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BATTERY LACK ALMOST PULLED PLUG ON IRAQ WAR

Major combat missions during Gulf War II almost ground to a halt -- because of a shortage of batteries.The BA 5590 non-rechargeable battery is the militarys most widely used portable power source, juicing up all kinds of communications gear. They power items like the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) radios, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) alarms."We literally [came] within days of running out of these batteries," Navy Capt. Clark Driscoll, with the Defense Contract Management Agency, tells National Defense magazine.The shortage was a "near-term disaster," he adds. Only a quick war kept the military from running out of batteries completely.The Marines alone were using 3,028 of the BA 5590s per day. They eventually had to ask over 30 countries for enough batteries to last the war.

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