander to save enormous amounts of JP-8 fuel because he can truck his Apaches if they are not needed to fight in the air. He can conceal who he is from the enemy by thenm being covered in their BBs until they exit their cacoons and take flight to strike with tactical and even strategic surprise. The enemy doesn't know if the BB is full of MREs or Apaches or troops. At a fixed air base the BBs become defacto hardened shelters.

The BBs enable the Apaches to be maintained in clean environments so their flight hours before overhaul are conserved and allows them to be forward deployed and co-located with ground maneuver units! Their BBs can be staggered to form a wall yet still offering an open end for them to emerge and roll out into the perimeter center to take-off and fly into battle. Wounded aircraft are not stuck with BBs. Downed aircraft can be recovered by BBs and prime movers instead of being destroyed in place as took place in Afghanistan months ago. A Forward Arming And Refueling Point (FAARP) could be in "Indian country" using BBs to form a protective perimeter via ground personnel in BBs and roving in XM1108 Gavin prime mover AFVs. Crews could sleep soundly inside a BB in the perimeter center to be ready to fly after their rest period. The helicopters themselves would have a shielded, center landing zone to operate from wherever they take their BBs.


Line drawing of the AH-64's dimensions.

Main rotors removed its 11 feet 10 inches high, with wings removed its 9 feet 1 inch wide at its engines and 49 feet 1 inch long.

Jim Brennan CEO and mastermind at says America uses 53 foot long boxes that are 102 inches wide that fit onto railroad flat cars that are also 8 feet 8 inches tall. He says for $100K he could make a larger BATTLEBOXapacheTM prototype that would be 12 feet high and have the side panels bulge out to 112 inches for the AH-64's engines to clear, so units can have their AH-64s READY-TO-DEPLOY in a protected manner.

No more shrink wrapping! No more long times to deploy!

Fold-down troop bunks against insulated inner walls with overhead lighting and air conditioning with a side personnel door would be standard.

53 foot ISO container for modification for AH-64 Apache on rail car

Above is an example of a 53 foot ISO container now in use on a railroad flat car that we would modify to fit an AH-64 to become the "BATTLEBOXapacheTM". It would be higher than the regular long boxes so only one BATTLEBOXapacheTM could be carried on each rail car.

Image:DTTX 724681 20050529 IL Rochelle.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

DTTX 724681, a portion of a Pacer Stacktrain (Concord, CA) 5-unit container car (a specialized type of gondola) seen passing through Rochelle Railroad Park, Rochelle, Illinois, on May 29, 2005. Photo by Sean Lamb (User:Slambo)

The "BATTLEBOXTM" system to house Soldiers in self-sufficient and combat hardened ISO shipping containers:

Containerized AH-64 Apache Battalion Port---->Port & More

Fort ---->Port

The beauty of this is that say the AH-64 Apache Battalion is at Fort Campbell, KY. They can load their AH-64s into their BATTLEBOXapachesTM and be ready to go to their SPOD port at Jackson, Florida by train or using CDK mobilizer wheels (in U.S. Army service) front and back of the container or onto the top of trailer kits and towing them there by their own trucks. The trucks themselves could be placed inside containers and lifted onto the ship, too.

By Truck

CDK Mobilizer Wheels

One of the reasons why the ISO container has not been fully utilized as a TACTICAL means is because it needs a special MHE device to move them and combat units cannot afford to move around large forklifts in battle. First off, combat units can move around trailers to carry pallets of supplies that fit INSIDE ISO containers for small logistical tasks. The U.S. military right now has the M1022A1 dolly sets of wheels [NSN 2330-01-378-9997] made by CDK in Delaware that attach to the front and back of an ISO container to "mobilize" them:

The M1022A1 Dolly Set Mobilizer for ISO containers

The M1022-A1 Dolly Set Mobilizer is a 7.5-10 ton capacity variant of the basic CLT system specifically designed to meet United States Army requirements. First delivery was made in 1994, and more than 800 systems have since been fielded by Army, Navy and Air Force customers. Although designated as a 7.5 ton system by the U.S. Army, the M1022-A1 System includes a built-in overload capacity of 10 tons. The M1022-A1 system replaces the older, manually powered M1022 dolly set in DOD inventory. Primary applications for the M1022-A1 system include military tactical shelters used as DEPMEDS deployed field hospitals, aviation maintenance workshops, and command and control systems.

The M1022-A1 Systems includes the following enhanced capabilities:

* Diesel powered hydraulic system for ease of connection and lift

* Unique 3-wheel handling mode for ease of unloaded handling and Hydraulic

* powered connection to shelter

* Side Lift Kit (NSN 3950-01-418-0930) for loading of shelters to/from flatbed trucks, trailers or railcars (optional kit)

* Redundant Power Kit permits operation in the event of engine or pump failure (optional kit)

* Full access to 3 or 4 ft.- wide end-opening shelter door while connected to dolly set

* Self-leveling axle feature to level shelters on uneven terrain

* Tandem towing capability for unloaded dolly sets

* Compatible with 8 ft or high-cube 8.5 ft tall shelters or containers (with optional 8.5 ft lockout brace)

* Wheels lift off ground for changing of tires without jack

CDK mobilizer wheels can:

1. Enable a large truck or M113 Gavin track tow up to two BATTLEBOXesTM at a time on highways or off-roads

2. Lift a BATTLEBOXTM up so a flat bed truck or XM1108 track can drive under it and have it placed in back.

3. Raise the BATTLEBOXTM so its level to straight in load 2-at-a-time into USAF t-tail cargo aircraft!

The downside of the M1022A1 is that they cost $80K each and themselves are 6, 150 to 7, 130 pounds of extra weight. A lighter and less costly way to double-tow ISOs would be better though the M1022A1s will certainly do the job initially without a doubt.

Trailer Kits

By Train


Grabbing a container from truck trailer

Major ports have large container cranes to rapidly load containers in less than a minute!! The movie "War of the Worlds" shows Tom Cruise as a container crane operator doing this in the very beginning (rest of movie stunk). So once the containerized Apache unit gets to the SPOD, it can be loaded onto a ship in blazing speed.

At the SPOD port, the BATTLEBOXapachesTM would be the last ones loaded on top of the MSC or commercial container ship so their unusual size will not be a problem for the 20 foot and 40 foot containers stacked below.

Some of these containers could be BATTLEBOXtroopsTM with incinerator toilets so Apache crews could deploy with the ship and even fly off the ship before it reaches port if arranged like the British did for the Falklands War in 1982.


If we use small container ships with their own cranes, the ship could off-load the entire Apache Battalion and the trucks necessary to move them from port-to-foxhole.

Military Sealift Command (MSC) also has crane ships to offload containers from their ships at sea as well as assist in portside LO-LO operations.

Ashore, the BATTLEBOXapachesTM would act as hangers to maintain/service the AH-64s keeping them from the sun, dirt and dust.

If the AH-64s are not inside, they act as troop living spaces with fold-down bunks.

Emergency Rapid Recovery

Helicopters do go down for having adequate trucks or tracks to move Apache units, if an Apache goes down, it can be easily recovered affordably on the ground and not just from the air by a CH-47 Chinook or larger helicopter....

The BATTLEBOXapacheTM is part of the BATTLEBOXTM system of using shipping containers to make fortified troop bunkers:

We want to create entire AH-64 units completely "containizerized" with BATTLEBOXapachesTM---special 53 foot shipping containers to rapidly deploy Apache units by train, truck, track and ship, then act as hangers and troop living areas for self-sufficiency and mobility.

Containerized Apache Unit Math

ISU-90 108" x 88" x 96 inches tall = 463L/ECDS pallet
9 feet by 7.3 feet footprint

loading into iso narrow ways 7.3 feet side

20 foot = carry 2
40 foot = carries 4
53 foot = carries 5

NCARNG AH-64 Battalion Deployment to A-Stan for equipment formula

33 X C-17 sorties

18 + 4 ON RAMP

4 x AH-64s
4 x fuel HMMTs
4 x cargo HMMTs


30 x 22 = 660

So, 660 divided by 5 = 132 containers

24 x AH-64s = 24 x BATTLEBOXapachesTM (hangers or housing for 288 troops) 660 x ISU-90s = 132 x BATTLEBOXtroopsTM (housing for 1584 troops)


156 x 53 foot BATTLEBOXesTM to move Apache Battalion

3 x Apache Battalions = 468 containers

Apache Brigade Container Assault Ship

1. Army obtains a small container ship with LO-LO cranes to self load/offload if necessary

2. A small container ship can carry 2, 900 TEU (20 foot containers), thus 468 x 53 foot containers is equal to 468 x 3 TEUs ( = 1 x 53 foot BATTLEBOXapacheTM) = 1, 404 so there's plenty of room leftover for the prime movers and troop living boxes

3. The Apache Brigade Assault Container Ship would have 20 foot BATTLEBOXseatroopsTM some kitchen and incinerator toilet/shower units that would stay on the ship indefinitely since they'll be needed for the next Apache Brigade deployment sortie.

4, 000 man Apache Brigade divided by 6-man BATTLEBOXseatroopsTM = 667 living boxes
1 Shower/Toilet BATTLEBOXhygieneTM per 100 men = 40 hygiene boxes
1 kitchen BATTLEBOXkitchenTM per 100 men = 40 kitchen boxes


1, 404 BATTLEBOXapachesTM
667 BATTLEBOXseatroopsTM
40 BATTLEBOXhygienesTM
40 BATTLEBOXkitchensTM


2, 151 TEU ISO equivalents

So we still have plenty of space to stuff the prime movers inside containers and carry them aboard, too

The Rapid Deployment Pay-Off for a ISO BattleBox Containerized U.S. Army

Let's take a look at a unit that has trouble rapidly deploying: the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division with its hundreds of short-range V/TOL helicopters.

On August 17, 1990 the first units of the 101st arrived in Saudi Arabia. 2,700 troops, 117 helicopters, 487 vehicles, and 125 pallets of supplies was transported on board 110 U.S. Air Force C-5 and C-141 transport aircraft. Meanwhile, the remainder of the division was loaded onto transport ships in Jacksonville, FL and 46 days later arrived in the Saudi port of Ad Daman.

In contrast to the air and sea deployment of the 101st, imagine that it was completely containerized. A tortoise and the hare relationship follows.

The lead battalion 3/502d flew in 110 USAF aircraft sorties. Assuming 1 day to prepare the vehicles, 1 day to load the planes, and 1 day to fly, and one day to offload the planes, it took 4 days to get from Post to APOD.

Since ISO container BattleBoxesTM can be pre-loaded at all times, it takes just 1 day to truck or rail the 3/502d to the SPOD and load them into their container ship. Then at 20 knots, 5 days to sail from the SPOD to Saudi. Then 1 day to offload. Total time: 7 days.

This same formula if applied to the rest of the division, gets it to Saudi Arabia within another 7 days.

Thus, if the 101st was containerized, it could by SEA ALONE get to the middle east in 7 days. If it flies in a spearhead it can be there 3 days earlier.

In fact, OH-58D Kiowa Warriors and/or AH/MH-6 Little Birds can be carried INSIDE and transported in ISO SEA/AIR/LAND containers!




Minimum disassembly applicable to all surface modes is removal of main rotor blades and horizontal stabilizer. CAUTION TM 55-1520-214-S will be consulted before any disassembly and loading takes place.


Only container chassis trailers equipped with soft ride suspension system will be used to transport the container by highway to the port. The use of soft ride suspension chassis trailers within the port is not necessary. Deviations from the procedure will be authorized only by Commander. TSARCOM. Stuffing the container at locations other than the port is not recommended.


Preparation Disassembly, preservation, and packaging are accomplished in accordance with TM 55-1520-214-S. Additional guidance may be obtained through contact with personnel of the U.S. Army Troop Support and Aviation Material Readiness Command, St. Louis, MO. To reduce congestion in the vicinity of the loading area, the main rotor blades, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, tail rotor, and mast and rotor head are removed prior to positioning the helicopter at the loading site. The main rotor blades are packed in a plywood container; the mast and rotor head secured to a skin-mounted base; the horizontal stabilizer is placed in a fiberboard carton; that is secured to the prefabricated metal spreader bar (para 8-4a): and the tail rotor and vertical stabilizer are wrapped in a protective material and secured in the helicopter cabin.

NOTE Remove antennas as necessary; wrap, identify, and stow in cargo compartment, as required.

8-2. Positioning For Loading

The loading site should be a loading platform equal in height to the height of the container floor. The helicopter can be moved short distances over smooth surfaces by means of ground-handling wheels, tow bar, and warehouse tractor. Maneuver the helicopter (with the aid of the ground-handling wheels) to the rear of the container and align the container door for loading.

8-3. Loading


Extreme care must be taken in loading and unloading helicopters to prevent gouging, scratching, or tearing the airframe skin.

a. General. Bridging material is to be placed directly in front of the landing skids. It consists of ½-inch (1.2 cm) thick plywood or ¼-inch (.6 cm-) thick steel plate sufficiently wide to accommodate the ground-handling wheels and landing skids and long enough to span the distance between the loading platform and the inside of the container; extending beyond the rear door header. When safety requirements do not restrict, paste soap or grease may be applied on the bridging material to facilitate skidding the helicopter through the container door. The ground-handling wheels are removed and reinstalled after the high point of the helicopter clears the container door header. To help reduce the height of the helicopter, the landing skid struts may have to be extended to their maximum position and secured in the extended position, this is done with prefabricated spreader bars or with notched and cushioned 4- by 4-inch (10- by 10-cm) lumber spreader tiedown pieces. Approximate measurements of major removed and packaged components for each helicopter are as follows: Main rotor blades: 144- x 10- x 17 in. (366- x 25- x 43-cm) Mast and rotor head: 30- x 30- x 30-in. (76 x 76- x 76-cm) 8-1




TM 55-1500-338-S will be consulted before any disassembly and loading takes place. Container chassis trailers equipped with soft-ride suspension system will be used only to transport the container by highway to the port. The use of soft-ride suspension chassis trailers within the port is not necessary. Deviations from this procedure will be authorized only by Commander, TSARCOM. Stuffing the container at locations other than the port is not recommended.

Preparation 4–1.

Disassembly, preservation, and packaging are accomplished in accordance with TM 55–1500– 338-S. Additional guidance may be obtained by contacting the U.S. Army Troop Support and Aviation Material Readiness Command (TSAR- COM), St. Louis, MO 63166. To reduce congestion in the vicinity of the loading area, the main rotor blades are removed and protected with cushioning material for later loading under helicopter cabin. The following items are re- moved, wrapped with cushioning material, and secured in the helicopter cabin: pitot tube, top anticollision light fixture, engine exhaust stacks, main rotor hub, main rotor drive shaft, main rotor mast, tail boom support, tail rotor blades, and antennas (as necessary). The verti- cal fin and horizontal stabilizer are removed and boxed. The tail boom section is removed, and the tail rotor rods are removed from the tail boom; then the tail boom is mounted on top of the helicopter fuselage.

4–2. Positioning for Loading

The loading site should be a loading platform with a height equal to the height of the container floor. Two ground-handling wheel assemblies are used for moving the helicopter on the ground. Each assembly consists of a wheel, support, and lever that is used to retract or extend the wheels. The wheels are manually oper- ated and are held in place by a lock pin. The helicopter (with the aid of the wheels) should be maneuvered to the rear of the container and aligned with the container door for loading.

4–3. Loading


Extreme care must be taken in loading and unloading helicopters to prevent gouging, scratching, or tearing the air- frame skin. a. General. Bridging material is placed be- tween the loading dock and container in front of the landing skids. It consists of ½-inch-(1.27-cm) thick plywood or ¼-inch-(.63-cm) thick steel plate of sufficient width to accommodate the widest point on the helicopter and of sufficient length to span the distance between the loading platform and extending into the container beyond the rear door header. Approximate measurements of removed and packaged com- ponents for each helicopter are as follows: Vertical fin assembly: 86- x 45¼- x 6¼-in. (218- X 115- X 15.9-cm) Horizontal stabilizer: 81- x 20- x 7-in. (205.7- x 50.8- x 17.8-cm) b. Two Helicopters on Loading Skids in 35- or 40-Foot Containers. The two boxed vertical fins are placed on end, one on each side at the front of the container. The first helicopter is moved into the container nose first, with the aid of ground-handling wheels, and is positioned 4 inches (10 cm) from the front of the container with left rear end and right front end of the landing skids close to the sides of the container (fig. 4-1). The two boxed horizontal stabilizers are then placed side by side between the landing skids under the helicopter. The second helicopter is moved, tail first, into a position similar to that of the first helicopter with the nose 4 inches (10 cm) from the door of the container. The main rotor blades are protected with cushioning ma- terial and secured to the main rotor blade tiedown fixture under the second helicopter (fig 4-1

Here is a picture of two OH-58s in an ISO container:

Thus, small OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and/or AH/MH-6 Little Bird attack/transport helicopters could also be hid in ISO containers and trucked to FAARPs and operated clandestinely.

So the problem is containerizing the Army's larger UH-60, AH-64 and CH-47 helicopters. Its probably not feasible to containerize the very large CH-47, but if you look at the UH-60 and AH-64's dimensions a special 40 foot ISO flat rack:

Thus, its possible to transport a AH-64 helicopter with its rotors removed in a special 40 FOOT FLATRACK. It would have its nose stick out by about 10 feet. UH-60 would be a similar situation.

What we need ideally is a 40 foot flat rack but with coverings that expand out to fully enclose the AH-64/UH-60 from the weather so we can just push it inside and strap it down to the flat rack floor and not have to shrink wrap plastic as we do now. This would "containerize" all of the Army's helicopters except for the CH-47 which would be shrink-wrapped and transported on deck.

NEW! BattleBoxesTM on Container Assault Ship pictures!

BattleBoxesTM for supplies and embarking troops with living areas

With the BattleBox system its now possible to make any container ship into a "Container Assault Ship" capable of launching both air, land and sea craft as well as house Soldiers/Airmen to operate them. One application of this concept for Special Operations Forces would be to create a "Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade". Details:

The Container Assault Ship can with its flight deck carry hundreds of ISO container BattleBoxesTM as well as launch V/TOL and STOVL aircraft whicle those with RO-RO ramps can simultaneously deliver amphibious vehicles and vehicles/cargo onto landing craft while far out to sea, eliminating the need for ports and piers.

Aircraft like CH/MH-47 Chinooks and A/MH-6 Little Birds could also easily operate from Container Assault Ships

The Container Assault Ship can even defend itself from air attack by carrying its own STOVL fighter/attack aircraft. [Note we couldn't find 1/350 scale F-35 JSF models so F-18 Hornets are shown here as notional surrogates].

AmphiGavin amphibious tracked, armored fighting vehicle spearheads

M113A4 AmphiGavins can splash into the water from RO-RO ramps and swim themselves ashore to secure beach landing sites (BLSs) for the follow-on echelons delivering non-amphibious ground vehicles

CH-53E Sky and SpeedCranes for V/TOL air delivery

A CH-53E SpeedCrane takes off from the Container Assault Ship with an AmphiGavin snug under its skeletal fuselage as a "Streamlined External Load" (SEL)

AmphiGavins can also by flown by SkyCranes/SpeedCranes over potential sea mines for 3D air assaults to secure BLSs and other mission objectives

The basic CH-53E SkyCrane is fitted with Piasecki VTDP thrust units and wings can double ship-to-shore speeds making "SpeedCranes"

With its high 200+ mph speeds, the CH-53E SpeedCrane can fly high above the clouds to deliver cargo like M113A4 AmphiGavins and troops deep inland for 3D operational maneuver

LCAC/RO-RO Ramp Interface

Many combination container and RO-RO ships could be used as Container Assault Ships

Here a container ship owned by the U.S. Army with a stern RO-RO ramp interfaces with a floating platform to enable U.S. Navy LCAC hovercraft to land and pick-up/drop-off cargo and vehicles.

This sideview shows how simultaneous actions can occur from the Container Assault Ship to speed deliveries ashore.

A close-up of the RO-RO ramp and LCAC landing platform

Here LCACs deliver a pair of Bradley medium Fighting Vehicles and a M1 Abrams heavy tank ashore at 60 mph speeds, over potential sea mines

Armored Resupply for the Lethal Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB)

Cargo carrying XM1108 AmphiGavins can speed cargo like ISO Container BATTLEBOXesTM ashore by swimming themselves or hitching a ride using the LCAC platform RO-RO ramp interface

Ski Jumps for STOVL F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

With the addition of a bow ski jump, Container Assault Ships can launch STOVL fighters like the F-35 JSF with full ordnance loads. The JSFs would land vertically back onto the container assault ship for refuel and rearming.

NEWS ALERT! Tsunami Rescue: SeaBasing 21 and the BATTLEBOX Survival of the Human Race

December 26, 2004: a 9.0 richter scale earthquake creates a giant tsunami (wave of water) that blankets southeast asia killing 155,000 people. The largest human loss of life in one event in over a century. Left in the water's wake is 1-5 million people without shelter, water, food and sanitation facilities who could also die in large numbers unless relief comes to them.

The nations of the world rally and begin sending relief supplies in an ad hoc way but not systematically and thoroughly to meet all the millions of people's human needs. Militaries like the U.S. Navy are sent to the scene but all of their platforms are designed to deliver compact mechanisms with high explosives to kill other humans in war not bulk deliver the raw physical things needed to sustain human life.

In a situation where human civilization is wiped out, what people need is a way to rapidly reconstitute the basics of civilization and in a massive way and get it to the endangered part of the world overnight. Like Noah's ark in reverse, the answer is CONTAINER SHIPS. The largest container ship in the world carries over 8,000 containers, the smaller ones a boggling 3,000 standard 20 foot long, 8 foot high, 8 foot wide metal boxes with hinged front doors. Each of these ISO Sea-Air-Land containers are the primary means which the world trades during less violent times and a way to sustain the life of 1,000 people for 30 days and shelter 10. We shall refer to the concept as 1,000/10. To get the 1,000 lives sustained effect we could start loading up food and water ad hoc into existing $5,000 ISO containers and load them onto container ships and rush to to southeast asia. However, once there there will be no pierside ports to offload them and no way to transport the ISO containers inland to the people who need them. Even if we used heavy lift helicopters to fly in the containers, once their food stuffs were emptied they'd do only a little to shelter people and do nothing to provide sanitization. More thousands could die.

In our SeaBasing 21 proposal, we seize upon the ISO container's hard metal box as a "BATTLEBOX" (BB) for protecting our troops above and below ground in human war. Fold-up bunks to sleep in and a simple chemical bathroom with ventilation means are provided along with features to enable Soldiers to harden and fight from BATTLEBOXesTM . We propose a Civilian life "Battle against the Earth" box be created without the military features to create the desired 1,000/10 relief effect every time a box is delivered. The civilian BB would have on its roof clear plastic bladders to hold sea water that would be desalinated into a drip tank to provide water for the 10 inhabitants. A robust chemical toilet would be provided inside that would end up in disposal modules that can be buried. Doors on the opposite end would help air flow/ventilation.

To deliver civilian BBs, container ships would interface with U.S. military LCAC hovercraft a short distance off-shore using a floating barge set called the RRDF alongside the ship with a special air cushion vehicle platform. Smaller container ships have their own cranes to lower BBs into the LCACs to rush them to a beach landing site. If we had David Giles FastShips that can beach their bows like WWII LSTs we could speed the procerss by eliminating trans-loading to landing craft as a delivery step. Now we have piles of BBs on the beach. How to move them?

The U.S. Army has thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles in storage that can be converted into XM1108 resupply vehicles. Their tracks and low ground pressures enable them to travel across country and over debris even if roads are not open--to deliver supplies to needy people. The XM1108's cut-down rear bed area can have a palletized loading system (PLS) fitted to lift and load ISO container BBs on and off. M113 Gavins can even be fitted with waterjets from ARIS SPA of Italy to swim themselves to shore as the LCACs shuttle BBs to the beach. Called "AmphiGavins" these 11 ton vehicles are light enough to be air-delivered by CH-53E Super Stallion and CH-47D/F Chinook helicopters used by the U.S. military via sling-loading. However a simpler and safer, faster way to helicopter in the BBs would be by an Erickson AirCrane S-64 modern version of the CH-54 SkyCrane since these can snug up the BB into its skeletal fuselage so there is no fumbling around with complicated sling ropes/chains. Not having a load dangle beneath the helicopter enables it to fly at full speed instead of half 3/4 speed, getting supplies and shelter to needy people significantly faster. After the BBs on board container ships are off-loaded, there will be a need for direct delivery to shore by air. This can be done by Chuck Myer's HULA airship shaped like an aerofoil which can lift 20+ tons and like a helicopter can set down into any large enough open area and not need runways like a fixed-wing aircraft needs to airland.

Putting it all together to Save the 2004 Tsunami Victims

The AirCranes needed will not be ready for months but we should get busy building them now in time for the next natural disaster and to better win the current man-made disaster in Iraq. The XM1108s needed, say 100 would need 30 days to build. The simple civilian BB would need 30 days of design work anyway. During these 30 days food, water supplies will be coming in a steady influx, so as the BBs begin to be mass produced no time will be wasted. The U.S. military with LCAC hovercraft and heavy lift helicopters are already on the scene in southeast asia. How many will we need?

Assuming 5,000, 000 people in the worse case scenario, using the feed 1,000/house 10 formula; we will need 5,000 BBs to feed the people for 30 days. This first wave (pardon the pun, not to be insensitive) will also house 50,000 people indefinitely. Second wave will keep the 5,000 alive for another 30 days and up the total of those housed to 100,000.

1st Wave 30 days
Feed 5, 000, 000
House 50, 000

2nd Wave 60 days
Feed 5,000,000
Housed 100,000

3rd Wave 90 days
Feed 5, 000, 000
Housed 150,000

4th Wave 120 days
Feed 5, 000, 000
Housed 200, 000

5th Wave 150 days
Feed 5, 000, 000
Housed 250, 000

6th Wave 180 days
Feed 5, 000, 000
Housed 300, 000

So you can see every 6 months of BB influx keeps 5, 000, 000 people fed and semi-permanently houses 300,000. A year would result in housing 600, 000 people. As this "life support for a civilization" occurs the people themselves secure in their own survival can pitch in with energy/confidence to clean up the debris and dead bodies. With their manpower and skills they can get their own life support means of food/water/sanitation going that can PLUG INTO THE BBs which become ipso facto nation-(re) building housing units. Once food/water/sanitation is restored by renewable means the relief effort could speed up delivery of EMPTY BBs to finish sheltering the remaining people and NGOs get their temporary relief tents back. Using the 1 year recovery ball park figure, we'd still need 4, 400, 000 people sheltered...or another 440,000 BB units.

Costs? For 500,000 BBs at $5,000 each = $2,500, 000, 000 or $2.5 BILLION

Dress Rehearsal for Earth Doomsday?

A lot of people are depressed about the recent disaster and ask "Where is God in all of this?". Maybe this is his way of a dress rehearsal for us to "get our act together" to prepare our human civilization for an upcoming Earth-wide cataclysm by fire? We need to use the recent Asian Tsunami tragedy as a chance to perfect our abilities to rapidly reconstitute civilizations in event of destructive natural forces or better yet PREPARE IN ADVANCE for them. The desirability of BBs for human war is that they can be BURIED IN THE GROUND TO BE BELOW THE LINE OF BULLETS AND ENEMY PROJECTILES. If for example, we know a civilization-killing asteroid is hurtling towards earth and our nuclear missiles cannot stop it, having millions of people rapidly seek shelter in below ground BBs would get them out of the blast effects of the impact. Watertight BBs can even float if tsunamis from an asteroid impact wash over the boxes in the ground. We can no longer look at life here on earth as a cowboy movie of low technology when the TRUTH is that we are all like it or not in a science fiction movie aboard "space ship earth" traveling at 66,000 MPH through the heavens.

While the population of the earth is now estimated to be 7 BILLION people, the recent Tsunami proves that we can lose hundreds of thousands in one fell swoop of destructive force we are not adapted to overcome. In the past such catastrophes has indeed nearly wiped out the entire population of the earth had it not been for Noah building an ark amidst peer ridicule. Then his peers drowned in the world-wide flood. Why don't we wake up as a human race and realize that sudden global disasters and climate shifts are possible and ADAPT CORRECTLY to our earth environment once and for all? Let's not wait for the next death tolls to stun us, let's THINK AHEAD and BATTLEBOX the human race for the immediate future.

"Tsunami" Strikes America: Hurrican Katrina Solution = BATTLEBOXesTM + Yurts + M113 Gavins

BATTLEBOXesTM filled with yurts like shown above can house entire cities with one ship load!

Since FEMA is in a REACTIVE spending spree after a disaster strikes mode, the reaction to the Katrina crisis will be dispersing all the LA/MISS refugees to locations all over the U.S. where eventually they will get jobs, lay roots there and never come back to the underclass economy that pre-existed before hurricane Katrina hit. This is a good thing. Unless we are going to rebuild New Orleans CORRECTLY with dome-shaped buildings able to withstand hurricanes, erect a Holland-style system of water barriers then only a minimum of oil and port workers should live there in jeopardy at the water's edge not hundreds of thousands of poor black people in flimsy shacks. Unless you have a JOB paying a decent family wage and you are living in a earth effects protective home then you have no business living on the gulf coast. The Mardi Gras BS of revelry and the worker underclass to feed tourists to capture their dollars (that they earned by substantive work in other parts of the U.S.) to create a marginal living must end.

The Katrina tragedy is a chance to perfect mass relocation housing techniques and equipment using ISO sea/air/land container and Yurt housing so FEMA can be PRO-ACTIVE. 20 foot ISO containers can be insulated, provided doors with fans and overhead lighting powered by a battery recharged by a pedal generator. Each ISO container housing module can house a family of 6 on G.I. folding cots from the elements and provide them power to watch TV/listen to radios for instructions---indefinitely. A water purifier pump could enable them to make their own drinking and bathing water via hang up shower bladder. The ISO container housing units themselves can stack to save space. Inside each BATTLEBOX would be 10 x Yurts which can house 10 people each. This means each BATTLEBOX has the means to house 105 people. The Yurts can be powered, insulated and supplied with cots like the "mother" BATTLEBOX" ISO container they came in. When the people inside leave to work on debris clearance the door can be locked with a padlock. The ISO container BATTLEBOXesTM can be supplied now to FEMA's specifications for under $10K each. 10 Yurts to fit inside would be $50K. We estimate one ISO container per 10 BATTLEBOXesTM would be needed to carry the flooring for 100 Yurts for an additional $100K.

Details here on this web page:

We propose that FEMA buy enough ISO container housing modules to meet the Katrina crisis and then GET THEM BACK so in the future we are always ready to evacuate even a major American city. A small container ship with its own cranes to off-load 3, 000 ISO containers if filled with Yurts would mean portable housing for 300, 000 people able to go anywhere in the U.S. or the world as a sort of "International Rescue" capability. The container ships should have their own M113 Gavin amphibious tracked armored vehicles to swim ashore and clear debris for the BATTLEBOXesTM to be towed by them into position. The as-is M113 Gavin is amphibious enough for the Katrina crisis and can push away debris using its front hull. Obviously, it would be better if a pusher bar or dozer blade were attached to the front. The NG has thousands of amphibious go-anywhere tracked mobile M113 Gavins available to use to respond to Katrina and their lack of technotactical competence blinds them to their use in this manner. For ocean swimming disaster responses, the M113s could be fitted with ARIS SPA waterjets and new noses to be "AmphiGavins".

One way to get the BATTLEBOX ISO containers filled with Yurts quickly to where they need to be would be to take a container ship up the Mississippi river and offload them at a location, say Vicksburg or Jackson where the survivors who want to return will be assembled into camps where port-potty latrines and food services will be provided. They would be filled with bulk water and food on the trip in, when emptied they become housing units. A social contract should be established that able-bodied survivors agree to work on Katrina clean-up in exchange for the ISO container housing.


Subj: Re: How many 12' diameter Yurts could fit INSIDE a 20 foot ISO container?
Date: 9/1/2005 6:45:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: xxxxxxxxx (Sonja Vik)

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your call today and interest in Pacific Yurts. Our calculations indicate that you could get ten 12-foot yurts in a 20-foot container. You could also get ten 14-foot yurts or ten 16-foot yurts in a 20-foot container. We provide the shell of the yurt. The platform deck/floor or any interiors is not included.

Please find attached our platform deck/floor plans for the 12-foot yurt for your review. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am happy to discuss the various yurt options and provide you with a quote at your earliest convenience. We look forward to helping you with your Battle Box plan. Please let me know how we can help you further.


Sonja Vik
Sales Associate

Pacific Yurts Inc.
77456 Hwy 99 S
Cottage Grove, OR 97477


Size (Diameter) Sq. Ft. Height At Center Approximate Shipping Weight Base Price

12' 115 8' 750 lb $4,150
14' 155 8'9" 850 lb $4,680
16' 200 9'3" 950 lb $4,995
20' 314 10' 1350 lb $6,275
24' 452 11'6" 1700 lb $7,350
30' 706 13' 2200 lb $9,180

*Platform/Floor not included.


Lattice Wall: Expandable, clear, kiln dried, Douglas fir lath. Finished with a wood penetrating oil: assembled with aluminum “pop” rivets. Standard height is 6'; optional tall height is approx. 7'.

Rafters: High quality, structural grade Douglas fir, sanded and finished with a wood penetrating oil: hardened steel pins are inserted in ends which fit into holes in center ring.

Center Ring: Beautiful laminated Douglas fir compression ring finished with a wood penetrating oil: through-bolted for additional strength.

Door & Frame: Beautiful solid wood door with inset cedar panels, comes pre-hung in a frame laminated for extra strength. Includes solid brass hinges and quality lockset with lifetime warranty. Standard door height is 67", optional tall height is 76".

Dome: Durable, low maintenance, 1/4" clear acrylic dome. Optional opener available for extra ventilation.

Tension Cable: 3/16" aircraft quality galvanized steel, 4200 lb. breaking strength.

Windows: Two large windows (54"x45"). Made of clear vinyl, framed in high UV resistant 2" marine quality velcro. Windows include weather flaps and sewn-in screens.

Top Cover: Standard top cover comes with 10 year warranty. This flame retardant vinyl laminate provides excellent durability, low maintenance and protection from the elements. Overhead top seams are electronically bonded together instead of being machine sewn and are impervious to moisture. Our optional heavy duty top cover has a material manufacturer’s warranty of 15 years.

Side Cover: Standard side cover is an acrylic coated 100% polyester fabric that provides exceptional strength, durability and low maintenance; easy clip-on design.

Detailed Instructions for setting up. Platform construction plans included.



50% MINIMUM DEPOSIT required with your order; balance upon notification that your yurt is ready for shipment.


20% restock charge on canceled invoice total.

