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Thread: It's raining Humvees! (or, how NOT to airdrop...)

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    It's raining Humvees! (or, how NOT to airdrop...)

    US Army training exercise in Germany, involving airdrops, goes slightly wrong for 3 poor Humvees. Fatally wrong...


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    Supposedly the largest/heaviest airdrop of 173rd Airborne in the last 15 years btw. 150 bundles dropped. Part of Saber Junction 16.


    For last year's drop exercise (part of Swift Response 15) they dropped 1600 soldiers (650 US, 800 GE/NL, 150 PL) instead, that time with 33 US soldiers injured. 173rd and 82nd.


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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Did those guys have a radio? A suggestion to halt the drop may have been helpful?

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    Didn't the soviets train to drop their BMDs fully crewed?! Or was that just an idea?

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    See this post and the following discussion there from nine years ago.

    There were only two drops with BMD-1 including crew on the standard P-7 airdrop platform; one with two men inside, the other with the crew in a special cushioned container next to it.

    Since then all crewed drops don't use the airdrop platform anymore, but instead the PBS-915/916/950/950U system with:
    - chutes that are directly hooked up to the vehicle
    - retrorockets for losing speed (PBS-915/916)
    - a gas-inflated impact cushion (PBS-950)
    - a suspension that
    - specially designed seats which can be tilted so you lay on your back (originally only available for driver and gunner).

    Chutes slow to 16-23 m/s first, retrorockets slow to an immediate pre-impact velocity of 3.5-5.5 m/s. The bonus thing about the overall design - aside from being able to use the vehicle straight-away after disconnecting the chutes - being that (for BMD-3 and -3M/4) the vehicle doesn't need to be prepped on the tarmac but can drive there completely rigged-and-drop-ready from its base.

    The Soviets and Russians continued to use the P-7 platform with the BMD series as well btw. There have only been about 250-300 drops with crewed BMDs in the last 40 years, probably only somewhere around a platoon of troops at any given time in the entire Soviet Army who've done that and likely only a handful of soldiers who've done it twice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The Soviets and Russians continued to use the P-7 platform with the BMD series as well btw. There have only been about 250-300 drops with crewed BMDs in the last 40 years, probably only somewhere around a platoon of troops at any given time in the entire Soviet Army who've done that and likely only a handful of soldiers who've done it twice.
    Seriously, those guys deserve a special medal...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Seriously, those guys deserve a special medal...
    For what? Chances are they were not fully aware they'd beeing drooped
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    For what? Chances are they were not fully aware they'd beeing drooped
    Of course they knew. They get stuffed into a tank with parachutes strapped to them? Ofc they knew. They might not be volunteers, but hell...

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    There's also the three guys that went down in the experimental crew capsule. Three men, coffin-like capsule with them strapped down on their back, the whole thing strapped in place on the same platform that the BMD is dropped with.

    That was actually apparently the second attempt in dropping a crew with the BMD. The first one had two guys sitting in the BMD on the P-7 platform in '73, and apparently worked out in such a way that the separate capsule model was trialled two years later. The capsule was abandoned then too, and there were no more crewed drops till the BMD-3 and the PBS system arrived at the end of the 80s. The (apparently working) PBS was then refitted to earlier BMDs.

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    This whole thing is under investigation.

    http://www.armytimes.com/story/milit...ideo/83333714/

    Supposedly the guys doing th evideo are the observer/controllers at Hohenfels. Evidently they were underwhelmed by the 173rd's performance for the prior two weeks and they expected there to be problems with the airdrop. I read elsewhere that across the brigade was observed an alarming lack of attention to detail.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    This whole thing is under investigation.

    http://www.armytimes.com/story/milit...ideo/83333714/

    Supposedly the guys doing th evideo are the observer/controllers at Hohenfels. Evidently they were underwhelmed by the 173rd's performance for the prior two weeks and they expected there to be problems with the airdrop. I read elsewhere that across the brigade was observed an alarming lack of attention to detail.
    Wow... what are the chances of the brigade CO keeping his job?...

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    Question: who ends up footing the bill for three completely destroyed HMMWV's (besides the US taxpayer)? The Air Force, because it got dropped out of their plane? Or the Army, because they probably packed the 'chute?
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Question: who ends up footing the bill for three completely destroyed HMMWV's (besides the US taxpayer)? The Air Force, because it got dropped out of their plane? Or the Army, because they probably packed the 'chute?
    The Army does...not the Air Forces fault. They don't rig them; they just deliver them.

    Now can individuals be charged? Absolutely. There will be an Article 32 investigation which may lead to legal and nonjudicial punishments. In addition disinterested officers (from other units) will be appointed investigation officers and conduct investgations...every company grade officer in the Army does this as an additional duty. Financial Liability Investigations of Property Loss (FLIPL). It is called If individuals are found responsible they will be charged a months salary...but since the HMMWV may be considered a system, and especially if there are weapons on board, they could be charged full price of replacement.

    The unit does not get charged for replacment vehicles. Vehicles are centrally managed by product managers who send replacements to units when they wear out.

    In the Army your major unit equipment is given to you...but you pay for all usage and upkeep cost out of your unit budget.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    So, if they're charged full price, that could range into the millions?

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