Trucks, Stat!

The 190,000-strong Army Reserve needs trucks, and bad. So says new Army Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz when I interviewed him a few weeks back.We have provided a lot of equipment to [the Iraqi] theater that has remained. That creates shortages on this [stateside] end.He's talking about up-armored Humvees and FMTV trucks, mostly -- new stuff that's interchangeable with the active Army's equipment. Even before it started giving away equipment in Iraq, the Reserve's vehicle fleet was pretty decrepit overall. Now it's getting worse, even as the need for trucks grows with the increasing importance of military forces in domestic disaster relief.wackyreservist.jpgWe still have deuce-and-a-half trucks ... Weve got to get that equipment replaced, Stultz says.Hence this breaking news from Inside Defense:

The service also is in line for major truck purchases should the Pentagon's plans [for a new $50-billion supplemental] win the approval of Congress. The documents show the Army wants $614.7 million for Humvees, with more than $422 million of that total slated for the National Guard and Army Reserve; $220 million for Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks, all for the reserves; and $201.5 million for reserve Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles trucks.
Equipment shortages notwithstanding, Stultz is pushing to make the Reserve more relevant, continuing his predecessors initiative to boost civil affairs units while cutting back on support formations that are less often deployed. Remaining support units will consolidate into modular sustainment brigades that complement active brigades.At the same time, the Reserve is eliminating non-deployable forces. Where once the Reserve maintained ten static regional headquarters to raise and train troops, now it is standing up "functional" commands devoted to particular dimensions of warfighting. There will be separate deployable headquarters for engineers, military policemen, aviators and so on.In todays Army Reserve, even training divisions -- once solely dedicated to stateside missions -- are in Iraq training native security forces.It's an exciting time to be in the Reserve, but only if you don't mind riding around in a 50-year-old truck.Want to see sexy pics of trucks in Iraq? Proceed to my Flickr!--David Axe
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