Because of fluctuating costs, all prices are subject to change without notice.

What should U.S. Congress do next?

We should build enough disaster relief BATTLEBOXesTM to shelter a large American city in an emergency....enough for 7 million to cover a New York City, Chicago, San Francisco etc. in event of a major disaster man or natural...

OTHER NEW SeaBasing 21 Ideas:

SCADS & SKYHOOK: ideas for Container Assult Ships

Here's the excerpt from the excellent Greg Goebell Vector web site, a reader recently pointed out to us on SCADS/SKYHOOK:


* Several ingenious ideas were promoted by Harrier enthusiasts in the post-Falklands period to use the Harrier as a naval "force multiplier", based on unconventional replacements for a traditional aircraft carrier.

One was called the "shipborne containerized air-defense system (SCADS)". This was a clever idea by which all the equipment needed to put together the operational apparatus of a small ski-jump Harrier carrier -- including living quarters, fuel and munitions storage, maintenance facilities, missile and decoy launchers, antisubmarine helicopter facilities, and of course a ski-jump deck -- would be built in a modular fashion, based on the standard container sizes used on container ships, and put in storage. The entire kit could be assembled in about two days on a container ship when needed, with provisions for 30 days of operation without resupply. The kit would be removed and stored again when the emergency was over.

An even cleverer idea was the "Skyhook". This concept was to use a crane that could be mounted on a small ship, such as a helicopter frigate, to lift Harriers off the deck and allow them to fly off, and then recover them later. On recovery, they could be returned to their deck hangar, or refueled while they dangled on the crane, and released to continue operations. The crane would be "smart", with stabilization capabilities and a panel indicator mounted to give the Harrier pilot location information. With such a system, even a helicopter frigate could operate four Harriers as a kind of "mini-carrier".

While British Aerospace experimented with the Skyhook on land using their G-VTOL demonstrator, neither SCADS nor the Skyhook became realities. Critics suggested that they implied a dispersal of forces that made logistics impractically difficult. Nonetheless, they remain interesting ideas to be kept in mind for the future of STOVL combat aircraft.

A reader writes in:


I am a regular reader of your site(s) now for a while but this is the first time I have contacted you concerning your innovative (yet often common sense) ideas. The idea(s) in question are the ISO "BATTLEBOX" and the container assault ship. In parallel (and before I saw your idea) my self and a friend discussed your "BATTLEBOXesTM " and arrived at a similar concept but being British we focused on the SCADS (Sea-borne Containerised Air-defence System) concept developed in the wake of the Falklands War.

This essentially turns cargo ships into v/stovl carriers. All elements to operate a small number of Harriers and helicopters can be modularised within ISO containers including a lightweight 4-cell seawolf anti-aircraft/missile missile launcher, reloads and control/aiming radars. If this weapon system can be containerised, couldn't others? CIWS is one ides, but what about offensive weapons?

Being containerised and modular means the systems and aircraft can easily be moved from one ship to another but what about other options...

If SCADS and BATTLEBOXesTM could be combined then not only could vehicles and equipment be moved by ship/aircraft/tracked vehicle but so could containerised weapon systems - go any where air defence? mobile cruise missiles? Battle-field CIWS?

I believe this idea has a lot more room for growth, and hope to hear back from you regarding these simple ideas,


Wales, UK

Don't Live in Palaces here at home or abroad: stay humble, stay in your BATTLEBOX

Let's stop talking about "out-of-box" thinking and get ourselves IN BATTLEBOXesTM so we can cut through this time-wasting and start being what we need to be right now. With ISO "BATTLEBOXesTM " everything we would use for war is readily available in peacetime for training just as we would use it in war because we would be the same military for war as we are 24/7/365.

Now I know why God kept Moses and the Israelites mobile for all those years--to keep them on their toes. CSA Gen Schoomaker talks about a "modular" Army: ISO BATTLEBOXesTM would make it modular for REAL.

Want to build a BATTLEBOX? has a paper model ISO container that you can cut & fold & glue together to make an approximately 1:72 scale model of the BATTLEBOX.

(Click-on picture to get full-size version for printing)

However, its in BLUE ink and white card paper. What we suggest is you take the picture above (or our door-opening model below) on a floppy disk or print it out on your desk jet printer to your local KINKO's or OfficeMAX and have it printed on TAN or GREEN card stock to be in BLACK ink and military camouflage colors.

As you can see, the BATTLEBOX above is enclosed.

(Click-on picture to get full-size version for printing)

To have the doors able to open, we modified the design so you can cut on the red lines where the two doors are and then glue them to the reduced left and right flaps. Above them are the top and bottom pieces A and B. Fold down B to replicate the top roof area of the opening. Piece A will be small and loose and you have to carefully glue it to the bottom area under the left and right doors.

We will soon take some pics of this model as a BATTLEBOXaircraft with Chuck Myers' ASP, a A/MH-6 LittleBird and a Bell Model 407 helicopter.


U.S. "Lilly Pads" need protective BATTLEBOXesTM

U.S. bases overseas show new strategy
Monday, July 26, 2004

By Michael Mainville, Special to the Post-Gazette

MANAS AIR FIELD, Kyrgyzstan -- As he supervised a crew of mechanics working on a C-130 Hercules supply plane, U.S. Air Force Capt. Dale Linafelter marveled at finding himself at a dusty, long-abandoned bomber base in what was once the Soviet Union.

"I'd never even heard of Kyrgyzstan," Linafelter said.

The captain has got a lot company.

Manas Air Field near the capital of Kyrgyzstan now hosts more than 1,150 U.S. servicemen, the largest American military presence in Central Asia outside Afghanistan.

Yet "some of them still don't know where they are," joked Lt. Col. Stan Giles, the base chaplain. "You know, there's an old saying: 'War is God's way of teaching geography to Americans.' "

More geography lessons are on the way.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon is planning the greatest shake-up in America's overseas military deployments since the end of the second World War.

Gone are the days of massive bases in places like Germany, Japan and South Korea that look like small U.S. towns. Replacing them will be a global network of what Pentagon planners call "lily pads" -- small forward bases in remote, dangerous corners of the world that can act as jumping-off points when crises arise.

Bases like the one at Manas Air Field, Kyrgyzstan.

"This marks a new epoch in American force posturing," said John Pike, director of, a Washington clearinghouse for strategic intelligence. "It's one of only a half-dozen similar reposturings since the American Revolution. It's a very significant change."

U.S. military reposturings

The distribution of U.S. military forces around the world has undergone several major "reposturings," especially since World War II. Most have seen the U.S. military presence extend to new regions:

1789-1898 -- U.S. forces extended along America's frontier to defend settlers.

1898-1940 -- Garrisons established to protect colonies acquired in the Spanish American War and kindred annexations.

1941-1945 -- World War II saw the first major buildup of U.S. bases overseas.

1945-1950 -- In one of the few instances of forces pulling back, there was a rapid build down of American bases abroad after World War II.

1950-1960 -- The start of the Cold War saw the rapid expansion of bases to counter the Soviet Union, including medium-range bomber bases around the Soviet periphery.

1960-1975 -- Bases were gradually built in and around Vietnam and subsequently withdrawn after the end of the Vietnam War.

1975-1990 -- The later period of the Cold War was generally stable, although there was a gradual buildup of bases in southwest Asia.

1990-2001 -- The post-Cold War period saw continued buildup in southwest Asia, residual bases in Europe, Korea and Japan and a U.S. withdrawal from the Philippines.

2001 - ?? -- In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Pentagon is preparing to reduce the size of U.S. bases abroad while increasing their number and positioning them in more remote and unstable areas of the world.

On July 13, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, Andy Hoehn, said in Washington that defense officials will present their redeployment proposals to President Bush within several weeks. Hoehn said he expects the changes to start taking effect in late 2005 or early 2006.

The strategy, experts say, is to position U.S. forces along an "arc of instability" that runs through the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Asia. It is in these parts of the world --generally poor, insular and unstable --that military planners see the major future threats to U.S. interests.

The Pentagon believes that spreading U.S. forces through a large number of small, flexible bases within this arc would better position them to strike faster at remote hot spots. The U.S. military presence in these areas also could act as a stabilizing factor, preventing them from becoming hot spots in the first place.

"We don't know exactly where the next threat will be. It could be Iran, North Korea, China or other parts of the world. This redeployment is designed to allow us to quickly respond to any of those challenges," Pike said.

The U.S. military presence in Kyrgyzstan --a mountainous Muslim country bordering Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China --provides a glimpse of what is to come.

U.S. bases abroad cannot be named after individuals, but unofficially this facility is known as the Peter J. Ganci base, after a New York fire chief killed when the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Unlike the big garrison bases that have traditionally housed more than 80 percent of U.S. forces overseas, the Manas air base is small, simple and largely isolated from the surrounding community. There are no families, schools, fast-food chains or department stores.

Contact with local villagers and access to the nearby capital city of Bishkek are strictly limited. Postings rarely last longer than three or four months and accommodations consist of eight-man tents.

Initially set up as a temporary staging ground for incursions into neighboring Afghanistan, today the base serves primarily as a strategic airlift hub and launching area for air refueling missions -- exactly the kind of "lily pad" Pentagon planners envisage for other parts of the world.

About 10 flights a day depart from Manas -- either C-130 Hercules planes ferrying troops and supplies to bases in Afghanistan or KC-135 Stratotankers refueling American planes over Afghan airspace.

Whether the base is having the kind of stabilizing effect military planners are hoping for still isn't clear.

Kyrgyz officials credit the presence of U.S. forces with helping deter attacks from Islamic fundamentalists based in the Ferghana Valley, which straddles Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

One extremist group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is believed to be responsible for a string of attacks that left 47 people dead in Uzbekistan in April, launched incursions into Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000 that the Kyrgyz military repelled only after taking heavy casualties.

"There haven't been any incursions since we got here," said Capt. Jason Decker, public affairs officer for the Manas base. "It's not why we're here, but we're happy to make it a more stable world."

Still, radical Islamic groups have condemned the Kyrgyz government for cooperating with the Americans, and in April four men were jailed for plotting to blow up the base. Two other attacks were averted over the past year, Decker said. Earlier this month, the Kyrgyz government also arrested six people, including four government employees, for allegedly spying for Islamic extremists abroad.

The presence of U.S. forces also has increased tensions between Central Asian countries and their former imperial master, Russia. Disliking American troops in its backyard, Moscow has pressured Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan --all of which now host U.S. forces --to ask them to leave.

Last year, the Kremlin convinced the Kyrgyz government to allow the Russian Air Force to set up its own base less than 70 miles from Manas. The Kant base marked the first foreign deployment of Russian forces abroad since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is home to Su-27 fighter planes, Su-25 ground-attack aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters, which conduct training exercises in Kyrgyz airspace. Decker said there has been no contact between American and Russian forces.

For ordinary Kyrgyz, the presence of the American base is less of a political issue than an economic one, said a senior Western official who has spent the past seven years in Bishkek.

In poverty-stricken Kyrgyzstan, the presence of even a relatively small number of American troops can have an enormous impact. The base employs more than 500 locals, paying them up to 10 times the average monthly wage of about $100. The base is pumping about $156,000 a day into the local economy and last year accounted for 5 percent of Kyrgyzstan's entire gross domestic product.

"The general attitude among people here is that they'll take it for what it's worth" the Western official said. "The advent of the American base has actually helped to create something of a middle class in Bishkek."

There are no signs that U.S. forces might abandon Manas any time soon. In fact, the Air Force is spending $60 million this year to replace the base tents with more permanent buildings constructed from shipping containers.

"This is not any kind of indication of moving to a permanent base," Decker insisted. "On the other hand, we're not leaving tomorrow. Our mission is going on until the global war on terrorism is done, until the Kyrgyz government doesn't want us here or until America decides to send us home."

Click Here to return to Table of Contents.


(Michael Mainville is a freelance journalist based in Moscow. He can be reached at

Containerize aircraft, tanks and troops so we ARE READY AT ALL TIMES TO DEPLOY and once we get there we have an ability to FORTIFY or BURROW ourselves into the ground so we can stay as long as we need to and not be clobbered by enemy fires!

We could employ a 40+ mph container ship with its own offloading cranes/bow LST beaching capability if it were purchased...if we were serious about expeditionary warfare (we're not).

The CONUS Land Bridge: A Panama Canal Alternative

by Darlene F. DeAngelo

The railroad network across the continental United States (CONUS) offers a strategic alternative to the canal across Panama.

On 1 January 2000, ownership of the Panama Canal passed from the United States to the Government of Panama. The Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, which provided for this transition, included provisions that permit the United States to intervene militarily if there are disruptions to canal service. Since the initial proposal was made to transfer the canal to Panama, there has been much discussion about the effect of the transfer, if any, on U.S. military strategic mobility. Now that a year has passed since the change in ownership, this seems to be a good time to consider possible alternatives to using the Panama Canal.

It must be recognized that the capabilities of the canal, as constructed, are limited because larger vessels cannot traverse it. This can constrain naval fleet movements, because aircraft carriers and some other naval vessels are too large for the canal. It also can hinder the shipping industry, where, for economic reasons, the worldwide trend is to construct increasingly larger tankers and container-carrying vessels. Because the majority of military supplies transported by sea will move on these larger vessels that the Panama Canal no longer can accommodate, an improved method of interocean transport that does not depend on the canal should be developed.

The most obvious solutions would appear to be either upgrading the Panama Canal's capabilities or constructing a new canal at another site that can handle larger vessels. There have been discussions about three potential alternative canal routes, in Colombia, Mexico, and Nicaragua. The Colombian and Mexican routes would allow for the construction of a sea-level canal, while the Nicaraguan route, like the Panama Canal, would require a lock system. A sea-level canal is obviously the most desirable alternative since it would eliminate the need for locks and their associated natural resource and construction costs. (As an example of the natural resource costs of a non-sea-level canal with locks, each ship crossing the Panama Canal requires 52 million gallons of fresh water to pass through the canal's locks.)

While an alternative canal could be constructed to accommodate large modern ships, it could prove to be only a temporary fix since ship sizes might continue to increase. The cost of either upgrading the Panama Canal or constructing a new canal also could prove prohibitive. In addition, any new canal would be subject to the same vulnerabilities as the current one. Because it would be located in non-U.S. territory, a new or upgraded canal would be subject to volatile local political disruptions and would be a relatively easy target for sabotage or aerial attack.

For these reasons, it is desirable to develop, insofar as possible, a transoceanic transport capability that is located entirely within the continental United States (CONUS). To transport petroleum and other liquid products, there are existing pipelines within CONUS that span the continent. However, their capacity to support wartime transcontinental transport requirements is uncertain. Pipeline capabilities should be studied in future strategic planning to determine what additional pipeline construction, if any, might be required to attain the necessary capacity.

It also would be prudent to develop outside CONUS (OCONUS) pipeline capabilities at other locations, where transcontinental distances would be less daunting. Potential OCONUS pipeline locations could include Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Chiapas-Tabasco region of Mexico. These would be in addition to the existing Trans-Panama pipeline located outside the old Canal Zone near the Costa Rican border. While OCONUS pipelines would be more vulnerable to operational disruptions than those in CONUS, the redundant pipeline capability they would offer is highly desirable. It can be assumed that at least a part of the OCONUS capability would continue to be available to the United States during a contingency.


The S.S. Ancon was the first vessel to transit the newly completed Panama Canal in August 1914. (Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authority.)


A modern containership enters one of the canal's locks. Note the tight fit compared to the Ancon 87 years ago. (Photo courtesy of Panama Canal Authoity.)

However, pipelines, in any location, will not support the transoceanic movement of dry cargo. The best strategic alternative to the Panama Canal is a land transcontinental transport capability totally within CONUS. The elements of this capability already exist, in an underdeveloped manner, within the CONUS railroad system. This system is commonly referred to as the "land bridge."

The land bridge supports the movement of cargo containers that satisfy International Organization for Standardization (ISO) criteria from vessels in one ocean to vessels in another ocean using overland transport by rail, normally on specially designed railcars. (Standard container sizes are 8 feet wide and 8½ feet high, with lengths in 20-foot increments. Lengths of 20 feet and 40 feet are the norm.) This ocean-to-ocean traffic is referred to as the full, or "maxi," land bridge. Variations of this concept (referred to as "mini" or "micro" land bridges) are the movement of cargo by rail from one water port for loading aboard a vessel at another water port (mini bridge), or the movement of cargo between an inland point and a water port (micro bridge).

The concept of a land bridge is not new. The current Hutchison Whampoa operation in Panama is, in effect, a land bridge. (Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is a giant Hong Kong-based shipping company. Panama's contract with Hutchison Whampoa does not involve the company in canal operations. The contract calls for the company to unload cargo from vessels too large to traverse the canal, forward the cargo across the isthmus by land transport, and reload the cargo on vessels on the opposite coast of the isthmus.) Land-bridge operations exist in all industrialized countries, including the United States. However, neither the concept nor the operations have been fully developed. The CONUS land bridge has been used for many years to transport containers moving from the Orient to Europe and vice versa. For example, in the early 1980's, American President Lines (APL), an ocean carrier, entered into long-term contracts with various U.S. railroads. These contracts provided for the railroads to accept APL containers, in 20-foot equivalent units, from APL vessels at Pacific ports and transport the containers in special cars to Atlantic ports for reloading on vessels bound for Europe. APL found that this method of transport saved approximately 2 weeks over the all-water route through the Panama Canal. Similarly, a study by Boeing concluded that moving a 10,000-pound shipment with a density of 10 pounds per cubic foot from Kobe, Japan, to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, via the Seattle-to-New York land bridge would decrease transit time by 9 days compared to shipping through the Panama Canal.

When compared to all-water routes, land-bridge traffic is fuel efficient, lowers environmental pollution, reduces traffic congestion, and shortens transit times (although currently the cost may be a bit higher). Since virtually all dry cargo shipments entering ocean traffic now move in ISO containers, it is clear that land-bridge traffic is here to stay.

Containers can be loaded on railroad flatcars, but most railroads, for economic reasons, are turning to specially designed "double-stacked" trains of permanently coupled cars. Double-stacked container transcontinental train routes are increasing dramatically. This alternative to the Panama Canal can be developed further to better support military logistics requirements in both peace and war. While the CONUS land bridge (as part of the existing transcontinental rail network) was used to some extent during Operation Desert Storm, its full capabilities were not exploited. As it stands, the land bridge can handle both commercial and military traffic, but not in a manner that would satisfy priority military requirements in a logistics-limited "just in time" inventory environment.

What is needed are specific procedures and firm agreements with rail carriers. The land bridge, to be effective in a military emergency, must have the capability of dedicating a transcontinental track route to military movements. This would not preclude the use of transcontinental tracks for commercial traffic during non-emergency periods. The military, for their part, must develop a fleet of container-capable railcars that can be added to the land-bridge system when and where required. This fleet can be composed of leased commercial cars, military-owned cars, or, when practical, an entire double-stack container train.

Land-bridge transit times probably can be reduced by 50 percent or more if intermediate stops can be minimized and train schedules rigidly followed. Achieving this reduction will require effective coordination among military elements, participating railroads, and entry and exit seaports. Inland CONUS points of entry where container traffic can best interface with the land bridge must be identified. These points of entry must be able to accommodate the positioning of heavy equipment designed to rapidly load and unload full containers weighing up to 20 tons from railcars and motor vehicles. They also must have adequate space for stacking and holding full containers awaiting transport and spur tracks for holding container railcars awaiting locomotive power. Maximum train-and-track capacities must be established, and track and equipment maintenance requirements must be scheduled. Logistics planners must consider land-bridge traffic requirements in war and contingency plans. These improvements in land-bridge military usage can be achieved at relatively low costs, especially when compared with the cost of upgrading the Panama Canal or constructing an alternative canal.

In adopting the land bridge as an alternative to the Panama Canal, we will eliminate the vulnerabilities that are so evident in relying on the canal as a logistics avenue. The track and equipment of the land bridge are located entirely within CONUS, so there will be no threat from local non-U.S. populations. If tracks or equipment are damaged or destroyed by misadventure or sabotage, other tracks and equipment are readily available. The efficient use of the land bridge will reduce transit times significantly compared to those encountered by traffic through the Panama Canal. Finally, use of the land bridge in times of military emergency will result in less interference with normal commercial traffic on CONUS roadways and Panama Canal sea routes. ALOG

Darlene F. DeAngelo is on the faculty of the Army War College in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and business from the University of Maryland, a master's certificate in global business management from George Washington University, and master's degrees in educational sociology from Wayne State University in Michigan and in national security strategy and strategic studies from the Naval War College.




















JUNE 1994


The views of this paper are entirely those of the author expressed under Air University principles of academic freedom and do not reflect official views of the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Air University, the U. S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense. In accordance with Air Force Regulation 110-8, it is not copyrighted, but it is the property of the United States Government.


Chapter Page

Disclaimer ii

Contents iii

List of Illustrations iv

Abstract v

Author the Author vi

1 Hybris: Introduction 1

2 Anagnorisis I: Operation Crossbow 1943-1945 5

3 Anagnorisis II: Operation Desert Storm Scud Hunt - 1991 23

4 Peripeteia: Changes to the Problem 43

5 Nemesis: Conclusion - Theater Offensive Missiles and the Next War 65

Glossary 74

Bibliography 77

Appendix 1 87

Appendix 2 91

Appendix 3 93

Appendix 4 95

Appendix 5 97

List of Illustrations



Figures Page

1 Typical V-1 Fixed Site Plan 93

2 Typical V-2 Launch Site 94

3 Osan Air Base and Representative Scud Ring (1,000m) 97

4 Osan Air Base and Representative Scud Ring (1,000m) 98


1 Locations of V-1 Ski-Sites in France and Ranges to London 87

2 V-1 Launch Areas in France 88

3 V-2 Launch Areas in Holland 89

4 V-2 Launch Areas Against London and Antwerp 90

5 V-1 Representative Accuracy 91

6 V-2 Representative Accuracy 92

7 Western Iraq 95

8 North Korea 96




Two examples from Twentieth Century conflicts demonstrate the potential that missiles possess to disrupt an opponent's land-based air power and achieve significant political consequences. Iraq's use of Scud ballistic missiles in the 1991 Persian Gulf War produced nearly instantaneous political effects. The Scuds did not threaten the Coalition military forces opposing Saddam Hussein, but instead threatened the existence of the Coalition itself by nearly bringing Israel into the war. Negating this threat demanded an urgent response from land-based air power, and large numbers of Coalition aircraft were forced to perform a new mission: Scud hunting. Almost 50 years before Desert Storm, the Allies in World War II had faced a similar threat from the V-1 and V-2. Thousands of sorties were diverted to bomb missiles that were chiefly fired at London and Antwerp. In both conflicts, Coalition and Allied forces possessed enough air power that the diversion did not prevent them from performing other necessary missions. Yet, in the future, as the USAF dwindles in numbers, the ability of land-based air power to deal with the missile threat becomes problematic. In addition, the improved capabilities of ballistic and cruise missiles threaten air power's ability to achieve the staple of modern combat operations, air superiority. The increased range and refined accuracy of missiles offers Third World nations a chance to develop air power on the cheap, and the missile forces created may well stymie America's ability to apply "conventional" air power in a crisis. Because of the lack of success in thwarting the missile threat in the past, combined with the projected capability of future missiles, and the continued "downsizing" of the Air Force, American leaders must carefully consider whether they possess the wherewithal to commit air power on a truly global scale.

About the Author

William C. Story, Jr. graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1979. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from USAF Officer Training School in January 1980. He entered Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB, California, in February, 1980. Upon graduation, 2d Lt Story attended Electronic Warfare Officer Training, and was assigned to the F-4. He completed Fighter Lead-In Training at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, in June 1981; F-4C Replacement Training Unit at Luke AFB, Arizona, in December 1981; and was assigned to F-4Es at Taegu Air Base, Korea from January 1982 to February 1983. First Lt Story was then assigned to fly F-4G Wild Weasels at George AFB, California, where he served as an Instructor Electronic Warfare Officer, Life Support Officer, and Wild Weasel Academic Instructor. Captain Story was selected to attend USAF Fighter Weapons School in 1987, and upon graduation was assigned to Wild Weasels at Clark Air Base, Philippines, where he served as Chief of Squadron Weapons and Tactics and as a Flight Commander. Major Story was assigned as Chief, Weapons and Tactics Inspection Division, Inspector General's Office, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, from August 1990 to August 1992. He completed Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in June 1993. Following ACSC, Major Story attended the School of Advanced Airpower Studies at Maxwell AFB. Afterwards, he will be assigned to Cannon AFB, New Mexico, where he will fly the EF-111. Major Story is a 1986 Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officers School, and holds a Masters of Arts in National Security Studies from California State University, San Bernardino. He is married to the former Janet Carol Greathouse and has two children, William III and Joshua.

Chapter 1: - hybris


"...[W]ar is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."

Carl von Clausewitz

Today's ballistic missile, with its ability to cause rapid, large-scale destruction, epitomizes this notion of Clausewitz. Even in its "tactical" mode, carrying a "conventional" warhead, the ballistic missile can produce near-instantaneous political effects, as illustrated in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The Iraqi Scud attacks on Israel presented no direct threat to the Coalition military forces, yet drew an intense air response -- an air response intended to placate Israel as much as to destroy Scuds. Political and military objectives meshed on the battlefield: to keep Israel from retaliating against Iraq and disrupting the Coalition against Saddam Hussein, the Coalition air forces flew numerous sorties to destroy Scuds. Preserving the Coalition by keeping Israel out of the war was a political objective accomplished by military forces--specifically land-based air forces. The "Scud Hunt" also had an impact on the Coalition war effort, because it siphoned off air power for these unplanned and unforeseen duties. The political significance of the Scuds elicited a response that had an operational impact on coalition forces by diverting essential resources and aircraft to look for mobile missile launchers whose political effects were disproportionate to their destructive power. All this consternation was caused by a missile with a 330 mile maximum range and a meager degree of accuracy, possessing a circular error probable (CEP) of over 3 nautical miles.

The limited accuracy of Scud missiles is a transient problem for Third World countries that possess them. Technological advances since the 1991 Persian Gulf War have remarkably reduced the Scud's CEP. Correspondingly, the theoretical and tested accuracies of tactical ballistics missiles (TBMs) in general have increased. The changes in technology that so dramatically improve TBM accuracy have come in many forms, several of them being cheap, economical upgrade packages. Of more concern, several Third World countries are supplementing or even supplanting their TBMs with modern cruise missiles.

The most widely known and most accurate cruise missiles in use today are the US Tomahawk and AGM-86C air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). Both of these weapons were used against targets in Iraq with astonishing results televised to the whole world on CNN. As capable as these two missiles are, they are by no means the only such missiles in existence. Several countries, including France, Russia, and Brazil, manufacture, market and sell cruise missiles of various types. The most common cruise missile on the international market has been the anti-ship missile, launchable from ship, shore, or aircraft. The French AM-39 Exocet is undoubtedly the most well known example of the anti-ship missiles, sinking two British ships and seriously damaging a third during the Falklands War in 1982, and seriously damaging the USS Stark in 1987. At least 123 countries have the Exocet in their inventories. The French have recently perfected a cheap modification package that makes it a very accurate ship, shore, or air launched land-attack cruise missile. Had Iraq possessed this modification before Desert Storm, its ability to challenge Coalition air power would have been substantially increased.

The Allies in World War II faced such an enemy armed with both ballistic missile and cruise missile capabilities. One week after the Allies landed at Normandy to open the second front, the Germans launched the first V-1 from France at London. Three months later, they added the V-2 rocket to the bombardment effort. Clausewitz was certainly not lost on the Nazis. The Germans sought both political and operational gains from the missile attacks on England. To blunt those designs, the Allies redirected a notable portion of their tactical and strategic air power to find and destroy mobile cruise missile (V-1) and TBM (V-2) launchers and sites. This diversion of fighters and bombers detracted from the attacks on transportation and oil as well as from the direct support of the Allied ground forces.

The combination of modern tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles presents land-based air power with a serious dilemma. First, as will be shown by examining missile operations in World War II and Desert Storm, TBMs and cruise missiles both require the defending air force to expend considerable energy finding and destroying them. Second, an analysis of current and projected missile developments will show that improved TBM and cruise missile accuracy compels land-based air power to deal with a direct threat to its bases and logistics. How the US responds to these challenges will directly affect its ability to obtain and keep air superiority. In short, this paper finds that the increasing capabilities of these weapons permit Third World nations to reduce the effectiveness of American land-based air power in three key ways: first, by siphoning off sorties to hunt them down; second, by forcing aircraft to defend against inbound missiles; and third, by making airfields vulnerable. All of these uses portend a loss in the capacity to secure control of the air.

Tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles have proven both politically and operationally significant in the past. Technological advances will make them devastating weapons in the future. The air force that ignores them does so at its own peril.

Chapter 2: anagnorisis I

Operation Crossbow 1943-1945

"In their present form they are a toy, but their development will profoundly affect both war and peace."

RAF Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder


The Western Front in World War II furnished the first example of a dominant air power facing an opponent armed with ballistic and cruise missiles. The V-1 flying bomb -- an early cruise missile -- and the V-2 ballistic missile were recognized as potential threats to England well before the Nazis fielded them and launched them in combat. "Crossbow" sites, the Allies' designation for the V-weapons targets, were bombed as early as the spring of 1943. The Allies continued bombing them right up until D-Day, but halted the effort prematurely, as one week after Overlord began the Germans launched the first of thousands of V-1s at England. The attack shocked the Allied leaders, who earnestly began attacking Crossbow targets once more. The successful invasion of France eliminated England as a possible V-1 target when the Germans retreated out of cruise missile range. The Allies again halted Operation Crossbow as the threat faded. The Germans then surprised them a second time by attacking London with V-2s, and the Allied Crossbow bombing started anew. Detecting the V-weapons and assessing their impact proved difficult for the Allies, who devoted considerable attention to stopping the raids. From the German perspective, the missiles offered the chance to achieve military and political objectives that "conventional" forces had been incapable of accomplishing.


British intelligence first detected and confirmed the V-weapon threat through a combination of human intelligence sources and photo-reconnaissance. In a September 1939 radio broadcast, Hitler himself alerted the British to the German "long-range weapon program" that would use "secret weapons" to bombard England from the Continent. The British responded quickly with a flurry of intelligence activity. Gradually, they received intelligence information from the underground networks in the occupied countries about German long-range guns, pilotless airplanes, and rockets. The Allies soon concluded that the Germans in fact did have a long-range weapons program -- but where?

Before the Nazis occupied Norway, the British obtained information from an anonymous German scientist who claimed the Germans were working on secret long-range weapons at Peenemunde. Suspecting that the information was deliberately misleading, the British failed for two years to investigate Peenemunde until autumn 1942. Then, new reports from underground sources, dubbed "Pingpong," identified Peenemunde as the primary research facility for German long range weapons. Captured German Generals Wilhelm von Thoma and Ludwig Cruewell inadvertently disclosed the existence of a rocket program in the fall of 1942 when von Thoma told Cruewell he was surprised London was not already in ruins by the V-2. The Allies finally verified these reports with photo reconnaissance in early 1943 when they discovered unusual objects that appeared to be missiles at Peenemunde. By then they had lost valuable time. The Allies used the Pingpong reports to focus their reconnaissance efforts on Crossbow facilities they might otherwise have missed. The reports identified the "large sites" under construction in France at Watten, Siracourt, Mimoyecques, and Wizernes in the summer of 1943. These sites were puzzles until the agents described internal structures that would store and assemble rockets and small airplanes.

The large launch sites were designed to be bomb-proof; the Germans designed them to launch V-1s and V-2s continuously despite Allied air superiority in the West. Several of the sites could launch both V-1s and V-2s simultaneously at a rate of 2 each per hour. Supply sites for the V-1s were located in caves at Nucourt, St. Leu d' Esserent, and Rheims, and all were bombed before they were completed. However, Nucourt continued to store V-1 components, launcher rail parts, service and field assembly equipment.

The Germans began constructing what became known as V-1 "ski-sites" (due to the resemblance of their sloping launch-rails to Olympic ski-jump ramps) in France in September 1943. The Allies detected them in November and quickly determined their purpose by comparing them with a similar structure in a photograph of Peenemunde. The orientation of the ski-site launch rails alarmed the Allies as almost all pointed at one target -- London. The location of the sites indicated the approximate range as well, as all of them were within 150 miles of London. V-1 accuracy was unknown, but assessed to be good enough to have the V-1s fall in London ("a target eighteen miles wide by over twenty miles deep"), the obvious target, and to "produce unpleasant concentrated effects." Intelligence estimated the Germans could launch a full attack in February or a partial attack in January 1944. The Allies started bombing them in December 1943.

A month later, Allied intelligence had identified ninety-six ski-sites. These fixed sites consisted of permanent structures and were relatively easy for aircraft to see and bomb. However, the first "modified sites" were discovered in April 1944. Most of their components were "prefabricated" for simplicity, ease of construction, and concealment. Sixty such sites had been identified by 12 June 1944, when the first V-1 attack occurred. The Allies had ignored the modified sites and deemed them decoys or less capable sites until the first V-1 hit London. They were believed to be decoys because of the apparent comparative lack of effort to construct them. The Germans, Allied intelligence concluded, would not commit so much effort to construct the fixed ski-sites if the less numerous modified sites were more capable and required fewer resources and less time to construct, and were easier to conceal.

As well as identifying the launch sites, Allied intelligence also pinpointed production facilities and assembly plants in Germany. Mittelwerke, Volkswagenwerke, BrunsWerke, and Fallersleben in central and northern Germany were the four principal V-1 production facilities. Nordhausen was the primary V-2 assembly plant. All of them except Fallersleben were bomb-proof. The Allies also knew of several other subassembly plants such as Friedrichshafen and Wiener-Neustadt. Multiple bomb-proof plants assured a steady supply of missiles for the Germans. Based their knowledge of these facilities, the Allies accurately estimated the actual production rates to within 10 to 20 percent. They thought that the Germans, if unimpeded, could produce 3,000 V-1s and 1,000 V-2s per month starting in October 1944 to support a launch rate of 100 V-1s and 30 V-2s per day. One estimate concluded the 96 ski-sites could launch 1,000 V-1s in a single day. While the accuracy of the V-weapons was uncertain, the Allies simply assumed they could hit at least a small city or the Overlord invasion area.

In late 1943, the presence of specially trained V-1 and V-2 regiments and support organizations near the launch sites in France and similar V-2 units in Holland greatly concerned the Allied Supreme Headquarters. The Allies knew of some technical problems delaying the V-2, but became extremely concerned when they received reports of logistical equipment and missiles moving forward. The Germans were obviously about to use the V-1, but the crucial question remained -- how would they use it?

