Armor: June 16, 2001

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The army's new Medium Brigades are coming along quite well, despite the gloom and doom you'll see in the media and chat rooms. The criticisms that are still rattling around are way off base. For example, the idea behind the Medium Brigades was not to replace M-1 tanks and M-2 infantry vehicles with LAVs (wheeled light armored vehicles.) The plan has always been to upgrade the current light infantry brigades to medium brigades. This is much appreciated by the light infantry, who heretofore were expected to fly off to a hot spot with no armored vehicles and light weapons. The LAVs give them more punch and protection. There are still a lot of tanks out there, many operated by nations hostile to the United States. And now, for the first time in history, it's America that has the world's best tank (the M-1.) No one in the army wants to give away that advantage, even if it can take weeks to get M-1s to a distant battle zone (by ship.) Meanwhile, the real debate among the medium brigade crowd is exactly what weapons to put on the LAVs. But that's another story.

 


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