Over the past three years the Marine Corps has maintained 40 percent of its ground equipment, 50 percent of its communications equipment, and 20 percent of its aviation assets in Iraq. This equipment is used at as much as nine times its planned rate, abused by a harsh environment, and depleted due to losses in combat. To maintain acceptable readiness levels, the Marines have been taking equipment from non-deployed units and drawing down Maritime Prepositioned stocks, including equipment stored in Europe, thus limiting their ability to respond to contingencies outside of Iraq.
A coupla key words leaped right out at this ol' wrench and former comm tech: ground equipment, communications equipment, abused, depleted, losses, maintain. I'm screwed.
Shorter: vehicles and radios are in short supply in Iraq and breaking down by the numbers, folks, and it's probably worse in Afghanistan. Both of which I know how to fix, but I might get some weird looks when I ask the Gunny, "Where's the tube tester?". Or "Where d'ya draw Depends?".
I just hope they don't promote me to Sergeant. I'd hate to lose 40 years in grade.
Might even be some room in the Crotch* for a ol' broke down AF Weenie, F-Man. Hindu Tush, here we come!