Determining German Intentions & Capabilities

As the Allies theorized about German intentions and V-weapon capabilities, there was one major disagreement over the purpose of the V-weapons. A key concern was whether the V-weapons were really weapons or elaborate decoys to absorb Allied sorties just before D-Day. This fear was especially true regarding the V-2, since there were a handful of scientists who doubted the Germans could overcome all of the technical challenges to produce a rocket. The final consensus was that they posed a real threat, though a few detractors held on until the first V-1 hit London.

The Allies needed to determine the German intentions as well as the weapons' capabilities. They considered the weapons' "V" designation as indicative of their purpose: the original "V" for Versuchmuster, or experimental type, was changed by German propaganda into "V" for Vergeltungswaffe, or vengeance weapons. More than just vengeance, the Allied Supreme Command feared the Germans could achieve three major effects with the V-1 and V-2: 1) delay the Allied invasion of the Continent and disrupt it when it took place; 2) halt the Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany; and 3) produce a stalemate leading to a negotiated truce or permanent settlement.

The rationale for the Allied fears was the possibility that long-range V-weapons could devastate London with biological, chemical, or some new "revolutionary" explosives. The casualties and damage would compel the Allies to halt the Combined Bomber Offensive in exchange for the Nazis stopping the missile attacks. A stalemate would ensue, possibly leading to a truce. Alternately, if the invasion took place as planned, the V-weapons could disrupt it by causing maximum confusion on D-Day, with V-1s and V-2s hitting embarkation and disembarkation points and the beachhead itself. The Allies knew that a successful invasion depended on smooth, intricate coordination and synchronization on a grand scale. The thought of rockets and flying bombs raining down on the assault unsettled even the most senior planners.

The V-weapons also threatened to undermine Allied war aims. Unconditional surrender, opening the second front, and keeping Russia in the war all hung in the balance. Without the air superiority promised by the Combined Bomber Offensive, Overlord was impossible -- without an invasion, unconditional surrender was certainly in doubt. By early 1944, keeping the Russians in the war was less of a concern than the other fears because the Red Army maintained the initiative in the East, but even Russia's ultimate success would be jeopardized by a large movement of German ground forces from the Western Front. In short, the invasion was crucial. Anything that detracted from its success increased the probability something else would go wrong.


The Allies sought very specific results from bombing Crossbow targets. The two effects they wanted to achieve were: 1) to delay, or if possible prevent, V-weapon attacks, and 2) to limit the intensity of the attacks if they did begin. To achieve these objectives, in the autumn of 1943 and the winter of 1943-1944 the Allies bombed research facilities, production plants, large launch sites, and the ski-sites discovered in France. Later, in the spring of 1944, transportation facilities in the launch areas and the modified ski-sites were added. The results, however, were mixed.

The first Crossbow target hit was Peenemunde. The Royal Air Force first attacked Peenemunde in August 1943. The primary objective of the raid was to kill as many personnel involved in the V-weapons programs as possible, therefore, the housing area was the main aim point. Two lesser objectives were to destroy as much of the V-weapons related work and documentation as possible, and to render Peenemunde useless as a research facility.

Unfortunately for the Allies, Peenemunde was attacked too late to inflict a mortal blow to the V-weapons, and the experimental work was unaffected. The V-1 was all but complete and ready to be engineered for production. The V-2 program was essentially complete as well, though several technical problems remained and it still lacked sufficient launch and flight testing to enter production. The Germans had duplicated records and stored many at several locations, although the Peenemunde facility retained copies.

Nonetheless, two key scientists were in fact killed in the raid, which also disrupted work on V-2 engineering and technical production problems. As a result, the Germans moved the V-2 program to Nordhausen, a bomb-proof underground facility. They moved the flight testing to Blizna, Poland, out of Allied bomber range. The death of the two scientists and the V-2 program relocation delayed the V-2 attacks on London by two months. The raid did not affect the V-1.

Attacks on the production plants in Germany from December 1943 through August 1944 had marginal impacts on weapon production. The raids caused no reduction in the V-weapon output. The Germans had correctly forecast Allied bomber attacks on production centers, and had adequately prepared for that eventuality by dispersing this industry to three underground production facilities. Unknown to the Allies at the time, they could have achieved better results by persistently bombing hydrogen peroxide and liquid oxygen targets. They could have also hurt production by targeting nearby power transformers instead of the underground factories.

While key V-weapons research and production facilities were located in Germany, all of the storage depots and launch sites were in France or Holland. Accordingly, all of the known large sites in France were bombed in the autumn of 1943 to prevent the Germans from finishing them. The Germans, however, repaired the damage and pressed ahead with site construction. The large sites therefore required several reattacks by heavy bombers. The Germans had designed the sites to be impervious to bomber attacks, much like the famous hardened U-boat pens. They intended to use them to launch both V-1s and V-2s. The various large sites were periodically bombed until July 1944, at which time the Germans abandoned their efforts before the Allied ground advance overran them. None of the large sites were ever completed. Watten was converted to a liquid oxygen plant despite the heavy damage, which served as camouflage to convince the Allies the site was damaged beyond repair.

The numerous ski-sites were of more concern. The potential threat of V-1 attacks in January 1944 prompted the Allies to begin bombing ski-sites in December 1943. On 15 December 1943, 8th Air Force received overriding priority, at the request of the British Chiefs of Staff, to bomb the 96 ski-sites in France when the weather was good enough to permit visual bombing. Selection of the 8th Air Force reflected the need for precision bombing on the relatively small sites. The half-dozen buildings and ski-ramp made even the uncamouflaged sites difficult to find and hit, plus concerns over French casualties meant that British carpet bombing was out of the question.

No small effort was expended on the V-1 ski sites. An average of 237 sorties, dropping an average of 223 tons of ordnance, at an average cost of 2 aircraft, was required to inflict substantial damage to each of the 96 fixed ski-sites. Bombers rendered all but two of those sites useless by April, and only two ever launched V-1s. If the original 96 V-1 ski-sites had not been bombed while under construction, at least 92 of them would have been completed and ready for use by March of 1944. Due to the large number of sites, the Germans were able to keep some repairs underway, and it became apparent to the Allies in April 1944 they would have to persistently bomb the sites to keep them out of commission. The bombing definitely delayed the V-1 launches, but also prodded the Germans to develop and build the modified ski-sites, which then presented a wholly different set of problems.

As indicated, Allied intelligence assessed the modified sites to be either decoys or less capable than the fixed sites. After the fixed ski-sites were destroyed and the large sites rendered useless, the Allied leaders -- Churchill and Eisenhower -- thought the V-1 threat to England and the invasion was over. The absence of V-1 attacks on D-Day seemed to confirm this conclusion. Once the Germans actually began launching V-1s in mid-June, however, the perception of the modified sites changed. As a result of a meeting with the Chiefs of Staff and Churchill, they requested Eisenhower to "'take all possible measures to neutralise the supply and launching sites subject to no interference with the essential requirements of the Battle of France." As a result, Eisenhower, who from mid-April to mid-September 1944 controlled all heavy Allied heavy bombers, decided on 18 June 1944 that Crossbow targets ranked higher than anything for the Allied bomber force "except the urgent requirements of the battle." Of note, this decision caused considerable concern among RAF and USAAF air commanders about the conduct of air operations in support of Overlord. For example, General Carl A. Spaatz, commander of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe, reminded Eisenhower that the strategic air forces had weakened the Luftwaffe to the point it could not seriously interfere with the invasion. In direct support of Overlord, strategic air forces were continuing to keep the Luftwaffe from re-emerging as a threat, and denying the German ground armies supplies and reinforcements to put up an effective defensive. Accordingly, he wanted to return to bombing Germany unless there was an urgent situation involving ground forces, and to ignore the V-1 sites. Eisenhower, however, kept the V-1s as top priority.

An average of 180 sorties, dropping 426 tons of bombs, with an average loss of 1 aircraft, was required to inflict major damage to the modified ski-sites. Although they were heavily bombed in June and July of 1944, they continued to launch missiles at a steady rate. After the attacks began on the modified sites, the number of new sites identified actually grew at a faster rate than the number of those receiving crippling damage. The growth in modified sites should be compared to the fact that by the end of May all 96 fixed ski-sites had been hit, and at any given time through June only 8 fixed sites could be kept under repair due to persistent Allied re-attacks. The Allies underestimated the numbers and capability of the modified sites to launch missiles.

Once the missile attacks began, bombing the modified ski-sites had no impact on launch rates, except for a fortunate strike on the Nucourt supply site that caused rates to decrease dramatically for 2 weeks in mid-July 1944. After the Nucourt attack, the Germans delivered V-1s to the firing regiments in France by rail directly from the factory in Germany, and two weeks later, had regained their previous launch rate. Very heavy bombing of the sites continued throughout July and August 1944. The bombing then decreased as the launch units withdrew in the face of advancing Allied ground forces.

Attacks on the fixed ski-sites were the single most effective method used to delay and reduce V-1 launches. It forced a "workaround" in the form of modified ski-sites that took time to develop and field. Destroying the ski-sites in France caused the Germans to develop and use the modified ski sites for almost all V-1 launches. They recognized an exposed operational weakness and corrected it. Since the Germans had produced an adequate supply of V-1s to begin an attack several months sooner than they actually did, the bombing of the sites and storage depots imposed a 3 or 4 month delay in the attacks on England. One point was very clear -- despite the results from the Nucourt bombing, the destruction of ski-sites had much more of an impact than attempts at bombing missile storage facilities. The bulk of bombing attacks focused on the V-1 associated systems, leaving the V-2 program virtually untouched.

The attacks on the only known V-2 launch sites (the large sites) did not delay that weapon's use against England at all, since the missile still had production and technical problems that were not solved until September 1944. Once those the problems were corrected, the V-2s were launched at England. The Germans actually had time to correct an unrelated operational deficiency with the V-2. They manufactured mobile transporters that served as launchers, negating the need for vulnerable prepared launch sites. The Allies' attempts to find the V-2 sites after they began hitting London failed. The rockets were kept on mobile trailers that also served as erector-launchers, and usually hidden near roads in wooded areas. The only indication of a launch site was a small concrete pad for the launcher, which was virtually impossible to see from the air.

After the launches began, the only measure the Allies took that had an impact on the V-2 campaign was the attack on transportation. "Although there was practically no bombing of V-1 and V-2 launching sites in Holland and Germany, attacks on transportation and other targets probably were indirectly responsible for some reduction in the volume of fire in the early months of 1945." "Against [V-2] firing from Holland, attacks on rail targets by Mosquitos and fighter bombers appear to have had a greater disrupting effect than attacks against launching sites and forward rocket storage dumps." The small launch pads used by the V-2 transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) remained nearly impossible to locate, and the Germans cut out the supply "middleman" by delivering rockets directly from the factory to the launch sites and firing regiments.


The Allies were fairly accurate in their assessment of German aims. The Nazis changed their objectives several times, before and after the weapons became operational, but all three of the Allies' main concerns were ultimately reflected by the shifting German plans.

First, Hitler wanted to retaliate against England for the Combined Bomber Offensive. He saw the V-2 as a high-leverage weapon that could relieve pressure on the Reich at a low production cost. He also believed the Allies would be forced to divert a large percentage of their air power to destroying V-weapons targets. The large concrete structures at Watten, Siracourt, Wizernes, and Mimoyecques were kept under construction despite frequent Royal Air Force reattacks and heavy damage. Generals Gerd von Runstedt and Alfred Jodl pointed out the low probability of ever completing the sites while the Allies bombed them, and Hitler agreed, but wanted the sites kept under construction to keep some bombs from falling in Germany. Hitler's diversion idea worked to a certain extent, if that was really the goal behind continuing the construction against long odds.

The Germans also wanted to prevent, or delay, the invasion, but failed because they were unable to launch any weapons until after D-Day. The two main targets for the V-1 and V-2 were London and Antwerp. The rationale for attacking London was twofold. First, the V-1s and V-2s were meant to undermine British civilian will to support the war. London would be under constant attack from an invulnerable, unstoppable, and superior German weapon. The Germans hoped flagging morale would bring about an early termination of the war on the Western Front, and allow them to shift their forces eastward to halt the advancing Red Army. If the Allies continued to fight in the West, the Germans hoped to lure them into a trap by forcing them into a second invasion at Pas de Calais to capture the V-1 launch areas. The Wermacht was prepared to launch a vigorous counter-attack in this area, since that was where the Germans originally thought the Allies would invade. The idea of using annoying V-weapons to provoke an invasion of the launch area was not unlike a similar attempt by Iraq in 1991 to get Israel into the Persian Gulf War.

Attacks on Antwerp had similar objectives. The primary objective in attacking Antwerp was to reduce the port's usefulness to Allies. At best, the objective was only partially achieved. General Carl A. Spaatz, commander of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe, wrote General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Force, that missile operations against Antwerp from 13 October 1944 to 26 March 1945, consisting of 5,600 V-1s and 1,440 V-2s that hit in and around the city had produced only slight delays moving supplies and cargo in and out of the port. As a secondary objective, the Germans again wanted to attack civilian morale in Great Britain and force an early termination of war. They hoped that attacks on Antwerp would deny the Allied armies sufficient supplies to sustain operations, and the invasion would grind to a halt. A slowdown or halt in the invasion breakout might make the British public realize Germany still had alot of fight left in her, and that the casualties would be high. Fears that the war might cause a loss of life on a magnitude with the trenches of World War I greatly concerned Churchill. In any case, Antwerp was used despite the V-2 attacks.

Thus, the Germans failed to achieve the desired objectives set for the V-weapons. The Combined Bomber Offensive was diluted, but not stopped. The invasion was neither prevented nor disrupted, and British morale held firm. The gambit to get the Allies to invade Pas de Calais also failed (though this option was actually discussed in Allied meetings). Yet if the V-weapons failed to achieve their goals, it should also be said that air power played a marginal role in finally defeating the V-weapons. Ground occupation, not air power, eventually stopped the launches.


The total Crossbow air effort from August 1943 to March 1945 was 68,913 sorties and 122,133 tons of bombs. Those totals represented a sizeable diversion from the Allied air campaign. Crossbow targets accounted for 5.6 percent of the total bombing missions and 6.8 percent of the total bomb tonnage dropped in Europe during World War II. More significantly, this effort was concentrated in the 13 month period from August 1943 to August 1944 (inclusive). During that period, 14.9 percent of combined 8th AF, 9th AF, RAF and Tactical Air Forces sorties attacked missile targets, and 15.0 percent of the bomb tonnage fell on Crossbow targets. The Tactical Air Forces flew 16.7 percent of their sorties against Crossbow targets. Daylight air superiority made the emphasis on V-weapons possible. Allied air power in 1944 was virtually unopposed by the time of the Normandy invasion. What might have happened had the Germans possessed even a few squadrons of fighters to protect their launch areas?

Crossbow began receiving urgent attention after the first V-1 launch, although its high sortie counts did not necessarily indicate diversions from other targets. Forty percent of the RAF sorties from July - August 1944 were directly dedicated to Crossbow. Those sorties were part of the overall bomber effort committed to invasion support. The German night-fighter forces had improved in quality and numbers of aircraft, and after March 1944 were exacting a higher toll on RAF bombers. Additionally, the long summer days meant very short nights at the northern European latitudes. RAF losses might have been higher, and there is some debate as to whether or not they would have flown much more against Germany than they did even without flying Crossbow missions. Additionally, USAAF sorties diverted that could not bomb primary targets. Medium bombers such as the B-25s, B-26s, and A-20s lacked the range to attack targets in Germany from Great Britain, and most Crossbow targets were in France. The shorter distance and longer days allowed a higher sortie rate because the bombers, using different crews, could fly two and sometimes three sorties a day. The shorter distance also allowed a greater trade off of fuel for bomb tonnage, since less fuel was needed by the bombers to get to France. Finally, missions over France needed minimum fighter escort, as daylight air superiority had been achieved because the Germans had pulled back their fighter force for home defense.

In the final analysis, the post-war United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) concluded that the Allied use of air power against the V-weapons in the Crossbow campaign had an "insignificant" effect on the Allied prosecution of the war. A diversion occurred, but not on the scale Hitler had hoped for, because of the vast numbers of aircraft and aircrews the Allies possessed in 1944. However, considering Eisenhower's concern over the impact of V-weapons on the ports and invasion beachhead, the attacks contributed and allowed invasion planning to go forward. If no bombing had taken place, the Germans could have launched V-1s as early as March, and the invasion may have been moved to Pas de Calais as the Germans desired.

The number of Allied bombers doubled from October 1943 to March 1944, and without those large numbers it seems remote that the Allies could have defeated the Luftwaffe, bombed transportation in France, and hit the ski-sites. The Germans, on the other hand, could not react fast enough to overcome Allied invasion planning, and therefore wasted a certain amount of their industrial capacity that might have been better used to produce fighters. "The race was lost and the V-weapon campaign failed - failed to prevent or delay the invasion, failed to shatter Allied morale and failed to change the course of the war." The V-weapons had little or no "military effect."

Several implications for future operations resulted from Crossbow. First, large numbers of mobile missiles are extremely difficult to stop with conventional air power. Allied destruction of fixed sites absorbed sorties that might have been used to attack the Luftwaffe, oil, or transportation, but the diverted effort did not alter final outcome. All of these targets were destroyed. Unquestionably, destruction of the fixed ski-sites and transportation near them detracted from the overall German capability, and, more importantly, the timing of their V-1 attacks. Without the Allied air attacks on the fixed sites, the V-1 assault would have likely begun in March 1944, and possibly affected the Normandy invasion. Eisenhower said the invasion of the continent would have been much more difficult and costly: "I feel sure that if [Hitler] had succeeded in using these weapons over a six-month period, and particularly if he had made the Portsmouth-Southampton area one of his principal targets, Overlord might have been written off." The Germans adapted and managed to launch a sizeable number. And despite the vast number of aircraft available, the Allies were incapable of locating mobile V-2 launchers. As today's air forces shrink in size, the sheer number of launchers may more than offset air power's ability to deal with properly deployed missile threats.

Ground power -- quite literally ground occupation -- may have been the most important factor in stopping the first ballistic and cruise missiles. Not until Allied troops overran the modified V-1 sites and V-2 mobile launchers did the V-weapon threat truly come to an end.

Chapter 3: anagnorisis II

Operation Desert Storm Scud Hunt - 1991

"Mobile missile hunting was difficult and costly; we will need to do better."

Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney


On 17 January 1991 Iraq responded to coalition air attacks by launching the first of eighty-eight Scuds from mobile missile launchers. The missile's impact in Israel dramatically demonstrated the link between politics and war. A missile labeled "militarily insignificant" threatened to undermine the international coalition assembled to eject Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.

The subsequent "Scud Hunt" for Iraqi mobile launchers yielded little fruit. Although coalition aircraft flew with relative impunity by the second night of the war, they could not completely halt the Scud launches. Efforts to eliminate the mobile Scud launchers diverted air power away from other efforts and absorbed three times more aircraft than anticipated, according to U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Merrill McPeak. Since the Allies did not earnestly attack the V-2 launchers in World War II, the Scud Hunt marked the first time in history air power had been used to pursue a ballistic missile force. Its lessons may endure for some time.


Unlike the slowly unfolding picture of V-1 and V-2 development that the Allies witnessed in World War II, the US and coalition commanders knew during Desert Shield that Iraq had ballistic missiles. Iraq had already demonstrated the ability to use missiles in combat. Observations from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War had provided a useful but limited amount of information about Iraqi Scud operations. The knowledge the US and coalition partners lacked was specific, unambiguous detail about those Scuds, particularly the Iraqi-modified Scud, called the Al-Husayn. The intelligence officers and planners had two major concerns -- the first was the number of Scuds and mobile launchers that Iraq possessed, and the second was how Iraq would employ them against the coalition. Filling in the details and accurately determining Iraqi ballistic missile capabilities proved to be a challenge for the US intelligence community. The planners would use the estimates to help predict Scud targets and how best to attacks the missiles.

The general capabilities of the Soviet-made Scud B did not represent a real intelligence mystery. Planners considered the Scud B's capabilities to be lacking. It could deliver a 2,100 pound warhead 300km (165 miles) with a CEP of 900 meters (2,950 feet). The Scud B was designed to deliver conventional high explosives, nuclear, or chemical warheads. More importantly, the Scud could be launched from fixed sites or mobile launchers. The Soviets designed it to be transported and fired from a reusable mobile launch vehicle -- an eight-wheeled MAZ-543 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL). Iraq had obtained its first few Scuds from the Soviets in the early 1970s, and had acquired 12 MAZ-543 Scud-B TELs by 1980. Iraq also had produced indigenous launchers that used a flatbed tractor trailer truck, called a mobile-erector-launcher (MEL). During the war with Iran, the Soviets had resupplied Iraq with over 1,000 Scud-Bs. Even so, the missile was not considered a significant threat to coalition military forces.

US intelligence knew some of the details of how Iraq had used its Scuds in the past. Iraqi Scuds had struck Iran as early as 1982, and were aimed at Iranian population centers and troop concentrations near the rear of the battlefield. Iran, on the other hand, launched Scuds directly at Baghdad after acquiring them from Libya and North Korea in 1985. Baghdad was easily within range of Iranian Scuds at the Iran-Iraq border, while Teheran remained well outside Iraqi Scud B range. To strike Teheran in retaliation for attacks on Baghdad, the Iraqis (with considerable foreign assistance) modified the Scud B to extend its range. Iraq successfully tested five of these extended range Scuds, called Al-Husayns, in February, 1988. The Al-Husayn possessed a range of 600-650km (330 miles), and was used during the "War of the Cities" from 29 February to 20 April 1988.

One-hundred-eighty-nine al-Husayns were fired at six Iranian cities in the eight week "War of the Cities." Of these, Iraq fired 135 at Teheran. The effects were dramatic. Over two and a half million people -- 25 percent of Teheran's population -- left the city. As a result, the missile bombardment of Teheran is produced a "severe disruption" of Iran's economy. The Al-Husayn did not by itself bring an end to the war, but it did force Iran to stop missile attacks on Iraqi cities.

Despite six years of use by Iraq, the US had almost no detailed information on Iraqi Scud doctrine, organizations, and field deployment operations. Subsequently, US officers built this part of the intelligence profile from scratch. Iraq had used the Scuds and Al Husayns to attack large targets, but there was no indication that they would use them against confined military objectives.

As potential targets for coalition air power, the Scud B and Al-Husayn were considered to be essentially equivalent. Granted, the Al-Husayn was about a meter longer, but the fixed and mobile launchers could launch either missile. Both missiles could hit targets with about the same degree of accuracy, and there was no practical way to distinguish them from the air. Intelligence analysts did not have a firm estimate of Iraqi missile numbers, but believed the Iraqis to have 800-1,000 Scud-Bs and Al-Husayns.

The total number of missiles was not as important as the exact number of launchers, because the missiles were of no value without the launchers. The US national intelligence community underestimated the total number of Scud launchers, partly because Iraq had three different types of launchers when Desert Storm started. About thirty fixed launchers existed in western and southeastern Iraq (they were incapacitated in opening stages of the war); "several dozen" mobile launchers were built on modified Saab-Scania commercial trucks with an unknown number of trailers that could be used as launchers; and 12 MAZ-543 TELs. Analysts estimated the number of mobile launchers of all types to be between 30 and 40. Illustrative of the uncertainty surrounding these numbers, one estimate credited Iraq with 35 to 50 TELs and 30 static launchers at the beginning of Desert Storm. The launchers were known to be positioned in three areas -- Basra, opposing Saudi Arabia; near H-2 airfield in western Iraq, facing Israel; and Baghdad, which probably served as a reserve force.

During the "War of the Cities" Iraq had launched its missiles from presurveyed sites in broken ground or tree groves for cover. The normal setup, calibration, fueling and launch operations during the Iran-Iraq war took about an hour. During these prelaunch operations, the Iraqi Scud crews normally transmitted a more or less standard pattern of radio messages and weather radar. Soviet procedures and times were similar. The US intelligence and air campaign planning officers assumed Iraq would continue the same procedures during Desert Storm, using presurveyed sites, taking the same amount of time, and emitting the same electronic signature. However, during Desert Storm, the Iraqis set up, launched, and were on the move again in as little as 10 minutes, deviating substantially from their previous practices and dispensing with calibration and weather (wind) checks.

Employment doctrine remained a mystery. Iraq had launched Scuds at both military and civilian targets, and retaliation had been the primary motive behind the Al-Husayn attacks on Teheran. Due to the large CEPs, the missiles were best suited to attack large targets. The key question seemed to be whether the missiles could threaten coalition military operations. Uncertainties about the Al-Husayn range and payload, particularly chemical warheads, and questions about missile reliability complicated coalition planning. The inaccuracy of the Al-Husayn led coalition commanders to assess it as militarily insignificant. Leaders in Washington, however, worried that the Scuds could become political weapons, particularly if fired against Israel. President George Bush, Secretary of State James Baker, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell all knew keeping Israel out of the war was going to be tough if Saddam attacked Israel. Lieutenant General Charles Horner predicted air strikes would preclude Scud launches when he briefed Powell, Cheney, and Defense Undesecretary for Policy, Paul D. Wolfowitz.

Besides uncertainties about missile usage, the extent of Iraq's decoy program was a key unknown. "Effective Iraqi use of deception techniques, communications security, and the desert terrain reduced the coalition's ability to detect, and thus target, the Al-Husayn units before missile launch." Nonetheless, the planners did not devote a great deal of attention to the possibilities of camouflage, terrain, and decoys. Their failure to do so led to three erroneous planning assumptions: 1) the Iraqis would launch all of their Scuds from fixed, known sites (translating into a vulnerable target set for air power); 2) any mobile launches the Iraqis might make would follow Soviet Central European procedures, and therefore be detectable through emissions that would allow for enough time to locate and destroy them before launch; 3) decoys would provide little more than nuisance value in anti-Scud operations. The coalition planners did not understand that Iraq -- by design or accident -- had made the Scud impervious to air attack.

The incremental deployment of Iraqi missiles from garrison and cantonment areas started as early as August 1990. The dispersion was detected, but the exact deployment locations were not discovered by US intelligence. For planners and intelligence personnel alike, mobile Scuds proved to be an intractable problem. When war began, this deficiency quickly became apparent.

While possessing only sketchy information on the mobile Scud dispositions, launch procedures and potential targets, the US intelligence community concluded that Iraq had the capability to launch chemical or biological warheads on the Scuds or Al-Husayns, with chemical warheads being the more likely. Iraq and Iran had both used chemical weapons in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, but they used aircraft and artillery, not Scuds, to deliver them. In any case, the Iraqi rhetoric aggravated Israeli World War II holocaust memories and fears about chemicals being used against Tel Aviv. US leaders were very concerned as well.


In the first days of the air campaign, the coalition attacked all 25 known fixed Scud sites. Twelve were destroyed and the other 13 were damaged. Attacks against the mobile launchers also occurred. The intent of the coalition air strikes was to suppress Scud launches at Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf nations. The efforts quickly ran into problems. For example, the presurveyed mobile launch sites and hiding places had not been identified before the air war started on 17 January 1991. In any case, flying against these "scrape" sites was viewed as a hit-or-miss waste of air power. Much like Allied commanders had ignored the modified V-1 ski-sites in World War II, Coalition commanders in the desert war against Iraq similarly ignored mobile launchers until they started launching their Scuds on the first night of the war.

Stopping the Scuds depended on air power accomplishing three tasks: 1) destroying the known fixed launch sites, facilities and storage bunkers, 2) maintaining a 24-hour Scud combat air patrol, or "Scud CAP," in each of the western and eastern launch zones (or Scud boxes) to find and destroy the mobile launchers; and 3) conducting armed reconnaissance to locate and destroy Scud equipment and facilities.

Approximately 1,500 sorties were flown over 43 days against such Scud targets as mobile launchers, suspected hiding places, and production and storage facilities. At least one-third of the more than 2,000 daily strategic air campaign sorties were diverted to the Scud Hunt. This diversion, plus extremely poor weather, caused the first phase of the air campaign take longer than the planned six days, according to General Horner, the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC). Theater Commander and Army General Norman Schwartzkopf countered that "the bombing was so effective that the delays didn't hurt much."

Fifteen percent of the coalition air campaign was dedicated to finding and destroying Scud launchers, and the overall air campaign took 39 days, nine days longer than planned. The authors of the Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS) considered the Scud Hunt one of two significant diversions from the planned execution of the air campaign. Coalition planners had anticipated that Iraq might attack Israel with Scuds, but planned to bomb only the known fixed sites. The most threatening fixed sites to Israel were near H-2 and H-3 airfields in Western Iraq, which were attacked on the first night of the air campaign. The pressure from Washington to destroy the Scuds was tremendous, as President Bush wanted to keep the Israelis out of the war at all costs. To achieve that objective, anti-Scud operations were continuous against the elusive mobile launchers.

Scud Hunt tactics essentially required aircraft to orbit over the known general area of the mobile Scud launchers, ready to strike when the Scuds were discovered. A variety of aircraft participated in the effort, including AWACS, JSTARS, F-15Es, F-16s, and A-10s. Ideally, the coalition wanted to destroy the mobile Scuds before they launched, but decoys, camouflage, and clever Iraqi tactics thwarted this aim. Aircrews tried to attack the sites immediately after launch (the crux of the Scud Hunt), but time, distance, space and decoys as well as "noise" (objects that could be mistaken for Scuds) all worked against this goal. One F-15E crew visually witnessed a launch at night, and attempted to find the launcher, but could not.

These difficulties should not have come as much of a surprise. An exploitation exercise named "Touted Gleem" had been conducted in late 1990 to discern the problems and level of effort required in Scud Hunting. The test consisted of an MAZ-543 TEL deployed at night in terrain conditions similar to Iraq. F-15E, F-111F, and F-16 aircraft, all equipped with state-of-the-art night-capable systems, tried to find the launcher after being given the precise coordinates. They discovered the MAZ-543 was impossible to find even when its coordinates were known.

Iraq successfully fired 88 Scuds during the war: 38 at Israel, 41 at Saudi Arabia, and 2 at Qatar and Bahrain. (Seven broke up in flight.) Over 40 percent were launched during the first week of the war. The decline in launches lends some credence to Air Force Colonel John Warden's view that the sorties suppressed Scud launches in subsequent weeks even if they did not destroy any TELs. Iraq launched an average of 14.7 Scuds per week, with 29 launches occurring during the first week of Desert Storm at the rate of 4.1 per day; 24 during the second week at a rate of 3.4 per day; and 4 during the third week for a rate of less than 1 per day. Optimistic aircrew claims, combined with a lull in launches, pointed towards Scud Hunt success. The possibility that decoys or other objects that resembled TELs had been hit was disregarded. After the third week of the war, Scud launches increased steadily until the armistice. The recovery belied the faith in the early success of the first 3 weeks of the Scud Hunt. The lull had also given false hope that the mobile launchers were being destroyed at the rate and in the numbers the aircrews had claimed.

The Iraqis launched the majority of their Scuds at night. Only three were launched during daylight, and these occurred in the early daylight hours under heavy cloud conditions. The emphasis on night launches was unquestionably due to the coalition's overwhelming air superiority, and optimism by Iraqi commanders that darkness would protect the launchers from aircraft strikes. Because of the night launches, aircrews employed sophisticated on-board sensors to locate and identify the mobile launchers after they fired. Of 42 visual observations of Scud launches at night, only eight resulted in actual attacks on what aircrews believed were Scud launchers. Weather also aided the Iraqi Scud efforts. Heavy cloud cover "precluded effective identification of Scud locations from space and hampered the subsequent aerial hunt for Scud launchers." The "Touted Gleem" exercise had turned out to be an accurate predictor of Scud Hunt results.

The operational problems caused by the Scud threat were many. Patriot missile batteries were designed to defend against aircraft, not Scuds. The lack of mass Scud attacks made it easier for the coalition's Patriot missiles to target and intercept them. A large attack might easily have overloaded the Patriot system. However, the Iraqis were firing their Scuds without air superiority, and had they attempted to mass launchers in even a large area they would have risked losses. Second, the JFACC had to designate a portion of his air force to hunt and destroy Scuds. These sorties could have been used to speed up preparation of the battlefield and attacks on strategic targets. The inability to stop the attacks also became a source of embarrassment to the United States government.

In the Pentagon daily briefings on the war, Defense Department officials constantly stressed that destroying the SCUDs was a top priority. When asked why the SCUDs continued to function despite this effort, General Kelly admitted, "It's a tough target. The mobile launchers can move and hide....Iraq is about 170,000 square miles...Every day we are trying harder to get those SCUDs, and sooner or later we're going to get them." This task was also complicated by Iraq's use of SCUD mock-ups as decoys for allied attacks.

Excess air power -- in excess of requirements -- allowed General Horner to "bleed" off sorties to hunt for Scuds. Because of the coalition's large air force, the effect of Scud Hunting was mostly to delay attacks on some targets, but it did not alter the outcome of the war -- Iraq was still forced out of Kuwait. However, had Saddam Hussein been more effective in orchestrating a withdrawal from Kuwait or a cease-fire, the time and sorties used to hunt Scuds might have allowed other targets to have escaped unscathed.

The sorties flown against the fixed launchers failed to suppress the Scuds, because the Iraqis used mobile launchers exclusively. The fixed sites actually served as decoys of sorts -- they had to be destroyed (like the V-1 ski sites in World War II) and diverted the planners' attention from the mobile launchers. If the coalition did not bomb the fixed sites, more Scuds might have been launched. Yet Coalition planners did not fully understand ballistic missile capabilities. Iraq made its missiles -- by accident or design -- as elusive and resistant to air attack as possible. Its the mobile Scud decoys were so realistic that they could not be distinguished at 25 yards on the ground, much less in the air.

The difficulty in pinpointing the mobile Scuds made it impossible to confirm the destruction of any mobile launchers by coalition aircraft. Aircrews claimed over 80 were destroyed. A-10 pilots alone claimed 51, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) claimed up to 11. Obviously, many decoys and look-alikes were hit. Additionally, the maximum number of launches per day during the war never exceeded the number of mobile launchers known to have survived the conflict. Most, if not all, of the 100-plus mobile launchers claimed by coalition aircrew and SOF forces were decoys or other vehicles.

Almost 1500 combat sorties flew against the Scud threat. This total includes missions that attacked fixed sites, suspected hiding places (culverts and highway bridges), production and support facilities, and mobile launchers. Half of these were targeted against fixed launch sites and suspected hiding places; 30 percent on support facilities; and 15 percent -- 215 missions -- on mobile launchers. An additional 1,000 Scud patrol sorties attacked other targets. On average, 6 percent of the daily sorties flew against Scuds. Of specific USAF combat aircraft, 20 percent of F-15E sorties, 2 percent of A-10, 4 percent of F-16, and 3 percent of F-111 sorties were dedicated to the Scud hunt. Numerous other coalition -- especially US -- aircraft flew in the hunt.

