Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army Plans On Stockpiling Thousands Of Artillery Shells Ahead Of The Next Big War
The Army plans to buy nearly 150,000 artillery shells next fiscal year as soldiers train to fight conventional wars again.
The Army’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget calls for purchasing an eye-popping 148,297 155mm shells, including 1,189 GPS-guided Excalibur rounds designed for use in danger-close situations, officials told reporters on Tuesday. The order reflects a 825% increase from the 16,573 155mm shells the Army planned on purchasing this fiscal year.
“We are training to fight a decisive-action conflict,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Chamberlain, the Army’s budget director.
Artillery rounds and other munitions expire after a certain period of time and must be regularly replaced, said Jack Daniels, Deputy Assistant Army Secretary for Plans, Programs and Resources. Soldiers also use munitions during training, he said.
“Most of the units in theater for the last 15 years have been operating in a COIN [counterinsurgency] environment — not a lot of call for heavy munitions,” Daniels told reporters at a media roundtable.
As Army units begin to be organized to fight conventional wars again, soldiers will need more artillery shells with which to train, Daniels said. The Army also needs to fire artillery shells to test new weapons systems, such as a counter-fire radar.
The Trump administration considers great powers such as Russia and China a greater threat to U.S. security than terrorist groups. Indeed, the U.S. Army has rotated units through Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression since 2014, and the service’s fiscal 2019 budget calls for pre-positioning 40 Abrams tanks, 66 armored multi-purpose vehicles, and 61 Bradley fighting vehicles in Europe in 2020 or 2021, according to Army’s deputy budget director Davis Welch.
Given the perceived need to prepare for a conventional war, the Army is purchasing the new 155mm shells to replenish wartime reserves and build up stockpiles in theater, Welch said on Tuesday.
“We have a lot of munitions, but not enough munitions that are sitting there in ammo holding areas and in theater stocks, Welch said on Tuesday. “So this is just building back out those stockage levels.”
This 825% increase in the number of 155mm shells does not indicate that the service has an ammunition shortage, officials emphasized on Tuesday, and Welch said the Army still has hundreds of tons of munitions stockpiled ranging from ammunition for small arms to anti-tank rounds.
“There is enough ammunition for us to fight tonight,” Chamberlain said.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.