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The Army admits that its brand new JLTV was designed for the last war
The secretary of the Army said today that the service could not rule out future cuts to the service's new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program — a vehicle that he said was essentially designed for the last war, not the next.
In March, the Army announced it would cut funding in the proposed fiscal 2020 budget for its new, high-performance JLTV to free up money for future modernization projects. The Army plans to buy only 2,530 JLTVs in the fiscal 2020 budget request, compared to last year's purchase of 3,393.
"We will have a mixed fleet of Humvees and JLTVs; we know that, and we will buy a lot of JLTVs, we know that too. But I can't tell you today whether the cut we made in this budget is the last or not," Army Secretary Mark Esper told a group of reporters today at the Pentagon
The JLTV and the CH-47 Chinook Block II were among 93 programs Army senior leaders selected for cuts over the next five years to help free up billions of dollars for its bold modernization strategy.
The Army had initially planned to buy 49,000 JLTVs, but Esper said it may now be more than a year before the service knows the total number of JLTVs it will purchase.
The original 49,000-vehicle requirement was first decided before the new National Defense Strategy came out and shifted the U.S. military's focus away from the Middle East, Esper said.
Likewise, the CH-47 Block II helicopters were designed to fly heavier payload in a hotter climate, Esper said.
"And what was the heavier payload? JLTV," Esper said. "What drove JLTV? [Improvised explosive devices] in Afghanistan and Iraq, and because the MRAPs were too big and too heavy.
"They were, in many ways, designed for a different conflict. It doesn't mean we won't use them in future conflicts, but now my emphasis has to be rebuilding my armor, rebuilding my fighting vehicles, having aircraft that can penetrate Russian and Chinese air defenses and shoot down Russian and Chinese drones and missiles and helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft."
As the Army refines its new multi-domain operations doctrine, the service will run a series of wargames that will decide the total number of JLTVs and other systems it will need for the future, Esper said.
"I think we will be finished in a year or 18 months; then we run all these numbers. And all these numbers tell you, to beat the Russians, you need X tanks and you need Y tankers and you need X number of JLTVs. And that is where I will have the final number," Esper said.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
More articles from Military.com:
- Marine Corps Wants to Upgrade its K-MAX Pilotless Cargo Helicopters
- Aging Navy Destroyers Will Get Radar Upgrades to Counter Threats from China, Russia
- Army Explains Spending Reduction in Modular Handgun System Program
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Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."