According to Dr. Thomas A. Keaney, staff member of the GWAPS team and Chief of the GWAPS Summary Report, the Scud threat was underestimated. It was considered militarily unimportant, but strategically it held the key to keeping the coalition united. Keaney asserted that the Coalition had no idea how to hit mobile Scuds, and noted there was no hard evidence that any were destroyed. At best, he thought that coalition aircraft might have suppressed the number of firings and degraded their accuracy.

[T]he actual destruction of any Iraqi mobile launchers by fixed-wing Coalition aircraft remains impossible to confirm. Coalition aircrews reported destroying around eighty mobile launchers; another score or so were claimed by special operations forces. Most of these reports undoubtedly stemmed from attacks that did destroy objects found in the Scud launch areas. But most, if not all, of the objects involved now appear to have been decoys, vehicles such as tanker trucks that had infrared and radar signatures impossible to distinguish from those of mobile launchers and their associated support vehicles, and other objects unfortunate enough to provide "Scud-like" signatures.

The Iraqis adapted to the air strikes and continued launching Scuds until the end of the war. Their greatest success occurred the day before the cease-fire, when a Scud smashed into an American barracks in Dahran and killed 28 soldiers.

At least 62 Scuds, 11 decoys, 6 Soviet made MAZ 543 TELs, 2 Al Nidal and 2 Al Waleed indigenous TELs (based on commercial tractor-trailer rigs) survived the war. Iraq declared that 19 TELs and MELs still remained by the armistice. The number was confirmed destroyed by a UN Special Commission team. Fourteen launchers survived the war, and no more than 14 were launched on any single day, which perhaps confirms that Iraq only had 14 mobile launchers.


Iraq fired Scuds at Israel and Tel Aviv to provoke an Israeli retaliation that would undermine the Arab support of the Coalition. Saddam Hussein had made it very clear his first target would be Israel if hostilities broke out. Tariq Aziz, Iraq's Foreign Minister, said "absolutely" Israel would be attacked. Hussein probably had more reasons for attacking Israel than simply widening the war, though certainly that was a fundamental objective. He seemed to be take great pains to frame the conflict in different terms than the coalition, and continually attempted to justify it in terms of an Arab-Israeli conflict. If Israel responded with air power, Israeli aircraft would have to fly through Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria to get to Iraq. Hussein believed that those countries could not risk appearing to aid Israel against an Arab brother. The use of Scuds may also have been an attempt to lure the coalition into an early ground campaign, so that Iraqi prepared defenses could be used before air power demolished them. The GWAPS further notes that Coalition leaders considered a ground offensive in western Iraq to deny Hussein the territory to use to launch against Israel.

Hussein's emphasis on Scuds during the Desert Shield build up may have been designed to deter Coalition military action by creating Coalition fears of extremely bloody operations. Several Scud test flights seemed to underline this idea, while demonstrating Iraq's resolve to use the weapons when war came. The three flights were meant to exhibit the Coalition's difficulty in detecting launches, the fact that the missiles functioned and Saddam would use them, and, due to their orientation, the intent to draw Israel into the war. Saddam also made references to Iraq's chemical and biological weapons, and threatened to use them against any country that let Western troops stage in their borders. In actuality, he targeted only Bahrain and Qatar, and did so with Scuds containing conventional warheads. Qatar received only some debris from one of the launches but nothing more serious.

Although Saddam Hussein may have believed the Scuds were unstoppable, devastatingly effective, and able to cause such public hysteria that the Coalition would disintegrate and agree to peace on his terms. The Scud attacks were also symbolic. Despite their limited damage, the Scuds demonstrated his ability to go on the offensive, the vulnerability of the Israeli and Saudi populations, and his attempt to refocus the war as an Arab-Israeli confrontation. Nonetheless, Saddam refused to employ chemical or biological weapons, believing that the retaliation resulting from such Scuds would more than offset the advantages gained in their use. He feared the retaliation more than the loss of any chemical capability due to coalition air strikes.

Why did Hussein refuse to use chemicals? Besides possible technical limitations, there have been two other reasons forwarded. First, Israel had made veiled threats about its response to a chemical attack. Such threats might have caused Saddam to believe that the Israelis could use nuclear weapons against him. Second, President Bush had hinted if chemical weapons were used, he would widen the war aims to include the removal of Saddam from power. McGeorge Bundy points out that President Bush fairly clearly threatened a nuclear response to Iraqi chemical attacks in his 5 January 1991 letter to Hussein. On the other hand, Saddam had used the Al-Husayn against Iran to stop artillery and rocket attacks on civilians. He had fired his missiles at Iranian cities until Iran agreed to cease all attacks on Iraqi cities. Since the attacks had seemingly worked against Iran, Saddam may have thought that they could produce a halt to the coalition air campaign as well.

Saddam Hussein perhaps put too much faith in his missiles and the notion that the US could not sustain high casualties. His overall strategy may have been deterrence by emphasizing the Scud's destructive potential. If that deterrence failed, the Scuds would inflict very painful blows. "The Iraqi strategy," Lawrence Freedman and Efraim Karsh surmise,

was based on deterring and if necessary rebuffing the central thrust of the enemy campaign, by exacerbating the prospective war's stresses and strains on the political cohesion of the coalition while absorbing the enemy air assault. There was no obvious strategy for war termination other than inflicting such discomfort that the coalition would develop an interest in a cease-fire on terms other than the full implementation of all UN resolutions.

Finally, Saddam may have desired a political, or "moral" victory of sorts in the midst of a military defeat, similar to Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser during the 1956 war against the British, French, and Israelis. Perhaps he achieved a measure of success on that score. When his first Scud hit Tel Aviv, the Egyptians and Syrians in Saudi Arabia cheered.

Yet despite the operational difficulties, the Scud Hunt -- in combination with Patriot missiles -- managed to keep Israel out of the war.


The Scud missiles were more effective as strategic weapons rather than operational or tactical vehicles. Saddam Hussein used Scuds to try and widen the war, weaken the Coalition, and change the war's outcome. His efforts failed, but just barely. Many troubling questions remain in regards to the way in which Saddam employed his missile force.

The coalition was surprised by the mobile Scuds' impact on the conflict. Scud-B CEP was approximately 1,000 meters, while that of the al Husayn was 2,000 meters. If Scud accuracy had been slightly better (resulting in a reduced CEP), their military and political impact might have dramatically increased. As it was, a Scud nearly hit the USS Tarawa.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Central Command, appreciating the limited military utility of the missiles, appears to have totally underestimated their political utility. The missiles gave Iraq an offensive capability that it otherwise lacked. As a result, it was possible for Baghdad to strike Israeli targets in an effort to involve Israel in the war. If the missiles had caused larger numbers of casualties, it is possible that the Israelis may have felt impelled to retaliate, thus widening the war and complicating the coalition's efforts. As it happens, the missiles caused few casualties. The arrival of the Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries changed the picture substantially, but the danger never went away completely.

Mobile TELs proved elusive and survivable. Fixed targets, however, were vulnerable. The technological race appears to be between the defender's ability to locate and destroy mobile missiles and the attacker's ability to decrease CEPs to airfield boundary size. Hussein's violation of the principles of concentration and objective may not be counted on again. Had he launched 14 missiles simultaneously on Daharan, the potential to inflict significant damage on coalition air operations was great. Improving Scud technology will heighten the missile's ability to deny an enemy command of the air. Should North Korea, for example, in some future war concentrate its Scuds (which are more accurate than those of Saddam Hussein) on Kunsan or Osan air bases, the impact on air operations would likely be tremendous. The disruptive effect of taking cover alone would significantly reduce the tempo of air operations.

Iraq continued to fire Scuds until the last day of the war. Its most devastating strike took place only hours before the war ended. What if that strike had been nuclear? Aside from the civilian loss, the impact on the Coalition's air effort would have been massive. What the Iraqis accomplished with conventional Scuds, with limited accuracy, does not augur well for air forces in the future.

Although Saddam's Scuds failed to achieve his objective of drawing Israel into the war and destroying the coalition, coalition air power failed to destroy the Scud threat. The problems of finding mobile targets with air power may prove very difficult to overcome. First, the prevailing regional weather and open, flat terrain in Iraq actually favored the hunters. Continual overcast and rugged terrain, such as might be encountered in North Korea, would be even more challenging for the Scud hunters. Second, even a slight increase in the number of TELs and MELs would probably require an exponential increase in air power to suppress, much less destroy, all of the launchers. Third, air forces of the future will be smaller, and a higher percentage of sorties for Scud hunting is likely to have a debilitating impact on an air force unless there is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology to locate TELs.

Moreover, a UN inspection team discovered Iraqi chemical weapon warheads for Scuds after the war -- indicating a Coalition intelligence gap. Because Iraq did not use ballistic missiles to deliver chemicals in the war with Iran, some planners assumed that fuzing problems prevented them from doing it at all. Assuming that an enemy cannot accomplish a technologically complex task is a dangerous proposition when considering the highly volatile mixture of Third World nations, Scuds, and warheads of enormous destructive potential.

The Coalition kept Israel out of the war, and, because of the magnitude of the Coalition air effort, the diversion of aircraft had minimal impact on the ability to achieve Coalition objectives. In the next conflict, a "downsized" US Air Force may be incapable of achieving similar results, and the inability to do so may have catastrophic consequences.

Chapter 4: peripeteia

Changes to the Problem

"The whole of the next war was there."

Colonel Peter Beasley, USSBS

Fifty years have passed since the Germans first used the V-1 and V-2 against the Allies. Three have passed since the Iraqis launched Scuds in the Persian Gulf War. The inaccuracies of these missiles did not detract from their strategic utility. Germany and Iraq both attacked strategic targets -- cities -- in the enemy's rear areas. In both cases, had less than cool heads prevailed, the Germans and Iraqis might have achieved their objectives. In the case of Germany, a second invasion at Pas de Calais was urged by Lord Morrison. In the case of Iraq, the Israeli government's restraint overcame a storm of criticism from within the government itself, the Israeli press, and a significant portion of the Israeli population.

The inaccurate V-1s, V-2s and Scuds were much less effective in attacking military targets directly. Even so, the occasional "lucky" hit on the Air Ministry in London and the barracks in Dhahran demonstrated the possible effects of a well-placed missile. Air power was used in both cases to destroy the missiles as part of a strategic air campaign, to satisfy governments and populations that something was being done. In both cases, air power had limited effects on launch rates. On the other hand, the biggest threat these missiles posed to air power was indirect -- a diversion of effort from the main tasks. US air forces may not be as fortunate in the future. Third world countries are acquiring the cruise and ballistic missiles capable of directly assailing airfields that have previously been considered air power sanctuaries.

Significant improvements in Third World missile capabilities are evident in two areas: refinements to the missiles themselves and enhancements in the command structures' ability to wield them effectively against enemy military forces. Third world cruise missiles and ballistic missiles will continue to be a problem for US air power, and their capabilities are growing.

One need only consider the uses of tactical ballistic missiles in the last 21 years to see how important they are becoming to Third World countries and regional powers. Egypt launched several hundred Scud-B and Frog 7 ballistic missiles at Israeli command posts in the Sinai during the opening hours of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The attacks aimed to disrupt Israeli command and control. While few of the missiles struck their exact targets, their effect was almost as good as destroying a command post. One commander could not fly to his command post by helicopter because of the intermittent Scud and Frog attacks. He remained out of his headquarters during the key hours when the Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal and the Israelis organized their defenses and prepared to retreat. (Of interest, this disruption was the exact effect the Nazis had hoped to achieve during the opening hours of the Allied invasion of the Continent, if the V-1s and V-2s had been ready.) As discussed, Iran and Iraq fired over 500 Scuds apiece at one another. Libya fired two Scuds at a US Coast Guard base on the Italian island Lampedusa in 1986 after the El Dorado Canyon raid on Tripoli. Both missiles fell harmlessly into the Mediterranean Sea. Libya President Muammar Qaddafi said if he had possessed a missile that could have reached New York he would have used it. The Afghani government fired over 1,000 Scuds at the Mujahedin since the Soviets removed their troops in 1988. Iraq fired only 88 Scuds during Desert Storm, for whatever reasons, but they still caused tremendous concern for the Coalition.

Alternate missions for ballistic missiles include: symbolic strikes, deterring enemy attacks, spoiling an enemy victory, wrecking his will, achieving surprise, deep strike interdiction, and substituting for the lack of an air force. Probable targets might include cities, large military bases, fixed troop staging areas, surface-to-air missile sites (SAMs), industrial facilities, and oil refineries. One lucrative target mentioned in some literature is the Diego Garcia preposition area. Since Desert Storm, Syria has acquired more Scuds from North Korea because of the missile's survivability and strategic effectiveness in disrupting Coalition air power strategy during the Gulf War. Syria's missiles tend to compensate for loss of its former superpower patron, the Soviet Union. Syria is acquiring cruise missiles also, both for conventional and unconventional warheads. It would likely use recently acquired SS-21s to hit Israeli rear areas, and probably air bases.

Cruise missiles have been used in fewer numbers than ballistic missiles, but three instances demonstrate their potential power. In the Falklands in 1982, Argentine navy pilots flying two Super Etendard aircraft fired four French-made AM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles. They sank two British ships, the HMS Sheffield and the Atlantic Conveyor. Another Exocet, fired from a modified ship launcher installed on a flat-bed truck, hit the HMS Glamorgan and put it out of action for the better part of two days. Iraqi Super Etendards attacked and hit the USS Stark in 1986, killing 32 sailors and seriously damaging the ship. While these Exocets were not land-attack cruise missiles, they could easily be modified into them, as the French are currently doing. The U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles in Desert Storm hit numerous targets with great accuracy after flying hundreds of miles. The powerful effects of cruise missiles are not lost on Third World governments, and many are beginning to procure them in numbers. The result is an evolving dual threat -- many Third World countries may eventually have tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The combination presents a unique -- and serious -- threat to air power.

Third World nations are actively working to improve tactical ballistic missile and cruise missile accuracies. First, they are obtaining newer, modern, more accurate missiles. The SS-21 "Scarab" is a prime example, and the Russians are aggressively marketing it in the Middle East. The missile carries a 1,000 pound warhead, has a normal range of 70-120km (42-72 miles), an extended range of 150km (90 miles) if the warhead is lightened, and a CEP of 160 meters. The Russians have recently upgraded the SS-21, giving it an improved CEP of 15 meters (45 feet). The missile uses mobile TELs that are slightly smaller than the Scud BAZ-543. Trained crews can stop, erect, and launch the SS-21 in 17 minutes. The crew can then reload the TEL and fire again in 40 minutes. Since the 9P129-1 TEL vehicle has a built-in geodetic survey system, so presurveyed launch sites are required. The nose has a radar scene-matching terminally guided warhead, a preprogrammed inertial navigation platform, and a laser altimeter. Alternate guidance packages offered by the Russians include an anti-radar -- specifically, an anti-Patriot -- seeker, and a variety of submunitions. Syria reportedly possesses six 9P129 TELs and 18 SS-21 missiles. Solid rocket fuel will cut lengthy preparation times and thereby significantly reduce launch times of mobile missiles. Warning cues and intercept times will correspondingly decrease, and as they do, the threat to air bases will substantially increase.

Equally ominous are improvements to current operational missiles. One obvious way to eliminate Scud inaccuracies is to change the type of warhead from conventional to chemical, biological, or nuclear. Iran is believed to have four nuclear warheads, acquired form the former Muslim republics of the Soviet Union. Two of them are 40 kiloton Scud C warheads. Secretary of Defense William Perry believes North Korea possesses two nuclear warheads and will attempt to build 12 per year. Iran and North Korea are working together on the Nodong-1 Scud D, which will have a range of 1,000km (600 miles) and possess chemical or nuclear capability. Iran has also obtained 8 supersonic cruise missiles from Ukraine.

The proliferation of cruise missiles allows Third World countries a cheap, relatively accurate, powerful weapon to strike at an enemy target hundreds of miles away. There is currently a shift, or "crossover," occurring place in the buying market, with cruise missiles replacing ballistic missiles because the cruise weapons are less complex, more accurate, and cheaper. Nonetheless, most Third World countries buying cruise missiles are not reducing or eliminating ballistic missiles from their arsenals. Instead, they are creating a dual missile capability in which cruise missiles have become a key component. Cruise missiles are less technologically complicated and demanding than tactical ballistic missiles. They are cheaper, too, and can cost less than $100,000 each, one-tenth of the typical $1,000,000 ballistic missile. The small, aircraft-like unpiloted vehicles are fairly simple, relying on unsophisticated technology. They provide minimum radar cross section, no landing gear, no weapons pylons, no (or small) intake cavities, and they are easy to cover with materials that make them stealthy.

French and Chinese cruise missile development exemplify the emerging threat they pose. The French are actively marketing their new Super Apache, an upgraded version of the Apache land attack cruise missile. The Super Apaches can fly in all weather conditions except heavy rain. Warheads and submunitions (several warheads packed onto a single missile) are optimized for moving, fixed, or hardened targets, and the wide variety of munitions can be adjusted to increase missile range. Current Super Apache maximum range is 500km (300 miles). It may be used against the entire array of targets: cities, airfields, ports, barracks, troop concentrations, armor, ships, power plants, industry, buildings, and possibly even an enemy's ballistic missile infrastructure. These cruise missiles use an inertial navigation system with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) updates, and a GPS or millimeter radar terminal guidance, which gives them a CEP accurate enough to hit buildings. The Chinese have actively marketed cruise missiles as well, and expect to dominate the "low end" of the market with Russian technical assistance. Chinese cruise missiles are large, but they are accurate, and will have stealthy features by the year 2000, including a reduced infrared heat signature and radar absorbing materials.

French, Russian, Swedish and Chinese companies are converting deployed antiship missiles into land attack cruise missiles. Sweden, for example, is modifying its RBS-15 as an autonomous standoff missile (ASOW) to compete with the US Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM), which is derived from the antiship Harpoon. The French are modifying the AM-39 Exocet (30 mile range) into a ground attack missile. At least 120 countries worldwide have the Exocet in their inventories and all could be candidates for such an upgrade. The host of Exocet users includes such potentially volatile states as Egypt, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Libya, India, Iraq, Argentina, and Peru. Similarly, the Russian's KH-35SE "Harpoonski" antiship cruise missile (so named because of its similar performance with the U.S. Harpoon), with a 150 mile range, is being modified into a tactical land attack missile with a 300-360 mile range, and uses an inertial navigation system (INS), terrain correlation, and Glonass (the Russian GPS equivalent) to obtain a 20-30 yard CEP. Pentagon officials expect Syria and China to have stealthy cruise missiles by 2000-2010, while other probable countries include France, Israel, Japan, South Africa, North Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, and Germany. Most, if not all, of these nations will work with other countries to offset research and development costs, so the list may be considerably longer.

During Desert Storm, one Scud fired at Saudi port Jubail on 16 February 1991 hit only 300 meters from a large truck park and a pier where eight ships were offloading military supplies. The ships contained ammunition and all of the provisions for the U.S. marine corps air units, while the pier itself held five thousand tons of artillery ammunition. Modest improvements in missile accuracies will almost assuredly mean these targets stand a much higher chance of being hit in the next war. The INS on the Scud could be replaced or augmented by a GPS receiver with minimal re-engineering, which could significantly increase accuracy. Scuds could then be used against targets that are more compatible with their warheads. The number of viable targets increases dramatically, forcing an enemy to deploy and disperse his forces, and reducing his operational flexibility. Fewer weapons would be required to destroy a given target or achieve the desired effect. Precision accuracy to within 5 meters is available through commercial equipment. GPS guided bombs have hit within 15 meters of their targets without terminally-guided warheads, and GPS installed in ballistic and cruise missiles could exhibit similar accuracies. The U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass are both being heavily exploited by friendly nations, neutrals and regional enemies. GPS has become a valuable staple to the civilian and commercial sector, causing the Department of Transportation to take control of it from the Department of Defense. As the US and international business communities become more and more reliant on GPS, it will be less likely that the system will be denied to civilian users in a war not waged for national survival. Therefore, Third World nations might reasonably expect to have at least a degraded GPS capability.

GPS is one reason cruise missiles are becoming the "weapon of choice" over the ballistic missile. In less than five years GPS guidance receivers will be integrated into cruise missiles for less than $2,000 each. GPS can easily be tied directly into the inertial navigation system of both cruise and ballistic missiles. It is also simple and inexpensive to obtain, as purchasing it does not require a US government approved contract or coordination with America's foreign military sales office. Thus, an entire spectrum of GPS equipment is available on the international commercial market. Some of the equipment is so precise it allows airliners to autoland, a capability that translates directly into an ability for cruise missiles to hit a small target.

The U.S. military still controls GPS access. When the GPS satellites' "selective availability" feature is activated, it produces a degrading signal error that reduces positional accuracy for civilian users from 30 to 100 meters. Only the military users have accuracy beyond 16 meters. The US military still retains control over selective availability, and has decided to leave it on since Desert Storm -- meaning civilian and commercial users get the degraded information. As a result, a technique known as Differential GPS (DGPS) is flourishing.

DGPS provides location information that is accurate to five meters or less. The system calculates the GPS error from a known position, and then generates a correction signal. The Norwegian DGPS system is typical of the ones being constructed in several countries, including the US, for civil purposes. It consists of a network of ground based stations called a satellite based reference system. This system determines the GPS error, and then transmits a correction signal on public AM and FM radio frequencies sidebands. It may eventually replace current maritime and aviation navigation aids. Norway, Japan, and Sweden are developing DGPS systems that provide 5-meter accuracy for mobile receivers and "centimeter" accuracy for stationary receivers. NASA and the FAA have used the DGPS to demonstrate auto-landing capabilities with a Boeing 737. The accuracies they obtained to accomplish this amazing feat were 0.1 meters. Despite their civilian uses, the military potential of DGPS signals is enormous. First, Third World countries will ostensibly buy them for civil uses, but the military applications will be impossible to deny. Second, as the international community becomes more reliant on DGPS for safety and commercial use, the likelihood of the US DOD turning the signal completely off becomes remote. Yet, even if GPS is turned off, there remains Russia's Glonass.

Glonass is the Russian equivalent of GPS. It is not as accurate as GPS, pinpointing latitude and longitude to within 100 meters and altitude to within 150 meters. Still, this precision represents a quantum leap for Third World ballistic and cruise missile capabilities. While they would prefer GPS accuracy, Third World countries using Glonass possess the capability to hit larger targets like the pier at Jubail. One company has integrated both GPS and Glonass receivers into a single system to improve accuracy, and assure reliability.

The combination of GPS and commercial imaging satellites that depict target areas in a photographic-like display help solve targeting problems for Third World countries. The ability to locate and identify targets and to assess battle damage are available for the asking. Photographic imagery is currently available from several countries. The Soviet Union (now Soyuzharta of Russia) has been selling 5-meter resolution images since at least 1988. About 10-meter resolution -- approximately 33 feet -- is needed to distinguish buildings. Soyuzharta's images may be as much as 4 months old, but they are useful for pinpointing locations of fixed targets. Even if Third World governments and militaries were denied such information in a crisis, they could assemble a substantial amount of target data in two ways: first, through commercially available images; and second, by using GPS handheld receivers from known locations.

Imaging satellites satisfy resolution requirements to differing degrees. Landsat originally launched in 1972 with 80 meter resolution, by 1990 it was down to 30 meters. Landsats are now controlled by the Earth Observation Satellite Company (EOSAT) which sells the images to commercial interests. The French sell SPOT images with 10-20 meter resolution, and the Russians sell images down to 5 meters. In October 1990, during the Desert Shield build-up, ABC news purchased 5-meter resolution imagery that was detailed enough to show not only how many transport planes were parked on the ramp at Dhahran but also what type they were (they decided not to use them on public television broadcasts).

Iraq relied heavily on satellite imagery in its war with Iran. The Iraqis attempted to obtain images of the Persian Gulf Region from EOSAT after invading Kuwait, but the UN embargo effectively cut off this flow of information. "The grand deception carried out by coalition forces in the recent Persian Gulf war would have been greatly complicated, if not made impossible, had Iraq possessed timely data from observation satellites." General Merrill A. McPeak, Air Force Chief of Staff, said, "Any element of surprise would have been lost. Certainly, many more American casualties would have resulted." The same weather information that went to Turkey, Israel, India, and Egypt from the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) satellites went to Iraq, and was possibly used for planning Scud launches.

Imaging satellites and their high resolution products are becoming easily available to any user. The French Helios satellite, a joint venture with Spain and Italy, will have a 1 or 2 meter resolution and is being offered to commercial users. US congressmen and aerospace industry representatives are pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ease the export and sale restrictions on high-resolution imaging satellites and data with resolutions of 1 meter or less. Six US companies (TRW, Boeing, Martin Marietta, Litton, McDonnell Douglas and GDE Systems, Inc.) want the US government to allow them to sell systems in the 1-meter or "medium" resolution category, citing the French Helios military reconnaissance satellite offers for commercial users. Russia offers military reconnaissance systems and launch services for sale, while Germany is developing a 1-2-meter resolution system and the Chinese and Israelis are talking to potential customers. Litton's Itek Optical believes it lost a sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of US government delays. Itek attempted to sell a two-satellite system called Murakaba to the UAE that would provide 0.8 meters (2.6 ft.) resolution. The UAE, Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Taiwan are all interested in purchasing US satellite systems or imaging capabilities. Lockheed wants to market a 1-meter resolution system, while two other US companies are developing 3-meter systems. Since 1-meter resolution is no longer state of the art, the U.S. government will probably eventually yield to industry pressure.

Although cruise and ballistic missiles can obtain great accuracy, to guarantee that they work as advertised requires reliable communications. Dependable communications are needed to get launch orders to the missile launch crews. To assure a secure link between the commanders and the TELs in the field, many Third World militaries use commercially available communications satellites. Cellular telephones are also an easy and reliable means of communication. While vulnerable to jamming, the jamming signal might also interfere with the jammer's communications as well, or those of a neutral party. Many systems, however, are difficult to jam. A Russian company, Global Information Systems (GIS), Inc., wants to market "advanced" communications and data transmission satellites using technology previously available only to the military. An example of the sophisticated technology, GIS, Inc., is offering is a steerable, phased array antenna that "steers" the satellite's focus to specific areas for data and communications transmission, making it more difficult to jam. Third World countries can also use fiber optic cables as did the Iraqis in the 1991 war. They can further use motorcycle couriers. In short, stopping all communications between commanders and TELs in the field poses considerable problems.

Finally, many Third World nations possess chemical or biological warheads that exponentially magnify the problems presented by conventional munitions. While there are difficulties associated with delivering them by ballistic missile, cruise missile delivery is a more viable option. Having them hit airfield-size areas is not a problem with GPS and the other navigational systems available.


What may be the impact of the vast array of technological wizardry? Improved ballistic and cruise missiles, accurate position determination and navigation systems, adequate target images, weather data and communications combine to give Third World nations a credible capability against land-based air power. If air power is based within range of a ballistic or cruise missile system, a Third World country today has a good chance of hitting at least some of the larger targets on the airfield. The disrupting effects of such attacks on the tempo and timing of operations will be significant. In addition, some of the support facilities, buildings, and aircraft in the open will inevitably be destroyed and damaged. By putting airfields at risk, the missiles ultimately threaten air superiority. If they hit an F-15E or F-111 base, for example, they have limited the capability to attack enemy's air force. The possibility of a Third World air force surviving more than a few days may increase dramatically with accurate missiles. If the missiles attacks are against F-15C bases, then the ability to defend against conventional air attack will be degraded. Perhaps the most lucrative and tempting targets are the "force multipliers," the bases housing AWACS, JSTARS, ABCCC, and tankers. Without these aircraft -- which cannot be placed in hardened shelters -- the ability to conduct an air campaign becomes problematic. Additionally, the intended use of air power may be radically altered -- as was the case against the V-weapons and the Scuds -- if the missiles have a strategic impact on the war. Given that missile accuracies are now vastly improved over even those used in the Persian Gulf, the likelihood that air power would again be diverted to "Scud hunt" is high. Yet the significant cutbacks in the American military may diminish significantly the number of aircraft available to do the hunting. And even if the aircraft are available, the probability that they will find the missiles is remote.

As the USAF shrinks and its numbers grow smaller, any of these scenarios does not portend well for the future. Some new capabilities -- such as an improved Patriot anti-missile system -- are emerging to counter the ballistic missile threat, but the cruise missile threat may in the long run prove the more difficult challenge. Anti-missile system command and control elements may themselves be vulnerable to missile attacks, as demonstrated in the anti-Patriot version of the SS-21 Scarab. One conclusion becomes more obvious as the missile threat grows and the U.S. air forces dwindle -- the excess of air power that could be siphoned off to chase V-1s and Scuds will not be there.

Fully one-third of the US tactical air forces went to Desert Storm, including 90 percent of the F-111s, F-117s, and F-15E strike aircraft. Over half of the tankers and command and control aircraft deployed, and almost all of the reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft. None of those aircraft were more than casually exposed to an Iraqi missile threat. If even a portion of the airfields had been hit by a half a dozen well-placed Scuds, the land-based air operations for the rest of the war would have been tenuous. If an unconventional warhead was used, many of the operations would have ceased altogether. Today's widespread proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles has perhaps redefined the notion of "command of the air" espoused over a half century ago by Giulio Douhet. The possibility now exists that a nation can obtain air control without possessing an air force.


The U.S. is improving the capabilities of land-based air power to deal with ballistic and cruise missile threats. Ballistic missiles have received a great deal of emphasis since Desert Storm, and important progress has been made in refining the intelligence, targeting, detection, discrimination, and surveillance techniques to negate them. The most desirable time to destroy TELs is before the enemy launches his missiles, and barring that, then immediately after the launch but before the TELs can leave the area. Accurate, timely intelligence and targeting information are vital.

One promising system currently under development by Mitre Corporation will enable the U.S. Air Force to provide intelligence and targeting information using "data fusion." The system, flown aboard JSTARS, fuses a wide variety of sensor information from radar, identification friend or foe (IFF) systems (systems that sort enemy from friendly aircraft on radar screens), electronic support systems (ESM), and Constant Source, which itself consolidates information from several intelligence sources. Additional information can come from fighter radars, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with various sensors, AWACS, and Defense Support Program satellites. JSTARS can help track and locate ground vehicle movements over time. This information in turn can help identify numbers of vehicles and patterns of deployment that are associated with TBM systems such as the Scud. ESM systems and Constant Source can further correlate any vehicle electronic emission patterns and their points of origin. All of this information can be consolidated -- fused -- and displayed on a single screen in "real time" or by replaying a tape to determine the likely positions of the TELs. The JSTARS radar is sensitive enough to create an image of a stationary vehicle. Further refinements will allow identification of specific types of TELs and associated support vehicles. Once a TEL is located and identified, the information can be relayed to F-15Es or other aircraft for destruction.

The Mitre system should also help provide launch warning, determine the missile's impact point, and plot its trajectory to determine its launch area. AWACS would help detect and track ballistic missiles using an improved radar or infrared heat detection. Since ground vehicle movements and positions can be reviewed and transmitted to a fighter, there is a greater chance to destroy the TEL. Live-fire exercises have validated such procedures.

Other means for identifying missiles include the Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and constant surveillance. LIDAR is flown on an RC-135 or U-2, and helps determine if the enemy has chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons within a certain area. A laser fired into the area can detect even trace amounts of chemicals, radioactive isotopes associated with nuclear weapons, or biological weapons. The system could identify which areas were most likely to contain TELs with these weapons, assisting planners and commanders in assigning target priorities.

UAVs can also assist in missile identification. A novel approach is being tested to guarantee constant surveillance of suspected ballistic missile TEL operating areas. The Raptor/Pathfinder is a 100' ultralight flying wing designed to carry several different sensors at 100,000 feet to survey an area continuously and to provide launch warning of ballistic missiles. It eventually will can stay aloft for weeks or months at a time. The Raptor/Talon is a smaller, more conventional appearing UAV that will carry sensors at 65,000 feet for 2 days. Raptor/Talon will be paired with the Raptor/Pathfinder, and is projected to shoot kinetic kill hypervelocity missiles that travel 1-2 miles per second for a 60-120 mile range. Features of space-based detectors will be duplicated in the Pathfinder and Talon at a fraction of the cost, with a constant "long dwell time" in suspected TBM areas rather than fleeting presence of satellites. The advantage of the system is in targeting and in "boost-phase" interception of the missile's flight. Raptor/Talon's sensors will be sensitive enough by themselves to distinguish between SAMs, burning ground fires, and ballistic missile plumes. Air Force Generals Horner and McPeak support the program. General Horner, the current CINC U.S. Space Command, has said that the best way to destroy TBMs is at the factory, then in storage, then at the launch site, and lastly in flight. Major General Kenneth Israel, director of the newly established Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO), stated that the UAVs' expendability in high-risk areas can provide key reconnaissance data (including GPS coordinates) to direct aircraft airborne sensors. DARO is currently using Raptor UAVs for sensor testing, including Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). SAR promises better penetration of inclement weather, than electro-optical sensors limited by humidity, rain, fog, and clouds. This capability is particularly valuable since TBMs and cruise missiles may be most useful in bad weather when current electro-optical sensors are useless. In the event of launch, DSP satellite data merged under Talon Shield will provide better detection, tracking, and location information. Talon Shield merges and processes multiple signals from below-the-horizon and above-the-horizon views of multiple DSP satellites.

Additional test results also appear promising. Operation Crossbolt 1 in January 1993 used current aircraft and sensors (U-2R with advanced SAR, RC-135S Cobra Ball with long range infrared sensors, JSTARS, etc.) to locate a simulated SS-21 Scarab launch site (simulated by an Army Lance missile) and pass the information to an F-15E to destroy the TEL. The F-15E took 32 minutes to receive information, locate the target, and destroy the TEL. In Desert Storm, the Iraqis moved their Scud TELs in 6 minutes, so the 32 minute delay was far too long. Operation Crossbolt 2 will work to cut the time to less than 10 minutes from the time the TEL fires the missile until the time an aircraft destroys it. Air Combat Command officials do not believe even 80 percent efficiency will be required, because the TBM launch rate will decline -- just as the SAM rate in Desert Storm did -- for fear of attack. According to Colonel Patrick Garvey, chief of Air Combat Command's theater air defense division, "The idea is to make life miserable for the Scud crews."

The SRAM LEAP concept being examined by the USAF and Boeing is designed to attack TBMs inflight. It replaces the AGM-69A Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) nuclear warhead with a Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) kinetic energy kill interceptor. The SRAM then essentially becomes a radar guided missile fired from an F-15 to hit ballistic missiles in the boost phase.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency's (ARPA) "War Breaker" automates the intelligence, planning, and targeting functions to reduce the time required to destroy time-critical targets (TCTs) like Scud TELs. War Breaker combines many technologies and smart weapons, fuses their characteristics with intelligence details about enemy units, doctrine, geography, terrain, most recent position, and known capabilities to predict target location. The result is a "high probability area" for TCT search. War Breaker uses sensors on UAVs, airborne platforms, or satellites to verify the TCT, then assigns a "shooter" to attack it. It can survey 100,000 square kilometers in 45 - 60 minutes, and its sensors will even "see" through trees and vegetation.

Improved surveillance may result in Third World nations using "stealth camouflage" to hide their TELs. Stealth structures were designed by U.S. Army's Space and Strategic Defense Command to cover vehicles and bunkers, allowing them to deflect and absorb radar signals, and making it difficult for new high-resolution radars to pick them out. Third World nations will probably emulate this technique over time, meaning they could use it to hide TELs. Even so, Larry B. Stotts, assistant for sensors and processing in ARPA's Advanced Systems Technology Office, has said the numerous War Breaker sensors operating in different bands would make it "very hard for an enemy to hide." Overcoming decoys and stealth camouflage techniques is not likely to be easy.

Patriots remain a primary defense against TBMs, and the Army is improving Patriot capabilities. The new PAC-3 modification is undergoing testing. Older Hawk missiles systems of the USMC and Army National Guard are also receiving anti-ballistic missile capabilities. The Hawk upgrades are specifically designed for short-range TBMs (Frog-7s) like those in Korea.

Negating the cruise missile threat will likely prove much more difficult than thwarting TBMs. Cruise missiles in the short term will be dealt with similar to enemy aircraft, using airborne interceptors with look-down, shoot-down radars as well as ground defense systems. In the long term, stopping cruise missiles will require a new generation of passive infrared and active radar detection equipment. According to General Horner, the Follow-on Early Warning System (FEWS) satellites will help solve the cruise missile problem. FEWS will have some capability to detect and track cruise missiles, but the capability is conditional, highly dependent on viewing angle and atmospheric conditions to track such a small heat source accurately. Because current commercially available GPS receivers can be used in their manufacture, cruise missiles pose a tremendous problem. With available imagery and GPS coordinates, almost any structure can be targeted, according to Henry D. Sokolski, the Department of Defense deputy for non-proliferation policy. "Anything that can be targeted will be vulnerable," he asserts, and the accuracy will be relatively good.

Outside the scope of this paper, but related to its focus, are the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Both are legally undermined and circumvented. Countries that build nuclear power and research facilities acquire the know-how to separate weapons-grade nuclear material, particularly plutonium. This is part of the ongoing verification and inspection problems with North Korea. Additionally, Third World countries, like Iran and North Korea, have worked together to develop weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems like the No Dong missile. The NPT is up for review in 1995, and Japan may not support the "indefinite extension" of the NPT sought by the Clinton administration due to North Korea's nuclear and No Dong missile programs. In addition, several Third World countries may tie their support of the NPT to a "no-use on us" pledge by the U.S. The MCTR has become meaningless in some regions, such as the Korean peninsula. The range of SS-21 is sufficient to hit much of South Korea -- including important air bases such as Osan and Kunsan -- from positions well inside North Korea. But the SS-21 does not fall under the MCTR. Finally, the MCTR is not a formal treaty, but an agreement between seven nations. There are no international bodies to enforce agreements with sanctions.

It remains to be seen if the improvements to air power capabilities will offset the improvements to ballistic and cruise missiles. In the near term, further developments of existing systems seem to promise much better results than the Scud Hunt in Desert Storm -- assuming similar conditions. The degree of success may differ substantially, however, if conditions vary -- such as the enemy's numbers of TELs, his targeting strategy, decoys, overall ground forces dispositions, and how he chooses to employ his air force. Other factors include the number and location of U.S. air bases, the types of aircraft employed, and their vulnerability to missile attack. Current situations worldwide offer sobering scenarios. In the wars of the future, missiles may indeed become the dominant factor in the ability to achieve command of the air.

Chapter 5: nemesis

Conclusion: Theater Offensive Missiles and the Next War

In future, the possession of superiority in long-distance rocket artillery may well count for as much as superiority in naval or air power.

Mr. Duncan Sandys

hybris - Global Reach, Global Power

anagnorisis - Ballistic and cruise missiles

peripeteia - Downsizing

nemesis - North Korea

The V-1s and V-2s in World War II, and the Scuds in Desert Storm, diverted the opposition's land-based air power from other tasks. In both wars the diversion was statistically significant in total numbers and percentages, but other required missions were still accomplished. Air power was not seriously hampered or overwhelmed by the missile threat. Allied bombers still flew against targets in Germany and prepared France for the Normandy invasion despite bombing ski-sites. Coalition aircraft still bombed strategic targets in Iraq and battlefield targets in Kuwait during Desert Storm, and the Scud hunt only slowed the conduct of the air campaign by several days.

In World War II and Desert Storm, the missiles and their infrastructures were brought under attack before they fired at U.S., allied, or coalition targets. Duplicating these early attacks may prove difficult in America's next war against an enemy possessing ballistic or cruise missiles. In the next conflict, an astute enemy may use missiles to negate America's air power potential by attacking aircraft on the ground, and the emphasis American air leaders devote to subduing the missile threat would in turn limit air power's ability to achieve policy goals. U.S. air power may be attacked first rather than dealing the first blow. Hostile nations with particularly rough terrain and extended periods of harsh weather would probably be the best suited to thwart American air power with missiles.

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney has pointed out that by the year 2000, 24 developing countries will have operational ballistic or cruise missiles. Fifteen will be produce them indigenously. Six countries will deploy missiles with ranges of 3,000km (1,800 miles), and three will have missiles with ranges of 5,500km (3,300miles). In regions such as North East Asia and the Middle East, the U.S. will face potential adversaries with better missiles -- and more of them -- than those possessed by Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War. With 24 Third World nations acquiring cruise missiles or ballistic missiles, the U.S. can count on facing this type of threat in almost any conflict for the foreseeable future. Third World governments certainly noticed the impact 88 Scuds had on Coalition operations in the Persian Gulf, and may devise strategies that aim to duplicate American consternation.

The combination of technology and geography will likely assist potential aggressors who rely on missiles to overcome American air power, as can be seen from a brief look at the situation in Korea. North Korea has Scud-Bs and modified Scud-Bs in its inventory, and is preparing to field the No Dong 1 long-range ballistic missile. Given the range of 180 miles for the Scud-B, all airfields as far south as Kunsan and Taegu Air Bases are potential targets. With the improved Scud-B's 360 mile range and the No Dong 1's 600 mile range, all airfields in South Korea come within missile range from North Korea. Given the importance of Osan and Kunsan air bases, the two major US air bases in South Korea, it is not difficult to imagine that if the North Koreans initiate hostilities, they would want to strike quickly and disrupt operations at both bases. And though North Korea currently has no Exocets, should it acquire them or other cruise missiles with a land attack modification, then the threat of a missile hitting a specific target on the airfields becomes very real. Should the North Koreans alternately acquire SS-21s from Syria or Ukraine, they would have a 75 mile-range weapon that could accurately hit individual targets as far south as Osan Air Base if fired from just north of the 38th parallel. Should they focus on the flightline area boundaries as aim points, half of the missiles fired with a 1,000 meter CEP would easily fall within the flightline area. If they aimed at the center coordinates of the air bases, almost all of the missiles would likely hit the airfield.

Yet, Scud hunting in Korea might prove incapable of eliminating the missile threat. Finding Scuds, SS-21s, and cruise missile launchers could prove extremely demanding in the hills and mountains of Korea. One need only glance at a map to understand that even a system like JSTARS, with an improved high-fidelity synthetic aperture radar, is going to have problems scanning into every valley. In contrast to the relatively flat and featureless terrain in Iraq, radar "shadows" caused by mountainous terrain in North Korea afford some protection for the mobile launchers. North Korean tunnels are numerous, and information concerning their locations is sketchy at best. If tunnels in mountainous terrain shelter mobile TELs, they would be very difficult to find and destroy. Add to the terrain and tunnels a large number of decoys and modified launch vehicles, and the problem looms large indeed. North Korea's SAMs and interceptors will contribute to the challenge, and the Korean weather, if the North Koreans choose to use it to their advantage, will do much to negate Scud Hunting operations.

Besides attacking key South Korean airfields, the North Koreans will likely submit Seoul, to a assault. The city is now defended by Patriots, but these systems are not perfect. As mentioned, an anti-Patriot version of the SS-21 is available, and may pose a very real threat to the Patriot system in a concentrated missile attack. A combined SS-21 anti-radar missile and Scud attack could overwhelm the small number of Patriot batteries. Political and strategic considerations -- stopping Scuds from hitting Seoul -- will make Scud hunting by land based air power an urgent priority once again.

Considering the importance of the Osan Air Operations Center to directing U.S.-ROK air defenses, Osan would probably receive a good deal of North Korean attention. The North Koreans cannot be expected to make the same mistakes that Saddam Hussein did -- they will probably concentrate on just a few key air bases and Seoul. Pentagon planners realize the lengthy period of time to build up coalition forces unmolested during Desert Shield was a luxury that can't be counted on in the future. A North Korean missile attack might not render Osan and Kunsan unusable, but certainly the tempo and types of operations conducted there would suffer. Aerial resupply by C-5s, C-141s, or C-17s might be deemed too risky, and without airlift, base survivability becomes problematic.

Relatively impervious to Allied countermeasures, the North Koreans could extend their attack outside of the Korean peninsula. North Korean missiles potentially put staging bases in Japan at risk, and this risk could affect how the Japanese support such a war. Similar situations could occur elsewhere. Countries such as Spain, France and Italy, which might be used as American staging bases in an Eastern European or Mideast crisis, could be threatened by a missile-equipped Muammar Qadhafi. The mere rhetoric of such technologically proficient tyrants may compel the deployment of Patriot batteries and aircraft vitally needed elsewhere. Missiles might prevent the USAF from guaranteeing theater air superiority, and certainly total "command of the air" if that means controlling the air medium exclusively. The USAF may in fact be incapable of achieving air superiority, because land-based air power cannot negate all cruise and ballistic missile launchers.

In future regional conflicts, the TBMs and cruise missile threats could determine deployment locations. As missiles gain in range and increase in accuracy, key aircraft like AWACS, JSTARS, and EF-111s may have to deploy at the far edge of the theater, or possibly even out of the theater. Basing these aircraft in the rear-most areas of the theater in turn reduces the time they can perform their assigned missions, increases tanker requirements, and limits the number of sorties that a given aircraft can fly. As the USAF shrinks to fewer numbers of combat aircraft, the force multipliers like AWACS and JSTARS become more critical. Any reduction in their operations could be especially damaging to the air superiority effort.

The requirement to hunt and attack TELs will leave fewer aircraft available for other missions, such as strategic attack, offensive counter air (attacks on enemy airfields, air defense networks, and command and control facilities) and battlefield preparation. With the large air forces available in 1944 and in Desert Storm, the diversion presented a problem, but never forced a dramatic change in the overall campaign plans for the invasion of Normandy or for the liberation of Kuwait. With a large air force, such a diversion was tolerable; in the era of an austere budget with few combat aircraft, the need to hunt for enemy TELs while undergoing Scud attacks on air bases could wreck an air campaign. There may not be enough aircraft to hunt for missiles and conduct the other required air missions.

Only certain aircraft and weapons can be used to attack TELs, which will further limit a shrinking air force. Precision guided munitions (PGMs) and all-weather, night-capable aircraft like the F-15E, LANTIRN-equipped F-16s and night-capable F-111Fs are necessary to find and target the TELs. Currently, these aircraft are also the best suited to destroy precision hardened targets. The enemy potentially can use his missile TELs as decoys to protect key resources. Like aircraft, the numbers of American PGMs will probably be limited, and each must count in a place like North Korea with so many hardened targets and tunnels. Hunting for TELs is also an expensive proposition. Not only does it require specific PGMs and night-capable aircraft, but also JSTARS, AWACS, and tankers.

The missiles' impact on air operations will increase significantly if bases are located within TBM or cruise missile range. The tarmacs, runways, taxiways, revetment and support facilities such as POL are all legitimate targets for today's more accurate missiles. Even the less accurate Scud, if concentrated on a single air base, can wreak havoc. Recovering from attacks will not be easy, and the attacks themselves will significantly disrupt the tempo of operations. Gas masks and protective garments will cause reduced worker efficiency. Should the air base attacked house F-15Cs, America's primary air interceptor, the impact on air superiority could be grave. A Scud attack could leave the base (or some other target the F-15s were tasked to protect) vulnerable to a follow-up attack by air-launched land-attack Exocets. A reduced number of aircraft, flying at a reduced tempo, with less than perfect AWACS leaves theater air superiority in doubt.

General Horner pointed out the morning after a night of heavy Scud activity in Desert Storm, "Last night could have been the turning point of the war. If [Hussein] had hit Riyadh Air Base and destroyed six AWACS or put chemicals on the F-15s at Dhahran, think of how the attitude and support of the American people might have changed." Without AWACS or F-15Cs, the Iraqi Air Force could have challenged coalition air power and raised the number of losses. Some Iraqi aircraft might have conducted limited strikes against Coalition ground forces or air bases, contributing to higher Coalition casualties.

Cruise and ballistic missiles give Third World countries many of the capabilities of an air force without much of the cost. Missiles offer: pre-launch survivability, defense penetration, tactical surprise, and relative accuracy (which is steadily improving). Missiles solve some of the greatest challenges faced by Third World air forces. Range and payload considerations are comparable to those of Third World aircraft, especially when considered with such factors as enroute survivability and force reliability. For Third World nations, missiles offer a deterrence value against major or minor powers. They threaten a higher price for war than some countries are willing to pay.

In short, missiles potentially eliminate America's ability to achieve political goals through the application of land-based air power. Cruise and ballistic missiles with GPS accuracies allow developing countries to deny the USAF air superiority, which may in turn allow an enemy to conduct ground operations without fear of air attack. If the United States cannot bring the trump card of air power into play, its ability to apply military force becomes exceedingly limited.

Excess air power in World War II and Desert Storm did not stop the enemy from launching missiles. There was no correlation between sortie rates or tonnages dropped and any reduction in V-1 or V-2 firings. With the Scuds, there was a sharp drop in launches the first week, but the increase during the war's last week meant that even this apparent effectiveness was deceptive. However, in both World War II and Desert Storm, there were no documented cases of the enemy using his fixed sites. There is still cause to attack these, if only to keep the launch rates lower than they otherwise might be. Yet air power cannot completely stop mobile missile launches. Achieving that objective may well require ground force employment, perhaps by special forces. On the other hand, the commitment of ground troops may undermine American political goals. The solution is unlikely to be simple, and an enemy possessing TBMs and cruise missiles may drag both ground and air power into an operational abyss.

The essence of Greek tragedy is the reversal of fortune, the peripeteia. Achilles, strong and bold, in the end succumbs to a wound in his heel, a tragic end to a seemingly invulnerable warrior. TBMs and cruise missiles represent the possible reversal of U.S. air power, its undoing, as it were; so strong and potent, yet vulnerable. In Greek tragedy, the plot climaxes once the main characters discover that fortunes have reversed -- and the hero suffers inevitable punishment in a bitter defeat that was the consequence of much of his own doing.


ABCCC Air-Borne Command, Control and Communications

AF Air Force

ALCM Air-Launched Cruise Missile

ARPA Advanced Research Project Agency

ASOW Autonomous Standoff Missile

AU Air University

AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System

CAP Combat Air Patrol

CEP Circular Error Probable

CIA Central Intelligence Agency

CINC Commander in Chief

CM Cruise Missile

CNN Cable News Network

DARO Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office

DGPS Differential Global Positioning System

DOD Department of Defense

DSP Defense Support Program

EOSAT Earth Observation Satellite Company

ESM Electronic Support Systems

FAA Federal Aviation Administration

FEWS Follow-on Early Warning Satellite

GPO Government Printing Office

GPS Global Positioning System

GWAPS Gulf War Air Power Survey

HMS Her Majesty's Ship

HRA Historical Research Agency

IFF Identification Friend or Foe

INS Inertial Navigation System

JFACC Joint Forces Air Component Commander

JSTARS Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System

km Kilometer

LANTIRN Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting InfraRed for Night

LEAP Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile

LIDAR Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging

MEL Mobile-erector-launcher

MTCR Missile Technology Control Regime

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NOAA National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration

NPT Non-Proliferation Treaty

PAC Patriot Advanced Capability

PGM Precision Guided Munition

POL Petroleum, oil and lubrication

RAF Royal Air Force

ROK Republic of Korea

SAM Surface-to-Air Missile

SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar

SLAM Standoff Land-Attack Missile

SOF Special Operations Forces

SRAM Short Range Attack Missile

TBM Tactical Ballistic Missile

TCT Time-Critical Target

TEL Transporter-erector-launcher

UAE United Arab Emirates

UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

UN United Nations

USAAF United States Army Air Force

US United States

USAF United States Air Force

USMC United States Marine Corps

USS United States Ship

USSBS United States Strategic Bombing Survey


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Container Accommodation (module)
A hard-walled prefabricated building, modular and based on 20' ISO container configuration. The base and roof of these units are completely pre-built, and walls are knocked-down and are packed between the roof and floors of each unit; several such modules can be interconnected.

Container Structures
Structures built using shipping containers that are designed to withstand structural loadings associated with shipping, including Container Express (CONEX) and International Organization or Standardization (ISO) containers. Testing has shown that these structures behave similarly to building for the purpose of these standards.

Corrugated Metals, Inc.
Homeland Security Division
4800 S. Hoyne Avenue • Chicago, Illinois 60609
Phone: 1-800-621-5617• Fax: 1-773-254-1106


Currently, two self-sustaining container ships are in the APA program: the MVs LTC Calvin P. Titus and SP5 Eric G. Gibson. These ships combine the capabilities of RO/RO container and break-bulk ships. They have the container capacity of 1,526 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) and 40,000 square feet of RO/RO space. The strength of the garage deck, the clear-deck heights, and the immense stern ramp allow for the transport of heavy armored vehicles, including M1A1 tanks. See Figure C-1.

Figure C-1 - Container Ship

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Army Pre-Positioned Afloat Fleet
While eight LMSRs were being refurbished or built and two container ships were being refurbished, seven ships were called up from the Ready Reserve fleet to support the APA. In its end state, the APA fleet will comprise 16 ships: 8 LMSRs, 3 LASHs, 2 containers, 2 HLPSs, and 1 auxiliary crane ship. The LMSR provides the ability to move equipment into the area faster than is currently available and the space to configure the loads to ease upload, maintenance, and discharge.

Currently, two self-sustaining container ships are in the APA program: the MVs LTC Calvin P. Titus and SP5 Eric G. Gibson. These ships combine the capabilities of RO/RO container and break-bulk ships. They have the container capacity of 1,526 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) and 40,000 square feet of RO/RO space. The strength of the garage deck, the clear-deck heights, and the immense stern ramp allow for the transport of heavy armored vehicles, including M1A1 tanks. See Figure C-1.

Figure C-1 - Container Ship

Currently, one HLPS, the MV American Cormorant, is in service and another is planned for FY 96. A semisubmersible heavy lift ship, the HLPS carries the equipment required to establish a working port. The ship's cargo deck can be placed 26 feet below the water's surface by ballasting the ship to a draft of 66 feet. In this way, barges and other embarked watercraft may be floated off directly into the water. The barges contain the materiel-handling equipment needed to move container and equipment ashore. Additionally, three tug boats, two LCM 8s, a ROWPU barge, and a floating 100-ton crane barge are embarked aboard the HLPS. See Figure C-2.

Figure C-2 - Heavy-Lift Pre-Positioned Ship

LMSR will be a future feature of the APA. Current plans are for five converted LMSRs to come on line in FY 96-97 to replace the current fleet of seven RO/ROs. In FY 98, three newly constructed LMSRs will join the fleet, followed by four more in FY 99-02. At that time, the five converted LMSRs will be removed from service. The new LMSRs will have two twin cranes for unloading containers and a slewing stern ramp, which permits operation from port, starboard, or aft. A port- and starboard-side port/ramp will facilitate RO/RO operations from the side as well as the aft of the ship. The number of containers varies since they must be stowed in the RO/RO areas, thereby reducing deck space for vehicle storage. These ships have an overall capability of 470,230 long tons of cargo. See Figure C-3.

Figure C-3 - Large Medium-Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off Ship

The APA program includes three LASH vessels: the SS Green Harbour, SS Green Valley, and MV J. E. B. Stuart. Each is capable of carrying up to 88 cargo barges (lighters), but may carry less to make room for containers and pusher boats. Each lighter weighs between 82 and 86 long tons and may discharge either pierside or in stream. LASH vessels have two gantry-style cranes: one 30-long-ton crane (forward) for moving containers and one 465.18-long-ton gantry for moving lighters. This second gantry can move nearly the length of the ship (except for holds one and two) to discharge pusher boats, lighters, and hatch covers. In addition to the gantry cranes, LASH vessels have a 3-long-ton general cargo crane to help load the ship's stores. See Figure C-4.

Figure C-4 - Lighter Aboard Ship Vessels

Two ships of the Cape D RO/RO class are serving with the APA program. They are the MV Cape Decision and MV Cape Douglas. These ships can carry up to 554 standard (8'x8'x20') ISO containers, but have no shipboard cranes; they require either pier cranes or an auxiliary crane ship to unload them. They have a fixed 65-ton-capacity vehicle ramp on the starboard/stern quarter. The ramp allows RO/RO operations to the starboard side or aft only. These ships are capable of carrying 170,000 square feet of cargo. See Figure C-5.

Figure C-5 - Cape D Ships

Three Cape H RO/RO-class ships are serving with the APA program: the MV Cape Henry, MV Cape Horn, and MV Cape Hudson. They can carry up to 6,766 standard ISO containers spread over four holds and have a 39-ton crane to unload the containers. They have a fixed 63.9-ton capacity vehicle ramp on the starboard/stern quarter. The ramp allows RO/RO operations to the starboard side or aft only. These ships have an overall capability of carrying 180,000 square feet of cargo. See Figure C-6.

Figure C-6 - MV Cape H Ships

Two Cape W RO/RO-class ships serving with the APA program are the Cape Washington and Cape Wrath. These ships have a container capacity of 1,203 and one twin-boom shipboard crane with a capacity of 5 tons for self-unloading of vehicles. They also have a fixed vehicle ramp on the starboard/stern quarter and a vehicle ramp on the starboard side, amidships. The side ramp allows RO/RO operations to starboard, and the stern ramp allows RO/RO operations to the starboard side or aft only. Overall, these ships can carry 190,000 square feet of cargo. See Figure C-7.

Figure C-7 - Cape W Ships

The SS Gopher State is the only T-ACS serving with the APA program. Its mission is to provide crane support when no improved pier facilities exist. It has two twin 30-ton-capacity boom cranes mounted on the starboard side of the ship. When moored inboard of another ship, cargo can be unloaded either from itself or from the outboard ship to the pier facility. Although not employed for their ability to carry cargo, these ships have an overall capability of carrying 711 TEUs of containers. See Figure C-8.

Figure C-8 - Auxiliary Crane Ship

Notice the fly-in-the-ointment: you need the right "container handling equipment" (CHE)...and if you don't have CHE because you are a COMBAT unit, you cannot move containers, no containers = no BATTLEBOXes = you live in your vehicles or worse your flimsy tents unprotected. Butch Walker's ANT-ISO combination trailer/ISO "CHE" can change this by making every unit able to move its own BATTLEBOXes.

Containerizing the joint force: during contingencies, 85 percent of all military cargo is moved by commercial sealift. Except for fuel, most of this cargo is stored and shipped in 20- or 40-foot standardized, intermodal containers

Army Logistician, March-April, 2005 by James C. Bates

The incredibly simple idea of standardized, intermodal containers has revolutionized the worldwide movement of cargo during the past few decades. Standardization of the size and design of the containers themselves has led to the standardization of all other aspects of containerization as well, including the design of vessels, materials-handling equipment, container-hauling trucks, railcars, and seaports.

The use of containers significantly reduces the number of man-hours required to move and account for the items within the containers. This results in significant savings of time and money. Standardization also has led to intermodalism (the transshipping of cargo using two or more modes of transportation [sea, highway, rail, or air]). Intermodalism and containerization facilitate and optimize cargo transfer without the need for intermediate handling of container contents. Seaports throughout the world; manufacturers of container-handling equipment (CHE); and organizations dedicated to improving container operations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which develop appropriate containerization guidelines, have all adopted and now foster the use of standardized containers.

Why Containers?

Using containers to move sustainment cargo provides significant benefits over alternatives such as breakbulk pallets, cargo nets, and plastic shrink-wrap. Containers provide protection from sun, wind, and rain; can be locked and sealed, thereby preventing pilferage and tampering; are multimodal (the same container can be transshipped easily from a truck to a ship to a railcar or even onto a plane); and can be stacked, thereby doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the potential storage capacity or movement capacity of a ship or railcar.

Within the civilian sector, approximately 60 percent of all general cargo, which excludes commodities such as fuel, grain, and ore, is moved in containers. This percentage is growing every year. According to a February 1998 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, lower tariffs, shifting global market demands, and the elimination of trade barriers are changing shipping operations. Containerized trade is growing at an annual rate of 6 percent at U.S. ports and at an even higher rate internationally.

During contingencies, 85 percent of all military cargo is moved by commercial sealift. Except for fuel, most of this is stored and shipped in 20- or 40-foot standardized, intermodal containers. The use of containers allows the military to exploit the extensive commercial containership fleets, the related infrastructure, and the internationally accepted containerization procedures. In addition to using the hauling capacity of commercial containerships, the U.S. Transportation Command's (TRANSCOM's) sealift component, the Military Sealift Command (MSC), has 19 large, medium-speed, roll-on-roll-off (LMSR) vessels, which carry vehicles and containers on wheeled trailers, and 8 fast sealift ships (FSSs).

Container Basics

ANSI and ISO guidelines state that intermodal containers should be either 20 or 40 feet long, 81/2 feet wide, and 81/2 feet high. Some older containers are only 8 feet high. The current U.S. commercial inventory of containers is almost evenly divided between 20- and 40-foot containers. This means that about two-thirds of all containerized cargo is shipped in the 40-foot containers because they have twice the capacity.

Some newer containers are even longer than 40 feet; some are 45, 48, or even 53 feet long. Nonetheless, they are still moveable by CHE designed for 40-foot containers. Most containers open on one or both ends rather than on the sides. A typical 20-foot container weighs about 4,500 pounds empty; this is called tare weight. It can store or transport an additional 40,000 pounds; this is called payload. Therefore, its total potential weight, known as gross weight capacity, is roughly 45,000 pounds. In comparison, 40-foot containers have a tare weight of 7,000 pounds, a payload of 60,000 pounds, and a gross weight capacity of 67,000 pounds. Unless stuffed with especially dense cargo like ammunition, most containers can be filled completely without exceeding their weight limits. Twenty-foot containers carrying bulk fluids have a payload of 6,500 gallons, while 40-foot containers have a payload of 13,000 gallons.

TRANSCOM owns or leases almost all of the 20- and 40-foot containers used in the Defense Transportation System. MILVANs (military-owned, demountable containers) and SEAVANS (military containers moved by sea) fall in this category. During the large-scale deployments of the past two decades, the Defense Transportation System has used both 20- and 40-foot containers. Most unit-owned equipment and basic loads (expendable supplies maintained at the unit level to sustain the unit during the first few days or weeks of deployment) have been shipped in 20-foot containers, while follow-on sustainment cargo has been shipped in 40-foot containers.

Containers can be placed on wheeled trailer chassis that are pulled by truck tractors over roads. Similarly, this container-on-chassis configuration can be rolled on and off" containerships or onto flat railcars and moved by sea or rail. The flat railcars (flatcars) also can transport the containers without the trailer chassis. Depending on their design, flatcars can accommodate containers that are placed singly or stacked two high.

Flatracks are containers without standard sides, ends, or tops. They are used to move items that are too big to fit in a standard container. Some flatracks have end walls, some have four corner posts, and others have fixed A-frames on their ends and no sides.

Unlike a flatrack, a containerized roll-in-roll-out platform, known as a CROP fits inside a container and is used primarily to haul ammunition. CROPs and the ammunition stored on them are removed from containers after the strategic leg of a force movement, such as from the continental United States (CONUS) to a sea port of debarkation (SPOD). CROPs, along with truck tractors, then are used to move ammunition forward. The tare weight of a CROP is about 3,300 pounds.

Some units have their own containers. The Army refers to its unit-owned family of containers as Equipment Deployment Storage System (EDSS) containers. Examples include the interval slingable units (ISUs), containers express (CONEXs), quadruple containers (QUADCONs), triple containers (TRICONs), and other specialty containers used for such purposes as mortuary affairs, refrigeration, or medical services.

ISUs 60 and 90 are 88 inches long, 108 inches wide, and either 60 or 90 inches tall. They are designed to be transported by helicopters, either internally or externally, and can be placed on top of 463L pallets.

Both 20- and 40-foot containers can be placed onboard C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft, but, because of their heavy tare weight, they are not normally transported by air. Instead, 463L pallets are used to aggregate items for storage and air delivery.

A 463L pallet has no walls or top. It measures 108 inches long and 88 inches wide and can hold items stacked to a maximum height of about 8 feet. When shrink-wrap and cargo netting are used, a 463L pallet can hold a gross weight of 10,000 pounds. The tare weight of a 463L pallet is about 300 pounds.

The Containerized Delivery System (CDS) uses containers and parachutes to airdrop equipment and supplies to airborne units and other forces that are widely dispersed on the battlefield. The soon-to-be fielded Enhanced Container Delivery System (ECDS) will be a distinct improvement over the existing CDS. It will use a new, reinforced pallet that is similar to the 463L pallet but is easier to rig, lift, and transport. The ECDS can be moved by forklift or slingloaded. While the current CDS can handle only 2,200 pounds per system, the ECDS is projected to handle up to 10,000 pounds.

Short Distance Movement of Containers

Twenty- and 40-foot standardized, intermodal containers are designed to be moved short distances by various CHE. Examples include gantry cranes, straddle cranes, straddle trucks, rough-terrain container handlers (RTCHs), and crane trucks. Smaller containers, like QUADCONs, TRICONs, CDS, and ISUs, are designed to be moved by forklifts and other types of materials-handling equipment that are not capable of moving the heavy loads in 20- or 40-foot containers.

CHE is used to place intermodal containers on or off trailer chassis and to move containers with or without trailers on or oft" planes, ships, and railcars. Having the right type and quantities of CHE on hand is essential to maximizing the benefits of containerization. In fact, if the required CHE is not available where and when needed, the use of containers could have an adverse impact on sustainment operations.

How do most tactical units move 20-foot containers? They don't. Most units, even logistics support units at the tactical level, do not have the necessary CHE on hand to move 20-foot containers. They typically have only forklifts that have a maximum lift capacity of 10,000 pounds. Moving 20-foot containers can become quite a problem, especially in undeveloped theaters or when combat units arrive in theater ahead of the units that are equipped to handle containers. This occurs fairly often because planners have a tendency to deploy combat units earlier than combat service support units during the initial stages of deployment.

The current deployment process usually relies on the use of established ports of embarkation and debarkation. Decisionmakers determine which equipment will be moved by air, land, and sea; they also decide which items will be containerized and if the containers will be placed on trailer chassis and moved by rail or sea.

As CONUS-based units deploy overseas, most, if not all, of their rolling stock (vehicles, trailer-mounted generators, water trailers, etc.) is convoyed to a seaport, where it is driven onto FSSs or LMSR vessels. The cargo and passenger areas of these vehicles normally are fully stuffed with related equipment, such as camouflage netting, fire extinguishers, and tentage. These items are known as "secondary loads." Some unit equipment and supplies are loaded on the same flights as the owning forces when they deploy by air. In other cases, unit personnel will load equipment and supplies into commercial 20-foot containers that have been delivered to the base. These containers (on trailer chassis) then will be hauled by a truck tractor to the marshalling area of the seaport. Depending on the type of operation, containers--either with or without a trailer chassis--may be moved to the seaport by railcar.

Truck tractors and trailer chassis are needed only to move containers; they are not needed when containers are used for storage. Since trailer chassis, like truck tractors, usually are in short supply, straddle trucks or mobile cranes are used to lift containers off the trailer chassis and place them on the ground at the seaport (or on top of other containers if space is limited). When a ship is ready to receive the containers, a straddle truck or mobile crane places them on trailer chassis, and they are hauled by truck tractors to the ship's loading area at a pier. A gantry crane lifts the containers onto the ship. In developed SPODs, gantry cranes also unload the ships. Containers usually are unloaded at the direct support unit level (supply support activities).

Unit sustainment replenishment is transported from wholesale Government warehouses or commercial providers to container consolidation points, where it is placed into 20- or 40-foot containers (usually 40 footers) and transported to the sea ports of embarkation (SPOEs) by highway or rail. Major problems arise however, when modern facilities are unavailable at SPODs or when adequate CHE is not available.

Cranes and RTCHs are the primary military equipment used to handle containers. Both can move 20- to 40-foot containers with gross weights of up to 50,000 pounds over both improved and unimproved terrain. A RTCH is designed to operate on soft soil such as unprepared beaches. It has four-wheel drive and can operate in up to 5 feet of water.

Container Vessels

Besides CHE, another crucial aspect of containerization is the design and operation of the vessels used to transport containers. Several types of ships are used to haul containers. The most common ships in the commercial sector are large, non-self-sustaining ones. The phrase "non-self-sustaining" means that a ship has no onboard cranes to lift containers onto and off of the vessel. Instead, these ships rely on fixed facilities at seaports, primarily gantry cranes, which can reach across the wide beam of the ship, lift the container off the ship's deck, and then place it ashore, sometimes directly onto a trailer chassis. Gantry cranes also are used to load containerships.

Floating cranes are used to load and unload non-self-sustaining containerships at ports that do not have gantry cranes. The Department of Defense (DOD) owns 10 auxiliary crane ships that can be used to augment the capability of existing cranes at SPOEs and SPODs.

The newest commercial, non-self-sustaining ships are over 900 feet long, 125 feet wide, and have drafts in excess of 43 feet. Containers are stored both above and below deck, normally without trailer chassis. Containerships can carry the equivalent of 4,000 20-foot containers. A select few ships are even larger and can carry 6,000 20-foot-equivalent units.

In contrast, containerships that are self-sustaining have onboard cranes that load and offload containers. Therefore, they are not as dependent on sophisticated seaports. Combination containerships are vessels that can offload a portion of their containerized cargo but depend on seaport equipment or floating cranes to offload the rest.

FSSs, the fastest cargo ships in the world, have a top speed of 33 knots. They have onboard cranes for lifting containers and ramps for uploading or offloading roll-on-roll-off (RORO) vehicles or containers atop trailer chassis. Combined, MSC's eight FSSs can carry nearly all the equipment needed to outfit a heavy Army division.

MSC's 19 LMSRs, like civilian container vessels, are designed to offload at established SPODs that have developed infrastructure. Each LMSR can carry an entire Army battalion task force, including 58 tanks, 48 other tracked vehicles, and more than 900 trucks and other wheeled vehicles. The preferred vessels for sea transport of unit equipment and military rolling stock are FSSs and RORO ships, while containerships are preferred for sustainment cargo.

One of the newest vessels used in DOD is the Army's theater support vessel, also known as a high-speed vessel. Its shallow draft frees it from reliance on deepwater entry ports. Therefore, it can bypass predictable entry points and access locations unreachable by FSSs, LMSRs, or commercial containerships. One theater support vessel has the capacity of 23 C-17 sorties. It can travel at an average speed of 40 knots, self-deploy over 4,726 nautical miles, and carry 350 fully equipped soldiers. It has a helicopter flight deck and can load or discharge its cargo in less than 20 minutes. TRANSCOM manages the theater support vessels for the Army.

Management of Containers

TRANSCOM, which has the broad mission of managing intermodal containers as they move through the Defense Transportation System, oversees the MSC, the Air Mobility Command, and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). SDDC coordinates the movement of containerized sustainment and unit equipment. It also provides oversight of commercial CHE and commercial surface transportation used to move empty containers from storage lots to military installations for stuffing. SDDC also oversees the highway or rail movement of containers to SPOEs and the movement of containers on vessels from SPOEs to the SPODs. Except for the stuffing of the containers by deploying units or DOD wholesale suppliers, most of the physical work involved in moving containers from CONUS locations to overseas sites is performed by commercial enterprises.

The use of standardized, intermodal containers is simplifying and expediting the movement of sustainment cargo over strategic distances. However, the efficient use of containers requires developed ports, specialized vessels, and CHE that can lift loads that are four to six times heavier than the capacity of the standard 10,000-pound forklift. Properly used, standardized containers can dramatically improve the speed of deployment, employment, and sustainment of joint forces.


21st Century Holistic Force Protection for the U.S. Army using the BATTLEBOXTM System

"The ultimate objective of an army is to impose its collective will on the enemy. But its first mission is simply to exist. Its first problem is to feed and clothe and shelter itself, and to be able to move itself from one place to another. Most people think of an army as expending its energy in fighting the enemy. Actually, most of an army's energy goes into keeping itself alive and in being; and in getting itself to where a very small portion of its numbers can fight an equally small portion of the enemy's total army. As soon as we won in Tunisia, we had no place for our army to fight the Reichswehr. But even when Rommel's armies were still terrible, a surprisingly small portion of the Allied "armed forces" in Africa was engaged in fighting it. And of those who are entitled to battle stars on their ribbons, only a small fraction were killing in the literal sense. And even the killers spent most of their time --I would guess an average of twenty-two hours out of twenty-four-- in house-keeping for themselves, and in moving from one place to another.


Yet the whole effect of the army is as integrated as the 'shaft and the head and the point of the tip of a spear.' A human being is such a frail thing that he cannot live more than a few days without both food and sleep. Nature is still his real enemy even though he takes his eternal struggle with her for granted. So the army as a whole must survive against nature before it can harm a single enemy by surviving and moving itself from one place to another is ninety per cent of the army's business, and unless it does this well it is not an army. The army solves its problems of surviving by two dull words: organization and standardization --and an enormous personal effort and submergence of the individual will to the collective welfare."


- Capt. Ralph Ingersoll, The Battle is the Pay-Off; 1943; pp. 84-85 Regarding operations of U.S. Army Rangers and the 1st Infantry Division near El Quettar, Tunisia in early 1943



The following white paper candidly asses the problems facing U.S. Army units on the non-linear battlefield and outlines the already existing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies and mass-produced items that can be assembled together to solve the U.S. Army's need for a holistic all-around force protection system for field living and combat operations that is superior to current and future threats. Its the product of many months of research, study and prototype experimentation and construction by the BATTLEBOXTM team lead by retired and reserve Army officers and enlisted men, defense product engineers of the manufacturers of the necessary items. U.S. Army TRADOC commanding General William Wallace has asked for COTS solutions to the basic question of how to attain adequate force protection on today's increasingly lethal, non-linear battlefield through a vigorous study working with several agencies in the Army that sub-specialize in branch functions. This white paper by our group offers a complete solution that addresses all functional areas with suggested COTS equipment that themselves solve more than one-problem-at-a-time and should not be marginalized by having just one sub-functional agency evaluate that component.


Mike Sparks, Leader



We are spending $1billon/week in Iraq, yet our troops are not fully protected, and the area is not fully secure, why?


The "I can rough it" (ICRI) myth was never true


Over the years, both the U.S. Army and marines have proclaimed that their men (troops) can through training and minimal equipment live in the field out of their rucksacks and load bearing equipment (LBE), indefinitely. Yet are they "roughing it" here in the U.S. on posts? Why are they then living in barracks and operating out of fixed building structures that protect them from the earth's forces? The result of the "I can rough it" (ICRI) mythology is that troops deploy to foreign countries living in flimsy tents and then are forced by physical conditions to take local static buildings that do not belong to them from the populace to replicate the garrison building protection they are accustomed to; this then has the potential to infuriate the people to rebel against us. More importantly fixed structures are rarely positioned ideally with tactical considerations in mind and further the actual layout and therefore the tactical deployment of troops will be easily discerned by the enemy and compromised. All because we were not honest with ourselves as to who we are as human beings and what we need to survive. Being dependent upon fixed buildings that our newly created enemies can know exactly where they are is a fatal targeting weakness in an increasingly sensor-covered, non-linear battlefield (NLB) connected by instant communications.


Dependency equals vulnerability


Only a few troop units in the U.S.military can honestly claim to be able to live off the land (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape or "SERE" skills) as our frontier forebears could do in the 1700s/1800s. Troops in such circumstances would rapidly lose whatever advantages they may initially have over their opponents--even the indigenous population that has solved the needs for food, water and shelter. In a short campaign where territory from the enemy is ruined as you go, like Sherman's March to the Sea which actually won the U.S. Civil War in 1864-5 by robbing our rebel brothers with the logistics to fight, the ability to cut free from supply lines to move in unpredictable "flying columns" via foraging is a necessary skill to have but not the ONLY way to be independent to get operational maneuver. For troops overseas to be combat effective and maintain superiority over their opponents they are of necessity dependent upon a steady flow of supplies that after coming by ship must come over hard roads because that's only place wheeled vehicles (trucks) can go. Needing these roads (dependency) opens our troops up to constant ambush and the supplies themselves blocked from ever arriving. A steady attrition of preventable casualties caused by our main supply routes (MSRs) not being secure undermines popular support here in America for the war effort and encourages the enemy to resist further. Americans with a "glass jaw" don't inspire much confidence in the people we are supposed to be protecting when we can't protect ourselves!


Things that are inherently vulnerable cannot protect


The troops themselves, tents, trucks, and the conventional aircraft they use are inherently vulnerable because of their soft physical construction and cannot provide adequate protection despite numerous band-aids being applied on top of them over the years. There is simply not enough of a hard structural shell or drivetrain to work with in these platform types to render adequate force protection on the NLB dominated by high explosive (HE) attacks with increasing precision.




* Everything in the U.S. Army must be SELF-SUFFICIENT


* Everything in the U.S. Army must be PROTECTIVE


* Everything in the U.S. Army must be MOBILE


* Everything in the U.S. Army must be READY-TO-FIGHT


* Everything in the U.S. Army's holistic field living/fighting system must be RE-USABLE


Everything in the U.S. Army must be SELF-SUFFICIENT


As much as humanly possible, troops should bring with them everything they need to survive against the forces of the earth and man. This was one of the Roman Legion's secrets to success: they always carried with them in their wagons everything needed to make their own walled stockades so their foes could not predict where they could encamp and they would not need material help to defend themselves. The shelters troops live in should be akin to "zero-energy" homes and these civilian COTS technologies are in place to make this a reality. This eliminates and at the least reduces the amount of movement and exposure on the NLB dedicated just to self-preservation and resupply. All of our energies must be available to be focused on fighting the enemy and securing the ground.


* Use the earth itself for insulation and protection


* Use the air's humidity for troop water (This is climate dependent)


* Use the sun for bulk power into deep cycle storage batteries


* Use the troops for local, low amounts of power


* Reduce the use of fossil fuels by hybrid-electric drive efficiencies


* When fossil fuel is burned, derive troop water from it


* All pre-made supplies that cannot be locally collected from the environment not subject to enemy interdiction (ammunition, equipment parts etc.) that must be delivered must be palletized to reduce exposure fumbling around with break-bulk:


Everything in the U.S. Army must be PROTECTIVE


Man has always needed strong shelter to survive against the forces of the earth itself. As soon as mobile settlers stopped moving they have always built homes. This is a matter of SURVIVAL not "comfort" that some ICRI posturers will try to disparage. The ICRI theorists themselves are living in hard buildings all over the world while lying to themselves and others that they do not need secure shelters when the fact is that their unrealistic outlook and resultant lack of holistic preparation results in a shoddy default of seizing buildings and living in flimsy tents to become the forced undesirable circumstance. We need to face up to the fact that we are human beings and come up with the BEST minimalist MOBILE shelter/force protection system possible so we can first overcome the "Battle against the Earth" itself as Captain Ingersoll described in the opening quotation so we have all of our energy and health available to fight other humans. More troops have died from ILLNESS in war than battle injuries since the beginning of human civilizations:


When operating dismounted, on foot, even the best-equipped Soldiers with outdoor resistant gear and trained to use layering and myriad SERE techniques will need a hard shelter to recover and dry or cool off. There are limits to the amount of heat the human body can generate and be captured in a tent; this only happens if the body is fed with food and is healthy and not injured so the blood can circulate heat generated by the muscles or evaporatively cool the body. In the "Battle against Man" on today's lethal, non-linear battlefields (NLBs) the reliance on troops remaining able-bodied to prop up a field living system based on ICRI is unsound, unwise and fatal to all those who slip through the cracks when their health or situation falters. There is no place for ICRI hubris on today's NLB if we want to be successful and protect our society from extinction by increasingly clever enemies who target our many systemic weaknesses. Its time to get rid of all our weak points through maximum self-sufficiency at the lowest organizational level.


Everything in the U.S. Army must be MOBILE


General James M. Gavin in his prescient book, Airborne Warfare in 1947 called on every unit in the Army to be instantly strategically air-mobile via his "Kiwi Pods". He called on everything an Army unit owns being in a container that could be instantly loaded without breakbulk into a cargo pod carrying aircraft which could land on grassy fields with short take-off and landing (STOL). Then, on the ground, the Kiwi pods would have tracks and engines to propel themselves on the battlefield. Today, sadly the U.S. military still has a static mindset that deploys from fixed buildings to overseas areas where we immediately seize and/or build more static buildings. When America's Army deploys it should never be trapped in one location easily targeted due to their fixed construction; but be mobile at all times. When we take too long to deploy, America's enemies escape death or capture as Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein's examples teach us. When we deploy suddenly and fan out with great mobility as we did in Panama in 1989, we get the "bad guys" early-on and the Noriega types go to prison.


Everything in the U.S. Army must be READY-TO-FIGHT


By having everything in the Army in a transportation pod, units are exactly the same in training as they would be in combat. There would be no "This is serious now. We're going to war". Army units would go to war with exactly what they have in training without any last minute packing and repacking--including Reserves/National Guard. They take their pods to the air or sea port of debarkation (APOD or SPOD) and they are picked up and delivered to anywhere in the world. The only things they'd load up would be fuel and ammunitions. If a unit needs to go to a training area, everything it owns can be instantly picked up by a common carrier rail or truck service and delivered. In fact, the troops themselves can live inside their transportation pods while on ships, trains and even planes if the latter gets USAF approval. Container ships can become troop ships. When units go to daily duty on post, they go to their pods in the field not static buildings that require hours of absurd floor and lawn care. America's Army must stop wasting its time acting like janitors and lawn care custodians and train for war every day.


Everything in the U.S. Army's holistic field living/fighting system must be RE-USABLE


Even the richest country in the world cannot afford to every time it deploys overseas to pay $ billions of dollars to civilian contractors to build static buildings that will be left once American troops leave. Every ounce of tax dollars spent to improve Soldier living conditions must not be wasted and when the campaign is over, taken with us so we are MORE READY for the next conflict.





The way to make General Gavin's pods concept come to life is by using International Standards Organization (ISO) containers and "containerizing" the entire U.S. Army.


The entire world already moves by ISO containers via ships that can carry anywhere from 3, 000 to 8, 000 containers at-a-time. Ports have container cranes that can load and unload 1 container per minute. Small container ships have their own cranes to load/off-load.

Once ashore, trains, trucks, tracks and aircraft can move 20 and 40 foot long containers anywhere we want to go. The steel ISO container with an empty tare weight of 4, 500 pounds is sturdy enough to stack on top of each other while carrying up to 10 tons inside its 8 foot wide and either 8 foot or 8 foot 8 inch high vertical space. makes versions that have removable stacking corner posts so they are flush-bottom to roll on floor rollers to load 2 per C-130 or up to 8 in a C-17 aircraft. This hard shell roughly replicates Noah's ark in that it provides a hard, weather and waterproof protective shelter for troops and all they need to fight. We make the "BATTLEBOXTM" the standard troop living shelter not the flimsy tent because its hard shell enables us to use earth around it to fortify it rapidly to withstand even the most powerful weapons known to man. Each BATTLEBOXTM locks securely with a Butch Walker CBP lock with programmable codes activated by sound impulse---not the typical steel padlock which creates a chaos-fest of confusion over keys and results in locks being constantly cut off when keys are lost.


The Cost to make this specialized ISO container is just $50, 000 each but would be much less in mass production. The monies saved from just a few months of not needing multi-billion dollar civilian contractor supplied flimsy building overseas or the price of leasing existing civilian owned structures as is done in the “Green Zone” of Iraq would pay for the containerization of the entire Army that would last for years of service. Leasing existing structures represents additional risks to the success of operations by placing members of the local community who may be supportive in direct jeopardy again as in the “Green Zone” of Iraq. The indigenous people are targeted by terrorists as collaborators and subject to threats and compromise In the case of the “Green Zone” in Iraq the local people cannot leave as they are subject to being murdered or compromised by our enemies which only further exacerbates difficulties. Monies received annually instead of going down the drain on overseas buildings and services would improve upon the initial investment in BATTLEBOXesTM making forward progress in the war fighting capabilities of our Army so we can prevail and win more efficiently with less human losses all around.




One of the reasons why the ISO container has not been fully utilized as a TACTICAL means is because it needs a special MHE device to move them and combat units cannot afford to move around large forklifts in battle. First off, combat units can move around trailers to carry pallets of supplies that fit INSIDE ISO containers for small logistical tasks. The U.S. military right now has the M1022A1 dolly sets of wheels [NSN 2330-01-378-9997] made by CDK in Delaware that attach to the front and back of an ISO container to "mobilize" them:


The M1022A1 Dolly Set Mobilizer for ISO containers


The M1022-A1 Dolly Set Mobilizer is a 7.5-10 ton capacity variant of the basic CLT system specifically designed to meet United States Army requirements. First delivery was made in 1994, and more than 800 systems have since been fielded by Army, Navy and Air Force customers. Although designated as a 7.5 ton system by the U.S. Army, the M1022-A1 System includes a built-in overload capacity of 10 tons. The M1022-A1 system replaces the older, manually powered M1022 dolly set in DOD inventory. Primary applications for the M1022-A1 system include military tactical shelters used as DEPMEDS deployed field hospitals, aviation maintenance workshops, and command and control systems.


The M1022-A1 Systems includes the following enhanced capabilities:


• Diesel powered hydraulic system for ease of connection and lift

• Unique 3-wheel handling mode for ease of unloaded handling and hydraulic

powered connection to shelter

• Side Lift Kit (NSN 3950-01-418-0930) for loading of shelters to/from flatbed trucks, trailers or railcars (optional kit)

• Redundant Power Kit permits operation in the event of engine or pump failure

(optional kit)

• Full access to 3 or 4 ft.- wide end-opening shelter door while connected to

dolly set

• Self-leveling axle feature to level shelters on uneven terrain

• Tandem towing capability for unloaded dolly sets

• Compatible with 8 ft or high-cube 8.5 ft tall shelters or containers (with optional 8.5 ft

lockout brace)

• Wheels lift off ground for changing of tires without jack


CDK mobilizer wheels can:


1. Enable a large truck or M113 Gavin track tow up to two BATTLEBOXesTM at a time on highways or off-roads.


2. Lift a BATTLEBOXTM up so a flat bed truck or XM1108 track can drive under it and have it placed in back. 


3. Raise the BATTLEBOXTM so its level to straight in load 2-at-a-time in the C-130!


The downside of the M1022A1 is that they cost $80K each and themselves are 6, 150 to 7, 130 pounds of extra weight. A lighter and less costly way to double-tow ISOs would be better though the M1022A1s will certainly do the job initially without a doubt.


Butch Walker has created the Amaze-N-Tow (ANT) forklift/trailer (available in the General Services Administration Catalog: GSA# 30-F-0013K) that's part of Cobracoil's "BTC Express" rapid concertina wire emplacement system (NSN 5660-01-534-2303). Cobracoil in Bloomington, New York makes the wire coils. ANTs are also MHE devices for small 40" x 48" and medium-sized 88" x 108" 463L/ECDS pallets for light units that do not have and cannot employ (and still be light enough to do 3D maneuver over and through closed terrains) the large-sized Palletized Loading System (PLS) that heavy units use which is composed of very large truck-sized "flat racks" lifted by large trucks to sustain mechanized 2D maneuver warfare in open terrains using large armored vehicles.






However, to enable combat units to "mobilize" their ISO containers more efficiently to make the BATTLEBOXTM system possible, the ANT-ISO trailer is under development. Butch Walker, creator of the Amaze-N-Tow (ANT) pallet trailer has a version that will double-tow two ISO containers. Thus, each 100-man company would own and operate 20 x BATTLEBOXtroopsTM and 20 x ANT-ISO trailers and 10 other boxes and ANT-ISOs for sustainment functions not desirable to co-locate where the troops live (toilets etc.). This will enable every company-sized unit in the Army to move freely everything they own in both peacetime and war in protected ISO containers.


The smaller ANT trailers would move the pallets carried inside the ISO containers for a seamless flow of supplies. ANT trailers can also pick up by their forklift tongues dump boxes to carry and offload sand, gravel, carry water/fuel FLEXCELLTM bladders and disperse soil sealant to deny the enemy the ability to lay roadside bombs. Army MPs are using ANT trailers in Iraq to rapidly emplace 200 meters of triple coil concertina wire for cordon/search, detainee and election security operations.






Our BATTLEBOXtroopsTM features solid walls and fold-down 6-man bunks


All over the world, people are living in insulated ISO containers; some made into mini-barracks to include the south pole and the hottest deserts. They can be stacked to conserve space. However, they tend to be 2-man rooms with windows that do not protect as well as solid walls and are not affordable to house thousands of troops


U.S. Navy ISO container housing on left, U.S. Army "Cormex" ISO housing on right in Iraq


These people are not "roughing it", they are just as protected as any "home"--in fact more so. This preserves their health and maximizes their human energies to DO THINGS and accomplish tasks not have their strength lost shivering and trying to cool off. The BATTLEBOXtroopsTM would have 6 space-efficient fold-down bunks, deep-cycle batteries for internal lighting and powering a small air conditioner or heater, an exercise bike power regenerator and fold down table and desk. Project Co-Leader, Jim Brennan of, the world's leader in ISO container living modules has just created the first BATTLEBOXtroopsTM; pictures are below; full size version is the first one, the smaller "tn" version in below in each pair of www links listed below: 

We are going to tweak the interior by adding privacy curtains, mosquito netting and "quick-reaction force" hooks on the wall for hanging helmet, body armor, load bearing equipment, rucksack and securable ammo lockers underneath. Solar-powered, AirWater machines to get water from air humidity are an option if not too expensive. We will also install a solar/pedal power 12v red/white lighting system with 12v deep cycle batteries. As technologies become available, lightweight ballistic protection can be sprayed inside each BATTLEBOXTM exploiting its hard shell to improve protection and offer baseline 7.62mm bullet and fragmentation protection even when not fortified with earth walls or buried underground.


British Army Patrol base model that could be created using BATTLEBOXtroopsTM





When each BATTLEBOXTM is taken by their using units to a combat area, inside would be Spirit of America (SOA) hollow plastic blast wall sections that after being joined together are filled in with dirt to make entire forward operating bases (FOBs) impervious to enemy bullets, RPGs, rockets and mortar and even car/truck bomb attacks.



SOA blast wall sections have already been certified by ERDEC to withstand these threat levels up to 5, 000 pound car and 25, 000 pound ANFO fertilizer bombs. The BATTLEBOXtroopsTM can also as time goes on, be dug in underground to improve protective levels to that of a hardened bunker. Troops also will not need to expose themselves during an enemy attack running from a flimsy tent or static building to a bomb shelter--THEY ARE ALREADY IN ONE! BATTLEBOXesTM can be joined to form walled perimeters for helicopter and STOL fixed-wing aircraft landing areas in the center. Time and money is not wasted building a comfortable troop living tent or building that cannot protect and a separate enemy attack shelter.


SOA blast walls can make check points and roadblocks that channelize unidentified persons in such a way that if they were to explode a bomb strapped to their body or in their car, the blast damage would be minimized and loss of life prevented.





BATTLEBOXesTM can also be stacked to make elevated observation/listening posts around the FOB. SOA also makes a knock-down guard tower that can be stowed inside the BATTLEBOXTM during movement to the combat area, taken outside and assembled on top for superior vision/observation capabilities 10+ feet above ground level.




CobraWireTM and Butch Walker's Amaze-N-TowTM forklift/trailer


Check points to be effective sometimes have to be suddenly created without warning, the ANT forklift/trailer can transport CobraCoil's triple and single strand concertina wire pallets to lay up to 200 meters of wire impassable to men on foot without a struggle within 2 minutes.






SOA offers several ISO-container deliverable vehicle barriers proven in tests to stop huge trucks impacting at the maximum 70+ mph speeds they can possibly attain in a suicide driver ramming profile. These barriers combined with excellent camouflage techniques, the guard towers, rapid wire, blast walls and the BATTLEBOXTMes themselves arrayed in hardened but still mobile arrangements make FOBs into strongpoints that will withstand not only battlefield weapons used by armies but weapons of mass destruction delivered by aircraft and missiles.





Soldiers can also fight on foot around their BATTLEBOXTM area using the SOA blast walls as cover. Attached to the end of their hand weapons could be our SLA Marshall ballistic gunshield for portable cover to render fire & maneuver even in the face of enemy fires:





SKEDCO full-length evacuation/resupply plastic sheets can be layed over the top of lightweight poles over fighting positions dug out by improved e-tools with RapidPickTM attachments then dirt applied on top via sand bags or Rhino Snot to form overhead cover when fighting away from the BATTLEBOXTM FOB or Gavin/NLCV. A stack of 100+ SKEDCO plastics can easily be carried on a small pallet by an ANT trailer. Pictured above is a stack of 78 SKEDs. The ability to rapidly entrench is vital and an area we need vast improvement on; the British Army has had overhead cover kits for years and even used them in the 1982 Falklands war:





The BATTLEBOXESTM themselves can be linked together so there is no need to be exposed walking from box-to-box and can form defensive perimeters and shapes. Here is our latest proprietary work studies of how these could be arranged:


However, the ground the FOB rests on should be coated with Envirotac II (aka "Rhino Snot") sealant to make instant pavement and eliminate dust. Do not use cheap imitations like "Guerrilla Snot"--Rhino Snot A.K.A Envirotac II can take the weight of a C-17 landing on it! The G.I. M149 water buffalo converted into a sprayer can rapidly seal living areas, aircraft landing strips and the shoulders of MSRs to make it clear if the enemy has tampered with them to lay roadside bombs to defend the few convoys we absolutely must run.


Research indicates the toilet and shower and kitchen aspects should be in their own separate specialty boxes which can get water from the air via solar powered AirWater machines in addition to roof tanks. These BATTLEBOXsustainmentTM containers would be organic to every company-sized unit in the Army so they could clean and feed themselves and would end the entire bloated dining facility (DFAC) bureaucracy which wastes time, money and exposes troops to having to stop what they are doing and cross the base 3 times a day just to go eat. Each 100-man company would own and operate 10 BATTLEBOXsuppliesTM and 10 ANT-ISO trailers. Company headquarters would have large solar panel boxes to generate larger amounts of power for their C4ISR devices. Some of the boxes will be full of BATTLEpalletsTM of supplies moved by ANT combination trailer/forklifts.





3-8,000 BATTLEBOXsustainmentTM per ship-----> BATTLEpalletsTM----------> BATTLEcartsTM-------> BATTLEskedsTM---->BATTLEruckwheelsTM


* Troops themselves can live inside their boxes, making container ships into troop ships.


* When they arrive with their equipment they can offload it instantly and place it into a ready-to-fight condition.


* One container ship can move an entire Brigade and all their equipment and personnel to anywhere in the world.





1-8 BATTLEBOXsustainmentTM per C-130 or C-17---->BATTLEpalletsTM (3-6 per CH-47 or C-130) ---------> BATTLEcartsTM-------> BATTLEskedsTM---->BATTLEruckwheelsTM


* Troops can deploy one planeload sortie at a time with their boxes if USAF certifies they can be seated inside. Some R&D will be required to perfect box seating.




1 BATTLEBOXsustainmentTM per ANT-ISO or XM1108 Gavin tracked AFV-----> BATTLEpalletsTM----------> BATTLEcartsTM-------> BATTLEskedsTM---->BATTLEruckwheelsTM


* Units once in the area of operations can move themselves and everything they need to fight for 1 year less fossil fuel into battle and then set up a long-term but always mobile protected FOB.


* All units are fully tactical and protected while self-sustaining to maximum degree possible.


BATTLEBOXTMsustainmentTM containers


These would be either 20 or 40 foot ISO containers or smaller ISU containers that fit inside or link together to create the same footprint as an ISO container for shipment.


CIA created solar power unit ISO container; U.S. Army shower unit ISO container at Camp Udairy, Kuwait


Two boxes would house solar-heated showers and composting toilets in every company-sized unit. "Gray water" would be collected from the shower and kitchen boxes and discharged via Rhino SnotTM M149 trailers. There would be zero "Black Water" created in the BATTLEBOXTM system. Thus, there would be no need for host nation tanker trucks which are huge security risks to enter/exit our FOBs. Another two boxes would be a kitchen with serving lines and dry food storage that would use diesel fuel to burner-flame cook foods, and another a wing and solar-powered refrigerator would store 1 year's supply of foods for the unit to sustain itself during an entire deployment not unlike how a nuclear submarine operates.


BATTLEBOXpallet trailersTM (Amaze-N-Tow)







The smallest BATTLEBOXpalletTM is a 40" x 48" aluminum pallet by carried 1 or two at a time by the ANT-463L-D combination trailer/forklift. 8 x RhinopalletsTM can be carried in a 20 foot ISO container and 16 in a 40 foot container. The ANT-463L-D combination trailer/forklift can roll-on or off CH-47 Chinook or larger aircraft carrying 2 x RhinopalletsTM. The ANT-463L-D combination trailer/forklift can be externally-sling-loaded under an UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter carrying one RhinopalletTM.


The ANT-463L-D combination trailer/forklift can be dis-assembled (D) and transported on a 463L or enhanced container delivery system(ECDS) or Advanced Intermodal (plastic) Pallet (AIP) capable ANT-463L-Transporter combination trailer/forklift would be used by light units that are now stuck with time-consuming, manpower-intensive breakbulk trailers.



The next largest BATTLEBOXpalletTM is the 88" by 108" ECDS pallet by The ECDS pallet can be parachute airdropped as well as be a more durable replacement for the flimsy 463L.


Unlike plywood skidboards, ECDS has forklift MHE slots for pick up and movement. 2 x ECDS pallets can be carried inside a 20 foot ISO and 4 in a 40 foot ISO though their best purpose is for air-delivery for Army Airborne units. Once on the drop zone, ECDS pallets would be picked up by the large ANT-463L-T Transporter combination trailer/forklift which itself can be airdropped on an ECDS pallet or Type V airdrop platform. If aircraft airland, ANT-463L-Ts can roll on/off from C-130 and larger aircraft or be sling-loaded under UH-60 and larger Army helicopters.


PLS flat racks in use by heavy Army units can carry ISO containers but the latter have yet to be exploited fully for TACTICAL benefits


The very large "flat rack" BATTLEBOXpalletTM used in the palletized loading system (PLS) is primarily used by Army heavy units to move bulk ammunition and fuel for 2D maneuver in open terrains and is not generally desirable for lighter units employing 3D maneuver by aircraft through closed terrains. The specialized PLS flat rack carrying truck system is well in place and understood and heavy units routinely move ISO containers for logistical tasks but have yet to exploit them TACTICALLY as fortified shelters.





After a company sized unit receives its supplies by either Rhino or ECDS pallets it can keep them mobile by ANT-463L-D and ANT-463L-T combination trailer/forklifts unless its a heavy units using the PLS flat rack system. When the time comes to distribute supplies the BATTLEBOXpalletsTM can have their items cross-loaded into BATTLEBOXcartsTM which are the FERNO Darby All-Terrain All-purpose Cart/Sled derived from the UT2000 backpack/stokes litter sled combination but with positionable all-terrain wheels:




Loads received from BATTLEBOXcartsTM can be trans-loaded into Bud Calkin's collapsible SKED evacuation litter plastic carried in a M3A Captain Ernie Blanco Combat LifeSaver Assault Pack to fireteams and buddy teams:



The final stop for vital supplies is the individual Soldier. However, even then his rucksack would have small solid plastic WHEELS so he can tow his existence load and not carry it whenever possible using Kevin Aston's ARUC frame with "BATTLEBOXruckwheelsTM".




The highly successful Lynx reconnaissance vehicle was a reduced-size M113 Gavin that can fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter


Trenches, barbed wire, machine guns and quick-firing artillery made it impossible to walk on the battlefield with just a rifle in your hand and a rucksack on your back against an alert and capable enemy in World War 1. We tried to slap armor plate to stop bullets on civilian wheeled motor cars and they got stuck and easily shot up in muddy trenches. Combat Engineers ("Sappers") with the help of visionary civilian leader, Winston Churchill responded by creating tracked tanks to cross over muddy trenches with armored bodies to protect men from enemy bullets and high explosive shell bursts. After the war, however with no civilian functional counterpart to the tank, Combat Engineers no longer were in charge of tank development to insure their designs overcame enemy weapons and obstacles. Instead, tanks were developed by civilians who wanted speed on roads, comfort, ease of maintenance mimicking the civilian automobile which does not have enemies trying to kill the people inside. Disaster after disaster followed in World War 2, which after great human costs we were lucky to have finally won. The result is today where the pressures to pinch pennies in garrison and stay on roads/trails not to tear up trees/wildlife have resulted in us taking civilian cars (Humvee SUVs) and trucks (Strykers) and trying to make them into combat vehicles when they cannot go cross-country or accept the necessary armor to survive the high explosive (HE) ambushes they cannot avoid.


History repeats.


Without all of America mobilized for war to flood entire areas with people to push enemies to just our front as in WW2, we now have empty NON-LINEAR battlefields (NLBs) where civilians and enemies are intermingled and attacks can occur in any direction at any time. The resulting 2, 200+ deaths and 20, 000 wounded through this military lack of a holistic force protection system and ethos in Iraq has caused all volunteer ground force recruiting and retention to collapse putting the national survival of the United States at risk. The troops are "voting with their feet" in response to our technotactical leadership failure.


The inability of our troops to move freely on the NLB without death and maiming has caused a crisis of confidence within our ground military; if our enemies--now aware of our penchant to ride around in civilian trucks---not unlike the horse cavalry of old---employ HE attacks they will sweep us from the battlefield in large nation-state wars and wear us down with a daily toll of deaths, maimings and equipment losses in small sub-national group conflicts. The good news in all of this, is that other countries have by battlefield deaths reconnected their Combat Engineers into their vehicle designs to regain battlefield protected mobility; South Africa and Israel have tamed not only the land mine but the roadside bomb. The bad news is that the U.S. military cannot seem to reform itself as the horse cavalry was kept for 5 years until 1944 even though it was clearly obsolete from the opening battles of the World War 2. Therefore, TRADOC should not wait for Congress to intervene and create a "Manhattan Project" to within 90 days restore battlefield mobility and force protection means to both the Army and marines by creating a team of the best minds in the country who know armored vehicles, non-linear combats and combat engineering; a Joint Non-Linear Battlefield Force Protection and Mobility Means (J-NLB-FPMMs) task force project to test and perfect our BATTLEBOXTM system with a notional company-sized element. This is a matter of the highest national security.


The wheeled vehicle (truck) is 28% less space and weight efficient than tracked "tanks". It cannot go cross-country at will via its high ground pressures and its vulnerable air-filled tires cannot survive rubble and enemy fires. Details: The truck is obsolete on the NLB even if you build it with a thinly armored shell on top (Stryker). Every company-sized unit in the Army--not just heavy units---should move by 15 of the simple, easy-to-maintain but highly weight-space efficient hybrid-electric-drive M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicle (AFV) which at 10 tons empty can easily take-on 4 tons of armor weight, be v-hull shaped to deflect blast effects and still have extra payload capacity. The best way to avoid roadside ambushes is by not using roads in the first place via tracked armored vehicle cross-country mobility. With over 14, 000 M113s in Army service, the Gavin represents the minimum transportation standard adequate for the NLB; as Gavin realized when he created the M113 for nuclear-devastated areas that would not have roads or trails. Every unit in the Army by operating low-cost Gavin tracks would have the ability to fight and maneuver even in the face of enemy fires and if not tasked to close with and destroy the enemy, proceed on with their other mission without casualties. The Gavin is parachute airdroppable from USAF fixed-wing aircraft and can have its current 98 inch width reduced to 85 inches to fit into standard ISO containers as well as roll on/off from the CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter which is going to be our primary V/TOL means for many years to come:


M113 Gavin Family of Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB) Vehicles


The baseline, universal M113 Gavin NLB mobility tracked vehicle would be:


* Based on the combat proven and adaptable 10.5 ton M113 Gavin light track to gain 28% space/weight efficiencies from the get go which we have thousands of to save time/money and lives

* Light M113 Gavin tracks for everyone in the Army/Mc is affordable and functional in all the closed/open terrain setting of planet earth; heavier 33-ton Bradleys and 70-ton Abrams are neither affordable nor mobility functional for closed terrain types to be the baseline standard for all troops


* Basic 7.62mm AP and blast protective hull

* Hull stretched to 6 roadwheels

* Reshaped to have "V" to deflect blast effects underneath

* Armored skirts that hinge and flap upward in event of underblasts


* Hatches have weapons firing ports, top cargo hatch can look in upright position as rear shield

* Rear door in rear ramp has firing port


* Multiple armor layers to include SOA blast wall sections pre-det RPGs and soften bomb blasts

* Ceramic outer tiles and inner spall liners to stop fragments, ball bearings and heavy caliber armor-piercing bullets (above 14.5mm)

* Logistically simple to maintain via legendary M113 Gavin construction/design and band tracks

* Hybrid-Electric Drives: 2x fuel efficiency of current diesel engine-mechanical transmission vehicles so all force fuel requirements (and convoys) are reduced by 50%

* Stealth mode of 30 miles at 30 mph on just battery if tactical situation requires it

* No more trailer generators every track is its own power generator

* Air conditioning to cool any computers and troops in extreme hot weather climes

* Band track option eliminate T150 steel track maintenance if units insist that 60 mph road speeds are a requirement (convoy speed is 45 mph or less) but without losing cross-country mobility


* Capability with HED 600 hp to continue to adapt receive more armor to stay ahead of current enemy threats

* Amphibious in lakes/rivers, with waterjets in the ocean from sealift ships and Chinooks


* C-130 and CH-47F air transportable onto land and water


Some will say that its futile to armor everyone in well-designed tracks because the enemy will just "up the ante" and make bigger bombs. See David Cloud's NYT article on bottom. This defeatist outlook is incorrect, if vehicles are SHAPED CORRECTLY increasing bomb size will not yield any improvement for the enemy because we are still not standing in the way of his blast forces and shrapnel at the point of contact. If we employ a NLB CONOPS and "up the ante" ourselves by track armoring the entire force we force the enemy to take more TIME to lay bigger bombs which gives our pickets, overhead surveillance aircrews and mobile patrols a better chance of killing them in the act of bomb-laying and preventing the problem in the first place.


In WW2, the HE weapons and obstacles lethality we face today on the NLB was experienced when we had to land on heavily defended beaches on Normandy. The success story there was that combat engineers under General Percy Hobart created "funnies" special tanks that could blast or force their way through and over enemy opposition to keep moving. The MMs would create the following tracked vehicle types with the baseline "threat from below" armor protection and reduced logistical means to equip ALL units of the Army/Mc now equipped with obsolete wheeled trucks.


M113 Gavin Track NLB-Maneuver


The purpose of this vehicle would be to enable LIGHT INFANTRY, AIRBORNE, AIR ASSAULT troops who have NO ARMORED VEHICLES to fight both mounted and dismounted as needed to effect 3D maneuver via air transport and through closed terrains. No longer will light troops be relegated to following in the trace of heavier tracked units and mopping up pockets of enemy stragglers just because they lack the ability to advance in the face of enemy fire while in wheeled trucks or on foot. Extra features:.


* 1-man autocannon turret as used by NATO country AIFVs

* Dismount leader's hatch/cupola offset to left of 1-man autocannon turret

* TAG gunshields for troops in back

* "Mini-Gavins" of reduced width/height for 101st Air Assault units for CH-47F helicopter internal transport


M113 Gavin Track NLB-Logistics


This vehicle is a logistics carrier based on the XM1108 with 3-man armored cab and flat bed area in rear. Extra features


* PLS flat rack carry capability to include ISO containers and BATTLEBOXESTM

* Rear winch/ramp to lift up small 40" x 48" warehouse and 88" x 108" 463L and ECDS pallets

* TAGS gunshield armament station on top of cab


M113 Gavin Track NLB-General Purpose


This Gavin would carry personnel that can fight either mounted or dismounted but without the complexity of a 1-man autocannon turret.


* TAGS gunshield armament station on top for track commander

* TAGS gunshields for troops in back

* Snap-in modular kits for MEDEVAC, C4ISR, C2 as needed


Non-Linear Combat Vehicle (NLCV)

Dave Hansen's Iguana prototype is the inspiration behind the NLCV


While Gavins and Mini-Gavins should replace many Humvee trucks in all Army units, there needs to be a new production, simple tracked armored vehicle to replace the remaining Humvees and the impotent and break-down prone M-GATOR golf carts employed by light units. Dave Hansen is creating an extremely wide tracked armored vehicle that will also be CH-47 internally-transportable using components already in the logistics system like expanding the Gavin's use to all units of the Army would efficiently exploit.


Dave Hansen's Iguana prototype is the starting point for the NLCV


While Gavins and Mini-Gavins should replace many Humvee trucks in all Army units, there needs to be a new production, simple tracked armored vehicle to replace the remaining Humvees and the impotent and break-down prone M-GATOR golf carts employed by light units.


Iguana Technologies is currently in the final design stage of a CH-47 internal load capable, armored, hybrid-electric drive, amphibious, air-droppable, sling-loadable, half-tracked vehicle. The non-linear combat vehicle (NLCV) will carry 2-3000 lbs payload, produce 75KW of power, be capable of 6-10 KM of stealth drive and 30 hours of silent overwatch. Vehicle will carry a 3-man crew, driver, TC and gunner, protected from landmines and roadside bomb underside attacks with a V-shaped hull. Cargo area is configured with a winch and swing arm for on board MHE to move small 40" x 48" pallets and other cargoes. Vehicle design includes modular MEDEVAC, C4ISR, C2, Heavy Weapons, Troop Carrying (6 pax + 3 crew) and MTR/ARTY ammunition carrier. Providing a full-mission flexibility capability to the commander, who can configure available vehicles to meet specific mission requirements. Unique feature of the NLCV is the capability to raise and lower the suspension, giving it both fully tracked capability when needed (off road / obstacles) or half-tracked (high speed, 60 mph) capability when needed. Vehicle will be configured and manufactured using already in the Army supply system NSN parts giving it full sustainability.


The BATTLEBOXtankTM would be a Gavin or a non-linear combat vehicle (NLCV) in an ISO container with special SOA blast wall sections that rapidly attach/detach so when filled with earth makes the vehicle RPG and road-side bomb proof even if its cross-country mobility to avoid ambush in the first place falls short. The BATTLEBOXtankTM enables rapid, covert overseas deployment by any container ship because the Gavin or NLCV would have subliminated themselves into the container that can be loaded in a minute's time by container cranes. On the ground, BATTLEBOXtankTM containers act as shelters to protect vehicles from enemy observation as well as weather effects and offer a covered place out of the direct sun to do maintenance--there would no longer be any need to collect vehicles in open, vulnerable motor pools because they can no be locked inside a BATTLEBOXtankTM using the CBP lock.The BATTLEBOXTM team was actually brought together in the first place due to research by the non-profit Air-Mech-Strike Study Group for a 3rd edition of our book and discoveries made while restoring a CH-47 Chinook fuselage to demonstrate that vehicles like ANT trailer/forklifts and "Mini-Gavins" can deploy from inside:



Each company-sized unit would have two bulldozer blades on the front of two of their Gavins to earth-fill their blast walls and berm up their BATTLEBOXTM FOB. At least two backhoe attachments would also be available. These can have Butch Walker's "BucketLIFTTM" forklift tongues attached to lift and stack BATTLEBOXesTM to form guard towers or simply to save space.


On tactical missions outside the FOB, the bulldozer and backhoe attachments enable infantry to rapidly entrench to withstand enemy fires without always relying on e-tools in the hands of weary men whose energies could be better used elsewhere like in patrolling and sensor laying.


Inside every Gavin/ NLCV would be a way to draw drinking water from the air and/or engine exhaust to boost self-sufficiency. When in combat, the entire vehicle can move stealthily by electric drive and band tracks as well as operate sensors all night without having to turn on fossil fuel engines to keep batteries charged as in current vehicles with batteries suitable only to start engines..




Heavy units with large vehicle like the medium-weight 33-ton Bradley and heavy 70-ton M1 Abrams tanks can have BATTLEBOXtanksTMdeveloped for them using flat rack ISO platforms with corner posts that fold up which enables stacking. If the medium-weight 25-ton Future Combat System (FCS) ever materializes, certainly a BATTLEBOXtankTM could be developed to transport and shelter it.




However, in this white paper we focus on here-and-now vehicles like the Gavin/ NLCV as the baseline vehicles for the majority of the Army to attain for the first time a well-conceived and holistically synergistic field living/combat protection system.





Army helicopters require time-consuming plastic shrink-wrapping to ship overseas and top deck space. Developing BATTLEBOXaircraftTM containers for all Army aircraft would enable them to not only load instantly via container cranes onto any cargo ship, but it would adequately protect them from bumps and weather effects that mere plastic wrapping cannot stop.

Shrink-wrapping aircraft is time-consuming and does not adequately protect them


Current slow and noisy helicopters in the wrong color green in blue sky Iraq and Afghanistan are easily being shot down by gunfire, air-bursting RPGs and missiles. This is robbing the Army of air surveillance and pressure on the enemy (Maneuver Air Support) to prevent him from laying roadside bombs to ambush convoys and avoid capture. Current helicopters are too fuel-hungry, complicated-to-maintain and cannot fly long and far enough to keep a constant pressure on the enemy even if he chooses not to hide when they are seen and heard. Unmanned air vehicle (UAV) fixed-wing aircraft cannot see well enough beyond a narrow "soda straw" to find elusive enemies and have a notorious 50% crash rate due to them not having an on-board survival instinct. UAVs are unsafe to fly over populated areas.


BATTLEBOXaircraftTM would be ISO containers designed to make small scout helicopters like the A/MH-6 LittleBird and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and Bell Model 407 ground-mobile so they can be co-located with ground troops inside reconnaissance, surveillance target acquisition (RSTA) squadrons to conserve fossil fuel and be more responsive while protecting them on the ground. Other boxes would be developed for the medium-sized UH-60 and AH-64 helicopters and a reduced CH-47 (mast and rotors removed). Certainly, the Army should have selected the no tail rotor (NOTAR) MD520 LittleBird and not the Bell 407 for its next scout copter due to its inherent stealthy quietness and compactness. Hopefully, a ducted tail rotor would be retrofitted to the Bell 407s to reduce their noise. We hope the stealthy and compact, MD-900 Explorer NOTAR will be selected for the light utility helicopter (LUH) program to provide responsive forward unit resupply and MEDEVAC means via BATTLEBOXaircraftTM ground mobility/operational landing pads.


BATTLEBOXaircraftTM containers not only house and protect aviation personnel, they act as mini-hangers holding all the necessary repair tools and spare part to maintain aircraft in flying condition out of the sun, dirt and sand. RhinoSnotTM soil sealant can create landing pads free of sand, dust that can cause brown-outs and aircraft crashes.



If the Army refuses to make its helicopters stealthier by correct sky gray camouflage and NOTAR then its time we utilize a turbine-engined 2-seat, fixed-wing, 5-bladed crop duster that is inherently stealthy, fast and easy-to-maintain and combine it into its own BATTLEBOXaircraftTM ground mobility means inside either the RSTA squadron or Fires unit in each brigade to effect MAS. The Army used to have "grasshopper" STOL observation/attack aircraft with artillery units in the past so this is a proven and highly successful combined-arms structure. Retired U.S. Army combat OV-1 Mohawk pilot, George Davis' I-Cubed organization has teamed up with Thrush Aircraft of Albany, Georgia to offer to the fledgling Iraqi Air Force and others the "Vigilante 2" updated version of their 2-seat aircraft used successfully by the State Department to fight illegal drugs all over the world. Vigilante 2s with the visual investigatory powers of two trained aircrew with stabilized binoculars and bubble windows PLUS+ infared and image-intensification sensors are the best way to locate enemies trying to avoid detection through camouflage, cover, concealment, deception and deceit (C3D2). ANT trailers and modified M149 water buffalos can spray RhinoSnotTM soil sealant in different colors to clearly mark the sides of roads and if the enemy disturbs the sealant to lay a bomb, can be seen immediately from the air. Vigilante 2s can also lay tactical smokescreens to protect troops moving from RPGs, ATGMs and other optically aimed weapons.


The proper role for UAVs is to "pile on" after the enemy has been located. The EWA "Dominator" combat UAV (UCAV) with .50 caliber heavy machine gun to strafe would deploy by BATTLEBOXaircraftTM and have inside all the necessary shop tools to maintain it in flying condition.




The BATTLEBOXTM system transforms the entire U.S. Army at a very low cost to superior combat readiness and warfighting capabilities. We realize that the BATTLEBOXTM system must be employed to its fullest potential via an inspired CONcept of OPerationS (CONOPS). An inspired CONOPS made possible by the BATTLEBOXTM system would:


New CONOPs = Victory Possible




1. Many Iraqis think we want their oil/bases and will never leave due to us living in static buildings

2. Many Iraqis want us to leave and support the rebels

3. The "faction-ocracy" we have created of the Shia voting majority may be just milking us for money and to kill their Sunni minority enemies

4. We are too spread out trying to defend everything, defend nothing (French mistake in Vietnam). Enemy is all around, can attack anywhere from any direction at any time

5. While we ignored securing MSRs/LOCs we went knocking down doors looking for Saddam/bad guys and ended up making more rebels; we over-reacted to rebel's bait of terrorist acts

6. driving around in vulnerable wheeled trucks restricted to roads we offer enemy easy bomb targets

7. Noisy and fuel-hungrey helicopters and narrow-vision UAVs do not prevent enemy from mining the MSRs




1. Get everyone out of trucks and into tracks to regain freedom of movement. 28% greater armor potential to work with and stay ahead of bombers. Use unpredictable routes away from paved roads whenever possible. Do this over the objections of those who have spent years castigating the heavy part of the Army because they use tracks and have found at horrible casualties that looking different in wheels doesn't work on the non-linear battlefield. We can be a "stud" who fights well on foot, jumps out of airplanes AND use well-armored light tracked AFVs.


2. Reduce U.S. presence and promise to start leaving by a set date to reduce grievances that creates rebels. Eliminate ALL occupation of former dictator palaces. Leave the "Green Zone".


Apologize for what we have done wrong to date and STOP doing it. Take the moral high ground. Do not detain anyone innocent over 48 hours or you have just made a new rebel for sure.


Occupation costs must not exceed $100M and 10 men KIA per month. Any costs above that and we are losing a war of attrition.


3. Picket the MSR/LOCs we absolutely need to exist. Reduce truck resupply convoys to nil via BATTLEBOXTM system. Have all batteries recharge:


Every 1, 000 meters we have an infantry squad in a tracked AFV and an ISO container BATTLEBOXTM checkpoint to PREVENT road bombs from being emplaced. Rotate units into pickets and keep this 24/7/365. There is proof that picketing works:


Once deadly Baghdad road is much safer

Turnaround is credited to simple military tactics


By Jackie Spinner



November 5, 2005


BAGHDAD, Iraq - It used to be the most dangerous highway in Iraq, five miles of bomb-blasted road between Baghdad International Airport and the capital cityscape. It was a white-knuckle ride, coming or going. To reach Baghdad or leave it, you had to survive the airport road first.


For 21/2 years, the road was a symbol of the U.S. failure to secure Iraq. Military convoys roared past in a frantic attempt to escape the dangers of suicide bombers, grenades and rockets. But insurgents' relentless attacks claimed a steady toll.


In April, 13 people died along the route, including an American aid worker, Marla Ruzicka, who was killed on a sliver of pocked pavement that intersects threadbare fields and modest concrete homes.


Then, two months ago, the killings stopped. In October, one person was wounded on the road and no one was killed, according to the U.S. Army, which also calculated the April deaths. The turnaround was owed to simple military tactics, Army officials said.


Lt. Col. Michael Harris, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division's 6th Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, or 6/8, recalled a day this summer when a superior officer told him: "Mike, I've got the most strategically important mission in Iraq for you."


"Oh great, I get to go get Zarqawi," Harris recalled thinking. He was referring to terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The officer said the mission was to secure the airport road, which had become a major embarrassment for the military.


Harris started by slowing down the convoys, forcing Soldiers to look out at the passing landscape. Then he sent troops into the surrounding neighborhoods. Barriers went up, preventing vehicles from reaching the airport road unless they passed through a checkpoint. The Iraqi army set up positions and stayed 24 hours a day.


Between April and June, 14 car bombs went off along the airport road, called Route Irish by the military. There were 48 roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and 80 small-arms attacks. Sixteen people were killed.


In the past two months, there have been no car bombs and nine IEDs along the road. One Iraqi Soldier has been killed.


"Presence is definitely a key to our mission," said Pfc. Justin Wildey, 23, of Marietta, Ga. "In order to make everyone else safer, we've got to take chances. I don't have any problem with it; most of us here don't."


One night last week, the 6/8 poked down the airport road, looking.


"What's that car doing there?" Harris asked, then ordered his men to stop. Five Soldiers jumped out and immediately questioned the driver. The driver said his car had stalled. The Soldiers got behind the rear bumper and began pushing the car off the road.

Later, the Soldiers linked up with an Iraqi army battalion in the Jihad neighborhood adjacent to the road. The Iraqi Soldiers had set up a checkpoint to search vehicles entering the area.


"In order to control the route, you have to control the terrain on each side," Harris said.


The Iraqi Soldiers, with a handful of U.S. troops by their side, walked the dusty dirt roads of the neighborhood. Weapons drawn, they searched alleys and courtyards. But mostly, they just walked, greeting Iraqis gathered outside their homes before the breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The sweet scent of spice-infused meat and vegetables filled the night air, as women in black cloaks scurried home with stacks of piping-hot flat bread.


"If there's bad things on Irish, the neighbors on either side are influencing it," said Capt. Justin Reese, 30, from La Porte, Ind. Reese was the Charlie Company point man for the 6/8, in charge of helping the Iraqis secure the neighborhood. He stood by the side of Lt. Omar Tarik Ali, 24.


Ali said the Iraqi Soldiers had been instrumental in helping control the neighborhood, keeping the potential attackers from using side streets to reach the airport road.


"We are Iraqis, and we know strangers from their faces," Ali said. "We can stop them, and we know if they lie to us. The Americans don't know."


4. Do Security Creating Maneuvers (SCMs) to protect the pickets and FOBs and help new government when requested. Use "Rhino Snot" (EnvirotacII, InstaPave, RhinoPave etc.) in a blue or other color to:


a. firm up farm dikes so better protected tracked vehicles can be used

b. stop vehicle accidents from dikes crumbling

c. Seal road shoulders to show that they have been cleared of road bombs or show they have been tampered with

d. seal the tops of Hesco concertainers and SOA earth-filled portable blast walls

e. seal troop living areas

f. stop "brown out" on aircraft landing points


5. Pedestrianize Baghdad. Do not allow cars/trucks in with possible bombs. Set up foot checkpoints with bomb sniffing dogs. Make Baghdad a walk only area like Madison, WI is. Reduce parameters of the bomb problem. Use earth-filled SOA walls in a "S" shape to localize anyone who blows up bombs at checkpoints:


6. STOP further alienating Iraqi civilians. Empty the prisons we have containing wrongly imprisoned people. They may be rebels now, but we need to do the right thing and take our lumps. Demolish Abu Gahraib prison.


7. Immediately buy easy to maintain MANNED observation/attack fixed-wing planes that can fly 24/7/365 and help the pickets keep MSRs/LOCs free of bombs. UAVs are no panacea and cannot see or attack adequately. Helicopters cannot fly 24/7/365 and are too noisy. Details:


TRADOC should should craft a totally new NLB doctrinal model to drastically reduce the supply runs needed, secure the few supply roads we cannot do without and create mobile ISO container housing units called "Battle Boxes" so we can live in fortified but TEMPORARY base camps and picket MSRs with adequate check points so we do not incite rebellions against us nor oblige the enemy with a constant stream of easily blown up targets. The NLB concept of operations (CONOPS) should be implemented DoD wide. We must fully adapt to the NLB.


Again, the ISO container "Battle Box" would be:


* Standard inter-model 20-foot that rapidly moves by container ships anywhere in world at least cost

* Have bunks to sleep 6 Soldiers

* Insulated to hold in heat or keep cold

* Interior lighting powered by 12 volt deep-cycle batteries

* Charged by exercise bike and solar panels

* Come with metal walls to place earth fill to protect against RPGs, car/truck bombs when above ground

* Moved by user units via M1022A1 mobilizer dolly wheels, Butch Walker's ANT-ISO forklift trailers, BucketLiftTM etc.

* A/C or swamp cooler energy frugal cooling system not requiring fossil fuel generators and added force fuel supply convoy costs/risks


To effect NLB CONOPS, ALL Army/Mc units must be able to pack up EVERYTHING they own into their BATTLEBOXESTM and go to virginal training areas, perhaps Shiloh in Canada by frugal rail and TRAIN AS THEY WOULD FIGHT without fear of knocking a tree over and being crucified by an on-post eco-nazis.


The Army/Mc are not fully ready for current non-linear wars; the era of spending days mowing lawns, marching in retirement/change of command parades, polishing floors, filling out contrived "mother may I?" paperwork to reduce the anxieties of milicrats all centered on civilian buildings in military parade ground colors that do not fight is over. Anything less than an army/Mc that focuses every second of every day to COMBAT excellence will be rejected by America's youth and professional warriors both of whom want to WIN not die in a dysfunctional bureaucracy.


We can no longer cavalierly drive around in rubber-tired trucks because we are inefficiently supplied and want to have a comfortable ride. WAR is not a mirror battlebox of civilian or garrison post military life. WAR is an extreme activity where every second of every day of every month of every year the enemy is trying to KILL YOU and your comrades. Nothing is to be assumed as being "easy" and EVERYONE FIGHTS AND EVERYONE WORKS. There must be no "tail" of Jessica Lynch type units that are not equipped to survive and fight.


The components of the BATTLEBOXTM system solve simultaneously several problems at once and should be viewed in their synergistic entirety and not pidgeon-holed one component at a time by a narrow-minded part of the Army bureaucracy whose status quo "feathers" might be "ruffled". The BATTLEBOXTM whole is far greater than even the sum of its parts. To see the greatest common denominator good that can come of the BATTLEBOXTM system it has to be viewed in its entirety from all disciplines of military thought, strategy, operational art, tactics, logistics and human factors. Military theorist, the late Colonel John Boyd postulated that the best decision-making cycle would be one where you "Observe, Orient, Decide and then Act" or "OODA loop". This construct is fine if the parameters have already been set and you are in a life-or-death FIDO dogfight in your F-86 versus a MIG-15 but its deficient in how to anticipate how future wars will unfold so you can get BETTER PARAMETERS (GIDO) in the first place because its shallow in its thinking. We propose a better decision-making cycle would be:


Observe the situation

Investigate to determine the problems in detail

Understand by honest reflection and research

Experiment with possible solutions

Decide on the greatest possible outcome

Act on the solutions to make them real


These steps are the "classic" steps taught in CAS3, staff school terminated unfortunately are their problem-solving steps:


1. Accurately identify the PROBLEM, not just the symptoms

2. Obtain information that BEARS on the problem itself

3. Develop courses of action (COA)

4. Analyze each course of action

5. Compare (wargame) courses of action against others

6. DECIDE and execute on a course of action

7. Refine and develop the COA


Boyd's OODA loop is embedded in the CAS3 cycle; Observe (steps 1, 2), Orient (gather information, stay FOCUSED, steps 3, 4) DECIDE (step 4,5) and ACT (step 6).


Where do we start?


For a better NLB CONOPS, TRADOC should on a crash-course basis create a demonstrator infantry company equipped with the BATTLEBOXTM system of roughly 30 boxes. Supporting this maneuver unit would be a 2-aircraft BATTLEBOXaircraft detachment in Vigilante 2s.


The BATTLEBOXTM infantry company and aircraft detachment would be mobile 17 light (under 20 tons) tracked armored vehicles adapted from widely available M113 Gavin tracks that would be explosion tested with real 155mm artillery shells at point blank range underneath and alongside, and real rocket propelled grenades to create the MINIMUM MOBILITY STANDARD FOR ALL TROOPS OF ALL UNITS ON THE NLB.


Slapping armor here and there in a patchwork on Humvee SUVs shaped with right 90 degree angles to contain blast effects, 4 door openings, a weak windshield, an open rooftop rolling on 4 air-filled rubber tires easily punctured and set on fire is failing miserably in Iraq. So-called "up-armored" M1114 Humvees which we bought at great expense at $150K each are easily ripped apart by blast effects and the men inside shredded by ball bearings in what troops call "platter charges". Even if you start with an unified armored body and plop it on top on a truck chassis (Stryker) you still have bad shaping to contain the blast, easily shredded and ignited rubber tires that restrict you to roads/trails where you WILL be ambushed and you are 28% larger and heavier than a tracked armored vehicle. We can no longer in the cat vs. mouse deadly game of war squander 28% of our potential armor protection because we want to roll on what we think are easy to maintain and comfortable civilian wheels. If we continue to not keep faith with our men/women in uniform by sending them to war in these wheeled deathtraps we will soon no longer have either an army or a marine corps. Nobody wants to be on a losing team that will get them killed for nothing.


The day of the civilian truck in military garb, like the horse cavalry is over on today's lethal non-linear battlefields dominated by high explosive attacks. General James Gavin realized this after seeing thousands of his men die on foot WW1-style and in trucks in both WW2 and Korea. As Army Chief of Research and Development he created a simple, lightweight baseline bullet protective tracked armored vehicle to fully enclose and protect a squad of men in possibly nuclear blast environments that could swim and fly in aircraft, what we know today as the M113. Today's high explosive attacks focus locally even more destructive power than an atomic bomb from far away; we must start with a fully armored body rolling on go-anywhere tracks in a lightweight form so its affordable for every Soldier to have and can go through open and closed terrains. A lightweight armored track can adapt to the "threat from below" because more armor weight can be modularly added as needed to its robust suspension, drivetrain that spreads the load over a much wider area than narrow rubber-tired wheels. Since the Vietnam war, more American Soldiers/marines have died from landmines and car/truck bombs than any other cause.


Desired End-State


After a demonstrator infantry company and air detachment with 30 BATTLEBOXTM and 17 Gavin tracked vehicle variant systems are proven in force-on-force and live-fire testing, the TRADOC Task Force should present a restructuring plan for both the Army based on these equipment within a new NLB CONOPS. Congress will if asked pass bills containing the necessary funds to completely transform both the Army (and marines if they wake-up) to the NLB BATTLEBOXTM and tracked armored vehicle standard. By 2010 wheeled trucks should comprise less than 1% of the Army and marines.


Anything less than this or similar full adaptation to the NLB will result in continued deterioration and collapse of the moral trust (themis) our people have in their Army and marines. If the above steps are not done both America's Army and marines could have a quality manpower collapse from the destructive direct and indirect forces of continued, ill-conceived combat operations in Iraq/Afghanistan. The next 9/11 attacks upon our homeland may be nuclear, resulting in MILLIONS dead not just a few thousands. If we will not act decisively until we cross this pain threshold, we are failing our people as alleged civic leaders and as human beings.


We hope that you will use either the CAS3 steps or Observe-Investigate-Understand-Experiment then decide and act on our BATTLEBOXTM system to better our Army at the end of your search into all available COTS options.


* BATTLEBOXesTM make everything in the U.S. Army SELF-SUFFICIENT


* BATTLEBOXesTM make everything in the U.S. Army PROTECTIVE


* BATTLEBOXesTM make everything in the U.S. Army MOBILE


* BATTLEBOXesTM make everything in the U.S. Army READY-TO-FIGHT


* BATTLEBOXesTM make everything in the U.S. Army's holistic field living/fighting system RE-USABLE






Mike Sparks




1. M1022A1 Dolly Set manufacturer

CDK Mobile Systems Inc.

P.O. BOX 7631


19803-0631 USA

Tel: (302) 475-6696 • Fax: 6618



2. FLEX-CELL manufacturer


3. Insurgents Are Making Road Bombs More Potent


By Rick Jervis and Dave Moniz, USA Today



U.S. forces in Iraq are encountering more powerful roadside bombs that are sometimes capable of piercing heavily armored Humvees, a marine general said Thursday.


A day earlier, five marines were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb near Ramadi in western Iraq. It was not clear whether that bomb was one of the more powerful “shaped charges.” Such bombs direct the force of the blast in a single direction, which concentrates their

lethal effect.


“We have seen instances in the past, I think probably three since the first of May, where there has been a shaped charge type of weapon developed,” marine Lt. Gen. James Conway, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Pentagon briefing.


A roadside bomb killed five other marines last week.


Insurgents have long been making bombs capable of blasting through some level of armor. But shaped charges increase the chance of penetrating armor. “It's, once again, crude but in some ways effective,” Conway said. Insurgents have also recently increased the number of car and truck bombs they're using against Iraqi security forces and civilians. On the dangerous road to

Baghdad International Airport, a suicide bomber plowed his car Thursday into the back of a truck ferrying Iraqi police officers, killing eight officers and wounding 25.


The violence threatened to overshadow a political development: Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders overcame weeks of disputes and agreed on the makeup of a committee that will draft Iraq's new constitution.


The deal calls for 15 Sunni Arabs to join two already on the 55-member committee. An additional 10 Sunni Arabs will be advisers. The insurgency is primarily an alliance of foreign fighters and Sunni Arabs who are former members of Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party.


Iraq's Shiite-led government hopes to win over the Sunnis and isolate the foreign fighters.


The foreign fighters remain a relatively small part of the insurgency, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, a military spokesman. But their impact is disproportionate because they are behind most of the massive suicide car and truck bombings, he said.


“The foreign fighter is usually the one behind the wheel of a car bomb or any suicide situation,” Alston said during a briefing Thursday in Baghdad. “Not exclusively, but they're the principal ones who exercise that craft. And when they find themselves in close proximity of a crowd, they could have devastating effects.” They have increased the number of car bombings during the past couple months. Car bomb attacks — both suicide and remotely detonated — climbed to 135 in April and 143 in May, a monthly record, Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said. Of the more than 14,000

suspected insurgents in Iraqi prisons, only about 370 are foreigners, Boylan said.Insurgent attacks have killed nearly 1,100 people since the government took office April 28.


On another matter, Alston said that tips to Iraqi authorities resulted in the arrest Tuesday of Mohammed Khalaf, also known as Abu Talha, who was al-Qaeda's leader in northern Mosul. He described the capture as a major defeat for the terrorist group.


Jervis reported from Baghdad, Moniz from Washington. Contributing: Wire Reports


4. U.S. Concerned About Spread of Insurgent Tactics from Iraq to North Africa




Defense News


North Africans are beginning to show up among insurgents in Iraq, raising U.S. concerns that they will carry home tactics and techniques learned from that conflict, two senior U.S. officials said June 17.


Major General Thomas Csrnko, head of U.S. special operations command in Europe, said analysts were still trying to determine where the North Africans came from and who they were affiliated with.


”The potential does exist for individuals or groups to go to Iraq and either conduct operations or receive some of the training,” he said.


”And one of our fears is that if they do get that training and get some of the techniques that are going on Iraq, they could bring that back to Africa,” he said.


Csrnko and U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Allan Roth spoke to reporters by telephone from Senegal where U.S. and African forces are taking part in a three week exercise with nine African countries from across the Sahara region.


More than 700 U.S. special operations troops have been conducting training drills in Algeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad with some 3,000 African troops as part of the Flintlock 05 exercise.


An aim of the exercise is to improve communication among the militaries of the region to prevent the movement of insurgents across their borders.


The United States expects to spend between 30 to 60 million dollars on a trans-Sahara counter-terrorism initiative in 2006, and 100 million dollars a year over the next five years.


”I think one of our concerns is that citizens or personnel from this region are beginning to show up in Iraq, and we would like to see that activity stopped,” said Roth. “Certainly we would hope that by participating in programs like Flintlock host governments in the region would contribute to that effort as well.”


The insurgent group in the region that most concerns the United States is the Salfist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), an Al-Qaeda affiliated organization based in Algeria that claimed responsibility for a raid on a military outpost in Mauritania June 4.


The attackers were reported to have killed 15 Mauritanian soldiers and carried off two hostages as well as an assortment of vehicles and military equipment.


Csrnko said the attack was typical of others carried out by the GSPC in the past, rather than reflecting any new Iraq-inspired tactics.


”They are very mobile, very short engagements, very lethal, and then they take what they can get and then leave. It’s kind of the classic raid type scenario,” he said.


The group primarily has been involved in smuggling within the region, and conducting operations to re-supply itself with weapons, ammunitions and food.


But the U.S. intelligence community raised its rating to the tier reserved for the most threatening terrorist groups after it formally allied itself with Al-Qaeda, the general said.


Csrnko said no insurgent training camps have been identified in the vast Sahara region, but he said the potential is there.


”Of course, if there are individuals that are going to Iraq from northern Africa, then the potential obviously exist that there are training camps, or they are receiving some type of training before they go,” he said.


”Or as I mentioned before, another concern is that they are going to Iraq, receiving training there, and then coming back to Africa,” he said.


5. Slapping armor onto Humvees doesn't work


Army officer in Iraq writes:


"One more note to get rid of wheels. Since the AOA kits have been installed on the M998/M1025/M1026 HMMWV (Ogara Hess), which are just heavy steel slats of plating bolted onto the M1025's,really (no undercarriage protection!), the front suspension has NOT been able to handle the weight and it goes beyond the vehicles limitations on the front end. You see sagging lillies running all over the place here Due to this, and just pure laziness (I'll agree) on DOD's part, the tires have to be changed three time as fast because the camber (inward/outward tilt of the tire) is thrown off due to the springs inability to handle the added armor. To fix this the brackets have to be shimmed out accordingly, but since we have no alignment machines, no one wants to use the old string and block method, and the armoring is an 'in and out as fast as you can' process here, they never bother to order and beef up the suspension at the armament shop at Setiz using the M1114 kits. This taxes the already taxed ORG maintenance guys who are forced, if they can even find the time (which we haven't being too busy keeping the existing fleet FMC and doing services), to do the swap out. Fact is we never get the chance to go that deep into the suspension and problem goes unresolved, just swap the tires and keep on trucking is the attitude.


Bottom Line: A radial HMMWV wheel and runflat will wear out in 1/3rd of its lifetime without the suspensions being upgraded, costing the US taxpayer $900.oo a pop on each tire every two months (average lifespan with alignment out of whack).


Plus the AoA kitted HMMWV's are worthless for anything other than 7.62 rounds.


DOD has put a bandaid on a gaping wound on the AoA kitting of existing M998/M1026/1025 HMMWV fleet."


6. Army officer in Iraq admits Stryker trucks are lemons


Subj: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Date: 6/17/2005 7:32:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: (xxxxxxxxxxxx)







"I agree that the Stryker is useless as an Infantry vehicle, the guys don't like it and parts where a pain in the ass to get and tires a bitch to change and that is enough testimony for me if they are hampered in their ability to inflict lethality quickly and repair recover efficiently,"


7. Notice FCS is only for the heavy units of the Army.


FCS is NOT going to light units that will still ride around in trucks and walk on foot as they get blown up by HE bombs on the NLB. We also know FCS is "concept" rather than "threat" driven in its design ie: its not V-hull shaped to defeat land mines and road-side bombs. FCS is nothing more than trying to preserve the failed and obsolete WW2 style linear status quo with digital means. Roadside bombs as a standard tactic of our enemies will be used against us in nation-state wars so this notion that we can dismiss them once the occupation of Iraq is over is false and dangerous. military/systems/aircraft/jtr.htm


Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR)

Joint Transport Rotorcraft (JTR)


In November 2001 the Army recast the Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR) program as the Air Maneuver Transport (AMT).


The Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR) was intended to replace the service's Boeing CH-47 heavy-lift helicopters and transport a 20-ton FCS without the use of a runway, for some time. Initially known as the Joint Transport Rotocraft (JTR), it was hoped the aircraft could also replace the marine corps' Sikorsky CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters. However, in October 2000 the marine corps decided not to join the program, placing their emphasis on the remanufacture of CH-53.


The US Army is making a radical and revolutionary transformation to create a rapidly deployable force capable of placing 5 divisions anywhere in the world within 30 days. It has earmarked $4.5 billion for a Medium Armored Vehicle, a further $1.8 billion to develop and demonstrate the Future Combat System (FCS) and has plans for a Future Transport Rotorcraft (FTR). Rapid deployment requires armored vehicles capable of being air dropped into tactical positions. This 3-dimensional capability is termed “Airmechanization,” and requires the close integration of armored vehicle and transport aircraft requirements.


FTR is sized to provide assured vertical envelopment capability for a 20 ton FCS. Assured means Army hot day (4,000 ft / 95 degrees F) Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capability to provide over 90% probability of operation, world-wide. FTR sizing mission radius is 500 km with a VTOL initial take-off. The fuel tank is sized to allow a 1,000 km mission radius with a rolling initial take-off and VTOL capability at mission mid-point.


The ability to operate from unprepared surfaces is critical. This places a limit on maximum downwash velocity, which results in the use of rotors or props for lift instead of jets. Rapid (10 to 20 seconds) combat vehicle unload and load times are important to minimize FTR exposure time. This is accomplished by FCS, in robotic mode, operating in a controlled environment inside the aircraft. FTR is designed to be shipboard compatible. It can take-off from and land on current USMC aircraft carriers (LHD). However, it is not designed to fold into a package that fits on the elevator or in the hanger of a LHD.


The longest over-water leg for global deployment is from Travis AFB, CA to Hickham AFB, HI (2,100 nm or 3,900 km). Prevailing winds are unfavorable. It is necessary to fly about 2,400 air nm to cover 2,100 ground nm. FTR can perform a rolling take-off from Travis AFB at a 125% overload gross weight. Additional fuel is carried in auxiliary fuel tanks. FTR can sling load a 22.4 ton MILVAN from a ship at sea level on a hot day (103 degrees F). FTR can lift substantially more at sea level than at 4,000 ft / 95 degrees F.


The longest over-water leg for global deployment from Travis AFB, CA to Hickham AFB, HI (2,100 nm or 3,900 km). Both helicopter and tilt rotor FTR designs can reach Hawaii. The helicopter takes almost twice as long to reach Hawaii and carries 1/3 as much payload. FTR can perform a rolling take-off from Travis AFB at an overload gross weight that is 125% of the VTOL design gross weight. This extra lift allows FTR to carry the additional fuel required, which is carried in auxiliary fuel tanks. FTR also cruises at best altitude instead of the low altitude used on tactical missions. This best altitude is 12,000 ft for the helicopter design and 24,000 ft for the tilt rotor design. The tilt rotor design is pressurized for high altitude operations, while the helicopter only has NBC overpressure.


Technological advances in the areas of rotorcraft drive systems, aero-mechanics, engines and structures can decrease FTR GW by 38 tons from 102 tons to 64 tons over the 5 year period from FY00 to FY05. This dramatic reduction provides a powerful argument to resource the technology programs that can yield the FY05 improvements in time to support a FTR development program. Beyond FY05, GW decrease due to advanced technology is much smaller. The technology improvement is about half as much (5.5% GW vs 12% GW). However, the reduction in GW is less than a quarter as much (9 tons vs 38 tons) because of the nonlinear impact of technology on GW.


The Joint Transport Rotorcraft (JTR) is envisioned as the DoD's next-generation, heavy lift transport platform for both troop and cargo transport missions. The JTR would replace the aging CH-47 Chinook helicopter in the 2015-2020 timeframe and may potentially replace the Navy/marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion. The JTR could provide both operational and tactical mobility to the Objective Force commander. In its current conceptual form, it is being designed to carry the Future Combat Systems (FCS). In addition, it could transport weapons, ammunition equipment, troops and other cargo in support of combat units and operations-other-than-war. Its objective is to provide "hub-to-warrior" VTOL logistics delivery for C-130 size loads. Based on today's state-of-the-art, JTR could either be a helicopter, a tiltrotor, a quad-tiltrotor, or any other advanced rotorcraft configuration.


Currently, JTR is a FY0007 Army Science and Technology (S&T) program. It is a key part of the larger DoD FY0010 rotorcraft S&T program, structured to provide the rotor, flight control, airframe, propulsion, drivetrain, crew station and survivability technologies required to meet DoD needs. The JTR goals are envisioned to include the following:


* Reduce structural weight by 20-25%

* Increase cruise efficiency by 20-25%

* Reduce specific fuel consumption by 40%

* Reduce drivetrain weight by 35%

* Increase maneuverability/agility by 100%

* Reduce life-cycle costs by 25-50%.


The purpose of the Improved Cargo Helicopter CH-47F (ICH) is to bridge the gap until funding is available for a new start (FY 2020 timeframe) cargo program, the Joint Transport Rotorcraft (JTR). The ICH concept began to materialize in the early 1990's following Desert Storm. The initial concept was a four bladed system called Aerial Cargo Transport (ACT) with long range external fuel tanks, internal cargo handling system, and low maintenance rotor system (dry hub). This concept was dropped as being too expensive. At full production, the program will complete 26 modernized Chinooks each year through 2013 and employ 750-1,000 people. If the future transport rotorcraft doesn't have the technology or if the Army doesn't have the funding to reach that end state, individual improvements of the CH-47 will give that longevity to go further past the requirement for the future transport rotorcraft. If JTR is delayed, as many as 400 CH-47Ds may be upgraded to ICH standards.


8. Many Iraqis want us to leave NOW


Friday, June 24, 2005

Iraq Occupation: This war can't be won



The questions about U.S. presence in Iraq aren't about winning or losing. The driving factor must be improving, protecting and respecting the lives of the Iraqi people.


Those are people such as Hassan Juma Awad and Faleh Abood Umara, two oil worker union leaders from the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Visiting Seattle with the King County Labor Council yesterday, the two men had no doubt about what the United States can do next to help their country recover from the reign of Saddam Hussein, whom Awad refers to as "a criminal, in capital letters."


The occupation, they believe, must end. And withdrawal must be followed by a massive rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure, with U.S. support.


Iraq poses thorny questions not just for the family men from Iraq but also for policy-makers worldwide. An international conference in Brussels this week produced more good words about cooperation in rebuilding but no new plans for genuinely internationalizing the occupation, setting a timetable for U.S. withdrawal or considering a rapid pullout.

The Bush administration is revving up its media manipulation machinery with a new push on "winning" in Iraq. In the latest sales pitch for why we are there, President Bush says, in effect, that Americans are fortunate to have drawn terrorists into a fight on somebody else's soil.

His neocon policy advisers have been wrong about almost everything else in Iraq. They foisted this war on the United States and the world with patently false assertions not just about weapons of mass destruction. The increasingly famous Downing Street memo only hints at the scope of mass deception. The neocons also spread absolute fantasies about how we would be greeted in Iraq, how many troops would be needed to establish security and how much time, money and blood would be spent in an occupation.


Whatever elements of truth may exist in the latest PR pitch about foreign fighters in Iraq, U.S. convenience alone can't justify our presence there. As is hard to remember when watching pictures of destruction from Iraq, that land is the home of real people like Awad, Umara, their wives and their children.


Awad and Umara, who had a cousin executed by the deposed dictator, have no doubt that their country can do better at governing and reuniting itself if the United States were to leave immediately. They could be naïve or wrong. But they think that it is the United States that is being misled, again, with the talk of fighting jihadists on their soil. If the United States has good intentions toward Iraq, we must ask ourselves -- and Iraqis -- what the overall effect of occupation is on the Iraqi people.


9. Rebels Build Bigger Bombs


New York Times

August 4, 2005


Insurgents Using Bigger, More Lethal Bombs, U.S. Officers Say


By David S. Cloud


The explosion that killed 14 marines in Haditha yesterday was powerful enough to flip the 25-ton amphibious assault vehicle they were riding in, in keeping with an increasingly deadly trend, American military officers say.


In recent months the roadside bombs favored by insurgents in Iraq have grown significantly in size and sophistication, the officers say, adding to their deadliness and defeating efforts to increase troops' safety by adding armor to vehicles.


The new problems facing the military were displayed more than a week earlier, on July 23, when a huge bomb buried on a road southwest of Baghdad Airport detonated an hour before dark underneath a Humvee carrying four American Soldiers.


The explosive device was constructed from a bomb weighing 500 pounds or more that was meant to be dropped from an aircraft, according to military explosives experts, and was probably Russian in origin.


The blast left a crater 6 feet deep and nearly 17 feet wide. All that remained of the armored vehicle afterward was the twisted wreckage of the front end, a photograph taken by American officers at the scene showed. The four Soldiers were killed.


And what happened in the aftermath of the July 23 attack provided further cause for alarm.


A British explosives expert, part of a special squad formed to investigate major insurgent bomb attacks, stepped on a second, smaller bomb buried near the first and was badly wounded, two American officers said. He later had an arm and a leg amputated. A third device, hidden a

few yards away, was found and defused.


"This was a catastrophic event," said Sgt. Jason Knapp, an Air Force bomb technician who arrived at the scene of the multiple attacks the next morning. He found a foot from one of the American Soldiers in the shallow water of a nearby canal. "It was pretty disturbing," he said.


Military personnel involved said the attack last month indicated to them that a new and deadly bomb-making cell singling out American patrols was operating near the large allied military base at the airport, an area that two officers said had seen little insurgent activity in months.


There was further evidence for that on Saturday. Less than a mile from the July 23 attack, four more American Soldiers were killed when their Humvee was struck by another hidden bomb.


From the earliest days of the insurgency there has been a constantly evolving battle of wits between insurgent bombers and Soldiers trying to stop the roadside bombs and suicide attacks.


As the threat from bombs and suicide attacks has grown, the Pentagon has rushed 24,000 armored Humvees to Iraq since late 2003. But the insurgents have responded by building bombs powerful enough to penetrate the vehicles' steel plating.


Senior American commanders say they have also seen evidence that insurgents are making increased use of "shaped" charges, which concentrate the blast and give it a better chance of penetrating armored vehicles, causing higher casualties.


Bomb-making techniques used by the anti-Israeli militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon have increasingly begun appearing in roadside bombs in Iraq. A senior American commander said bombs using shaped charges closely matched the bombs that Hezbollah used against Israel.


"Our assessment is that they are probably going off to school" to learn how to make bombs that can destroy armored vehicles, the officer said.


As the military has begun conducting post-bombing investigations, insurgents have increasingly been planting multiple devices at the same location, apparently to disrupt investigative teams sent to the blast site, or at least delay their work while they clear the site of any secondary bombs.


The British officer wounded investigating the site, whose name has not been released, was a member of the Combined Exploitation Cell, an American-led organization charged with identifying the insurgent bomb-makers, using clues recovered at bomb sites.


The organization is composed of specialists from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as from Britain and Australia.


The commander of the unit, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Kelly of the Navy, declined to comment on the incident, except to say that there was evidence that those who had set the first and the second bombs were thought to be connected.


In addition to the recent attacks in Haditha and near the airport, 10 marines were killed in two separate incidents in western Iraq in June when their armored Humvees were destroyed by roadside bombs, officials said.


Sometimes improvised explosive devices, known as I.E.D.'s, are placed in the open to draw in American disposal units. "A lot of times they plant fake I.E.D.'s and wait until you come on site to open up," said Sgt. Burnell Zachary. "Once the mortar rounds stop, the drive-bys come."


Last week, as an American bomb team was defusing a bomb in the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Amiriya in Baghdad, a passing black BMW opened fire on the unit and its security detail, according to an after-action report. An Iraqi police detachment that was providing

security for the team returned fire and struck the passenger in the car in the chest, the report said.


A few blocks away, American snipers were watching an Iraqi man who was stacking rocks along a street that the bomb disposal unit would drive down as it was leaving the neighborhood, according to the report. They suspected that he was building a hiding place for a bomb.


"Snipers engaged and killed the individual, who appeared to be emplacing an I.E.D.," the report says.


At best, American Soldiers familiar with the bomb problem say, they may be able to reduce the number of attacks, which average around 65 a day against Iraqis and Americans troops, and hand over the fight to Iraqi security forces sometime next year.


"It's not realistic to think we will stop this," says Sgt. Daniel McDonnell, who leads a three-man team of explosives technicians responsible for finding and defusing improvised explosive devices in Baghdad. "We're fighting an enemy that goes home at night and doesn't wear uniforms. But we can get it to an acceptable level."


Americans directly engaged in the fight say that while they are having some success at tracking down some of the perpetrators, there is a steady supply of Iraqis willing to set bombs for a small amount of money.


At least four Army bomb technicians have been killed by such hidden bombs this year, according to Capt. Gregory Hirschey, a company commander in the 717th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Battalion.


10. Michael Moss, NYT reporter's excellent article on V-hull shaped armored vehicles


June 26, 2005


Safer Vehicles for Soldiers: A Tale of Delays and Glitches



When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited Iraq last year to tour the Abu Ghraib prison camp, military officials did not rely on a government-issued Humvee to transport him safely on the ground. Instead, they turned to Halliburton, the oil services contractor, which lent the Pentagon a rolling fortress of steel called the Rhino Runner.


State Department officials traveling in Iraq use armored vehicles that are built with V-shaped hulls to better deflect bullets and bombs. Members of Congress favor another model, called the M1117, which can endure 12-pound explosives and .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds.


Unlike the Humvee, the Pentagon's vehicle of choice for American troops, the others were designed from scratch to withstand attacks in battlefields like Iraq with no safe zones. Last fall, for instance, a Rhino traveling the treacherous airport road in Baghdad endured a bomb that left a six-foot-wide crater. The passengers walked away unscathed. "I have no doubt should I have been in any other vehicle," wrote an Army captain, the lone military passenger, "the results would have been catastrophically different."


Yet more than two years into the war, efforts by United States military units to obtain large numbers of these stronger vehicles for Soldiers have faltered - even as the Pentagon's program to armor Humvees continues to be plagued by delays, an examination by The New York Times has found.


Many of the problems stem from a 40-year-old procurement system that stymies the acquisition of new equipment quickly enough to adapt to the changing demands of a modern insurgency, interviews and records show.


Among other setbacks, the M1117 lost its Pentagon money just before the invasion, and the manufacturer is now scrambling to fill rush orders from the military. The company making one of the V-shaped vehicles, the Cougar, said it had to lay off highly skilled welders last year as it waited for the contract to be completed. Even then it was paid only enough to fill half the order.


And the Rhino could not get through the Army's testing regime because its manufacturer declined to have one of its $250,000 vehicles blown up. The company said it provided the Army with testing data that demonstrate the Rhino's viability, and is using the defense secretary's visit as a seal of approval in its contract pitches to the Defense Department.


Many officials in the military and the government say the demands of war sometimes require the easing of procurement requirements like testing, and express frustration at the slow process for getting equipment.


"When you have troops in the field in a dynamic environment, where the tactics of the opposition are changing on a regular basis, you have to be nimble and quick," said Representative Rob Simmons, a Connecticut Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "If you're not nimble and quick and adaptable, people will die."


Nearly a decade ago, the Pentagon was warned by its own experts that superior vehicles would be needed to protect American troops. The Army's vehicle-program manager urged the Pentagon in 1996 to move beyond the Humvee, interviews and Army records show, saying it was built for the cold war. Its flat-bottom-chassis design is 25 years old, never intended for combat, and the added armor at best protects only the front end from the heftier insurgent bombs, military officials concede.


But as the procurement system stumbled and the Defense Department resisted allocating money for more expensive vehicles, interviews and records show, the military ended up largely dependent on Humvees - a vast majority of which did not yet have any armor - in both combat and noncombat operations in the war.


Today, commuting from post to post in Iraq is one of the deadliest tasks for soldiers. At least 73 American military personnel were killed on the roads of Iraq in May and June as insurgent attacks spiked. In May alone, there were 700 bombings against American forces, the most since the invasion in March 2003. Late Thursday, a suicide car bomber killed five marines and a sailor in a convoy of mostly female marines who were returning to camp in Falluja. Thirteen others were injured. Officials said the vehicles most likely included a seven-ton truck.


Last winter, 135 convoys were attacked on the Baghdad airport road alone, and even the most fully armored Humvee is no longer safe from the increasingly powerful insurgency bombs.


marine corps generals last week disclosed in a footnote to their remarks to Congress that two of their best-armored Humvees were destroyed, while a marine spokeswoman in Iraq said five marines riding in one such Humvee were killed this month in a roadside bomb attack.


Still, thousands of Humvees in Iraq do not have this much protection.


The Pentagon has repeatedly said no vehicle leaves camp without armor. But according to military records and interviews with officials, about half of the Army's 20,000 Humvees have improvised shielding that typically leaves the underside unprotected, while only one in six Humvees used by the marines is armored at the highest level of protection.


The Defense Department continues to rely on just one small company in Ohio to armor Humvees. And the company, O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt, has waged an aggressive campaign to hold onto its exclusive deal even as soaring rush orders from Iraq have been plagued by delays. The marine corps, for example, is still awaiting the 498 armored Humvees it sought last fall, officials told The Times.


In January, when military officials tried to speed production by buying the legal rights to the armor design so they could enlist other venders to help, O'Gara demurred, calling the move a threat to its "current and future competitive position," according to e-mail records obtained from the Army.


Defense Department officials defended their efforts in supplying troops with armored vehicles, saying they have managed to convert a largely unarmored fleet into one in which every vehicle in combat has some level of shielding.


"We are constantly assessing and making the necessary adjustments to make sure they have the best possible protection this country can provide," said a Pentagon spokesman, Bryan G. Whitman, adding that no amount of armor would defeat the insurgency's biggest bombs. He said Mr. Rumsfeld had ridden in many types of vehicles, including Humvees, and "travels in whatever vehicle the commander feels is appropriate."


The Defense Department created a task force last winter that is charged with revamping its entire fleet of light vehicles, including the Humvee.


Some say these efforts, however resolute, will suffer if the Pentagon does not also overhaul its underlying procurement system.


"There's been a confluence of factors that colluded to keep this system hidebound," said Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon's comptroller until May 2004. "It's going to take a joint effort by Congress and the executive branch working in good faith, and I underline good faith, to bring about a change."


Old Problems, New Details


By the time an Army National Guard member complained to Mr. Rumsfeld in December that troops were still scrounging for steel to fortify their Humvees, the Pentagon's troubles with armoring vehicles had been years in the making.


The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of insurgencies more than a decade earlier had changed the dynamics of war for American troops. The problem came into bloody relief in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 when militia members cornered and killed 18 American Soldiers who were trying to capture a warlord's top assistants using Black Hawk helicopters and unarmored Humvees.


At an Army command center in Warren, Mich., John D. Weaver saw the events unfold and set out to revamp the light-vehicle program that he managed.


One option came from executives at O'Gara, who proposed adding the extra steel shielding to Humvees. Mr. Weaver praised the effort but foresaw some flaws, he said in interviews.


Because the Humvee's hull is flat, its underbelly absorbs the force of blasts more readily than combat vehicles with angled bodies.


Moreover, the chassis can carry only so much armor, leaving the rear more exposed.


And while land mines were the biggest threat at the time, Mr. Weaver said his group began worrying about a more insidious one: a fragmentation mine called the M-18 Claymore.


Developed by the United States for the Vietnam War, the device can be remotely detonated to hurl its 700 steel spheres at any part of a passing vehicle - much like the improvised devices that insurgents are using in Iraq.


That means the armored Humvee is vulnerable to a timed attack that focuses on its underbelly or rear, Mr. Weaver said.


Its box shape also makes it less able to deflect low-flying bullets.


"We need to invest more in the details of the design, to integrate state-of-the-art material, which, while costing more, weighs less and provides greater levels of protection," Mr. Weaver wrote in a paper presented to the Army's 1996 armor conference at Fort Knox, Ky. "Finally, we must overcome the paradigm that wheels are cheap and 'throw away.' The vehicle may be, but the occupants are not."


By 1997, when Mr. Weaver left his post, he was helping draft an Army mandate requiring new vehicles like the M1117. "I'm not sure anybody got their arms around what was needed," he said.


By 1999, the Army began buying a limited number of M1117's. Three years later, it canceled the program.


At roughly $700,000 each, the M1117 is considerably more expensive than the current $140,000 price for an armored Humvee.


"This decision is based upon budget priorities," Claude M. Bolton Jr., an assistant Army secretary, wrote to Congress in 2002. Existing vehicles, he added, can be used instead "without exposing our Soldiers to an unacceptable level of risk."


Yet the military was reluctant to mass-produce the armored Humvee, with many in the Army agreeing that the vehicle made little tactical sense.


By the time the Iraq war started, the Army had been ordering only 360 armored Humvees a year.


"We never intended to up-armor all the Humvees," said Les Brownlee, who was the acting Army secretary from 2001 until late last year.


"The Humvee is a carrier and derives its advantage from having cross-country mobility, and when you load it down with armor plating, you lose that."


But just months into the war in Iraq, it was lives the Pentagon was losing, and it reached for the quickest solution.


Clinging to a Contract


What the Defense Department thought would be the easiest option turned out otherwise.


The Humvee chassis is rapidly made on a vast assembly line near South Bend, Ind., by AM General. But before its vehicles can be rushed to Iraq, they are trucked four and a half hours to O'Gara's shop in Fairfield, in southern Ohio - which had 94 people armoring one Humvee a day when the war began. There, the Humvees are partly dismantled so the armor can be added.


"Clearly, if you could have started from scratch you wouldn't be doing it that way," Mr. Brownlee said in a recent interview.


In February 2004, Mr. Brownlee visited the O'Gara plant and asked the company to increase production, gradually pushing its monthly output to 450 from 220 vehicles. The Defense Department also wanted to contract with other companies to make armor.


Determined to hold onto its exclusive contract, O'Gara began lobbying Capitol Hill. Among those it drew to its side was Brian T. Hart, an outspoken father of a soldier who was killed in October 2003 while riding in a Humvee. Early last year, as a guest on a national radio show, Mr. Hart urged the Pentagon to involve more armor makers. Two weeks later a lobbyist for O'Gara approached him.


"He informed me that the company had more than enough capacity," Mr. Hart says. "There was no need to second-source."


Mr. Hart then redirected his efforts to help the company push Congress into forcing the Pentagon to buy more armored Humvees. With support from both parties, the company has received more than $1 billion in the past 18 months in military armoring contracts.


Meanwhile, the Army did not give up on trying to speed production by involving more armor makers. Brig. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly said several armor companies were eager to be part of a plan to produce armored Humvees entirely on AM General's assembly line.


In January, when it asked O'Gara to name its price for the design rights for the armor, the company balked and suggested instead that the rights be placed in escrow for the Army to grab should the company ever fail to perform.


"Let's try this again," an Army major replied to the company in an e-mail message. "The question concerned the cost, not a request for an opinion."


The Army has dropped the matter for now, General O'Reilly said, adding that he hoped to have other companies making armor by next April.


Robert F. Mecredy, president of the aerospace and defense group at Armor Holdings, the parent company of O'Gara, acknowledged that the company was protecting its commercial interests. But, he said, the company has proved it can do the Humvee work and he blamed the Defense Department for delays. Military officials concede that it sometimes took months for requests made in Iraq to filter through the Defense Department. O'Gara says it has armored nearly 7,200 Humvees since the war began, and while there is a persistent need for more in Iraq, the company stresses that the Pentagon keeps changing its orders: from 3,600 in the fall of 2003 to 8,105 last year to more than 10,000 today.


Asked why the marine corps is still waiting for the 498 Humvees it ordered last year, O'Gara acknowledged that it told the marines it was backed up with Army orders, and has only begun filling the marines' request this month. But the company says the marine corps never asked it to rush.


The marine corps denies this, but acknowledges that it did not get the money to actually place the order until this February. Officials now say they need to buy 2,600 to replace their Humvees in Iraq that still have only improvised armor.


Beyond the Humvee


With insurgents using increasingly powerful bombs and bullets, American troops in Iraq have been looking beyond the Humvee.


When the marine corps returned to Iraq last year, it settled on the Cougar as a superior vehicle to perform one of its main jobs: searching the roads for improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.'s. The Cougar can take more than twice the explosive punch as the armored Humvee and deflect .50-caliber armor piercing bullets. British troops had used the vehicle during the invasion.


The marines used a new ordering method called the Urgent Universal Need Statement, which allows it to skip competitive bidding, to speed the process, officials said.


Even at that, the marines corps took two months to complete a product study, its records show. The contract took two more months to prepare. By then, one of its units in Iraq, Company E of the first marine division, was suffering the highest casualty rate of the war; more than half of the 21 marines killed were riding in Humvees with improvised armor or none at all.


When the Cougar order was completed in April 2004, the marine corps got only enough money from the Iraq war fund to buy 15 of the 27 Cougars it wanted. "This start-stop game is driving everybody nuts," Michael Aldrich, an executive with the Cougar's maker, Force Protection, said in a recent interview.


marine corps officials, who have high praise for the Cougars they have, said they needed to move cautiously for fear of overwhelming the company, which had only 39 workers. It now has 250 and is racing to fill a new order for 122 Cougars, at $630,000 apiece, by next February.


"I think we are moving about as fast as we could move," Mr. Aldrich said. "It's the chicken and egg. If you don't have the order you can't make the investment, and there are extremely long lead times" on the components.


Wars are always tricky affairs for military contractors that are asked to ramp up overnight. But for this and other makers of armored vehicles, the Iraq war has been especially challenging.


To get Congress's attention last year, Mr. Aldrich compiled maps that showed the number of troops from each state who had died in Iraq in vehicles that were inadequately armored.


"I got some very open pupils and a couple of gasps and a couple of questions on who I had showed this to," said Mr. Aldrich, who presented his findings during the fall election campaign when the issue of equipping troops became a focus of intense debate. "The Republicans wanted to know if I showed it to the Democrats, and the Democrats wanted to know if I showed it to the Republicans."


The M1117, made by Textron in Louisiana, had advocates in that state's senators, who told Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, in a September 2003 letter that the vehicle was superior to the armored Humvee in blast and bullet protection.


Still, the M1117 did not shake off its 2002 cancellation until last summer, when the Army began placing a series of orders totaling 290. The company, which will make 16 vehicles this month, has been asked to more than triple that pace by next March, Textron officials said.


Labock Technologies, which makes the Rhino Runner in Israel, thought it had the best advertising ever. Besides posting photographs of Mr. Rumsfeld aboard the Rhino at Abu Ghraib, the company has pictures of a shackled Saddam Hussein going to court last summer, with the headline: "So safe. ... some V.I.P. won't ride anything else."


The Defense Department says some military personnel are using the privately owned Rhinos that run the gantlet of bombs on the airport road. But with the Army not accepting the company's test results, and Labock not wanting to destroy a Rhino on the chance of getting orders, some Soldiers in Iraq are doing their own lobbying.


Last month, the company says, an Army colonel and two other Soldiers at Camp Victory in Baghdad picked up a satellite phone and called Labock at its Florida office to pepper the company with questions about performance, price and how fast it could deliver.


Mark Dunlap, a company executive, said in recounting the exchange, "They said they would run it up their chain of command."


11. AirWAter Machines: water from air humidity


Brent Lobel

Len MacElvey

0415 585616 07 5529 3666


Extracting Water from the Air


Without water, humans cannot live. Since time began, we have lived by the water and vast tracts of waterless land have been abandoned as too difficult to inhabit. A new machine which extracts water from air could change that … One evening 20 years ago, James J Reidy checked on his new dehumidifier and as he poured the contents down the drain, he reflected on how pure it looked. Two decades on, the idea which was spawned from that moment could influence where and how people live on Planet Earth. Reidy’s idea was simple – it is possible to extract drinking water from the air and there is a market for machines which can do it.


Reidy’s technology is now becoming commercially available and the AirWater machines will be sold in many sizes, producing from 20 litres (AUD$1300 inc GST) to 5,000 liters per day (AUD$160,000 inc), with the option to run machines greater than 50 liters a day capacity from solar power. The 5,000 liter machine with solar power costs AUD$250,000 but the only things it requires are sun and air, and they are both free, so running costs amount to maintenance and

capital expenses.


Obtaining water from the atmosphere is nothing new - since the beginning of time, nature’s continuous cycle of evaporation and condensation in the form of rain or snow (the Hydrologic Cycle) has been the sole source and means of regenerating wholesome water for all forms of life on earth.


At any given moment, the earth’s atmosphere contains 4,000 cubic miles of water, which is just .000012% of the 344 million cubic miles of water on earth. Nature maintains this ratio via evaporation and condensation, irrespective of the activities of man.


The availability of drinking water is a global problem - there is a global US$15 billion bottled water market, a US$100 billion point-of-use water treatment industry, and wherever practical, expensive desalination plants with huge infrastructures and severe geographical restrictions. All of these methods require traditional sources of water and each has inherent weaknesses and disadvantages.


In spite of the above there exists a pent-up, insatiable, world-wide need for new sources of drinking water. AirWater machines could be the answer as they offer an inexhaustible source of safe sterilized drinking water.

Basically, the AirWater System, regardless of the model size, sterilizes each drop of water within 5-6 seconds of its formation by exposure to ultra-violet light. UV light waves fracture the DNA strands within bacteria, virus, and other micro-organisms which kills them instantly.


This sterilized water is then passed through a unique patented 1-micron activated carbon water filter. (The average size of bacteria is 5 microns). This filter removes any possible solid particles, toxic chemicals, volatile organics, and other contaminates as well as any odors, taste, or discoloration. This filtration is followed by a 2nd UV exposure and sterilization.


The same bulb bathes the exit port, also patented, in UV light creating a sterile exit. The AirWater System maintains an enclosed sterile environment throughout its water treatment, from the first drop in to the last drop out -- into a water tank or removable container.


The system is particularly effective in areas often regarded as arid, but where there is actually a lot of moisture in the air. In those climates the machine can charge all day in the sun, and produce water all night when the air is moist. The production of AirWater machines will initially be done in Brazil, Israel and China with a distinct possibility that Australia could also become one of the manufacturing hubs.

Private Murphy's View

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Army Artillery expert and Vietnam combat vet, LTC Larry Altersitz writes:

"I suggested to the Field Artillery they put the Bn TOCs in band tracked vans towed by M577s to avoid the tent city syndrome and provide a little more protection and speed for a TOC. Notice the alacrity with which they jumped on the idea.

No bn or higher TOC should be in tents unless it's a very light infantry bn. Use permanent trailers, configured for operational work, connected by fiber optic cable, under some light armor for any Hqs. Saves set-up/tear-down time, allows mobility to keep up with the fastest ground elements and doesn't wear out the troops with being part of a circus.

Since the ISO containers aren't carrying great weights, it might be easier to have several configured for bn or higher level staffs and towed by a single prime mover. No playing with expanding walls, setting up supports underneath the expanded portion, everything in its own place with no movement, hard wired, etc. Link them with fiber-optic cables and a local TV network for that important 'eye contact' via big screen displays. Far easier to disperse the containers and run cabling between them to reduce a target signature.

And put an antenna farm a km or so away from the TOC, so that a DF system doesn't call a single MRL launcher to plaster your location with cheap rockets. Ditto the generators, to reduce signature even more. If you use solar panels for some power, cover them with 'tan thru' swimsuit material to reduce reflection."


Last Dingo comments:

"About other containers; they're nice, but they also have limits. I think a command centre shouldn't be installed in boxes. It should consist of easily (5min setup) networked MilSpec laptops, external 17" flat monitors, two (map) printers (UV and water protection inclusive), to laptops with external hubs for glass-fiber cable connections to several spaced directional radio, short wavelength and satellite comm. radios, two electricity generator some folding stools and folding tables and easily fit into a civilian house (supermarket and such). Same equipment with different softwares should be used from company up to corps level, just varying in the long-range communication assets. Software-based is the key. It hurts to read that special equipment instead of a software upgrade is used to implement BFT, Predator movie download for infantry company HQ and such."

An USAF MSGT writes:

"I sent the following to SFTT, then thought of your site. If we are going to stay where bad folks use mortars, using stock or custom ISO boxes potted in reinforced concrete is too nice not to adopt. These things are terrific instant buildings, and un-potted units are all over the ME.

On the home front, I'm going to get more (I have two so far) for myself. Even camo'ed the street side so it attractively blends with my trees and the neighbors don't complain.

Texas barriers don't provide overhead cover.

Not being at Balad I don't know how many ISO 20 and 40 foot shipping containers are handy, but they are common in the Middle East. If supplies are delivered in them keeping the container would also let the delivering truck travel light on the way back to port. Containers would make a good internal form for a poured-in-place concrete bunker and act as an anti-spall liner after the concrete cures. To pour in place a set of mobile forms and a concrete pump would do the trick. If you have mixer trucks and no pump a ramp trailer pulled next to the form might do the job. Adding doors, power, etc. to these containers onsite before "bunkerising" would be simple, using basic home shop-level power tools (I have a nice personal shop I made from a 40'x 9' 6" High Cube version) and a welder. Appropriate holes for standard HVAC pack hoses would be easy to cut.

Custom buildings made from ISO boxes are used by industry world-wide, and joining multiple containers makes for some versatile structures.

Another option would be to pour a reinforced concrete "cap" that would bridge two Texas Barriers and bolt to rods cast or anchored in their tops. With this combination you could protect trailers, ISO boxes, or vehicles.

With all the barrier "walls" we've poured since 1990, a "roof" using them is so obvious it's been overlooked..."

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