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Lawmakers urge Army to use consumer batteries on the battlefield

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mm

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Politicians once again trying to save money anywhere and worst of all not knowing anything about the power requirement differences between a GPS unit and a two way radio.

By consumer grade AA and AAA I'm sure the meant the standard non rechargeable alkaline style batteries.

Try running a motorola XTS5000 on high or even mid power with the AA battery case, not mention that the AA alkaline battery case takes more cells than an equivalent NiMH, NiCad or lithium rechargeable pack plus the fact that they will go through more double AA's than the cost of a respectable high quality rechargeable pack in a week.

Try running a Dillon Mini-gun off of AA energizer batteries, the multi thousand round battery pack on this beast uses a special battery that an energizer AA can't support.

If anything these ignorant bean counting politicians need to stop running around like chickens with their heads cut off and stopand take a breath and think reasonably, oh wait did i say reasonably ? This is something that politicians never have done so why should they change their ways now.

They need to.design their on interchangeable multi function rechargeable batteries and stay away from consumer grade products.
 

Essexscan

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MM excellent post. they should design an interchangable battery system you can add or subtract cells as needed to make the size/voltage required that would be smart and able to charge it from any military/civilian vehicle with a portable charging kit. It would cost easy 25$ per soldier per day just to keep up with the AAs the radios could chew through. Li-Ion and NI-MH rechargable battery packs save the Military Millions

Some idiot that knows nothing about batteries or power density must be getting free AAs for life
 

N5TWB

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MM excellent post. they should design an interchangable battery system you can add or subtract cells as needed to make the size/voltage required that would be smart and able to charge it from any military/civilian vehicle with a portable charging kit. It would cost easy 25$ per soldier per day just to keep up with the AAs the radios could chew through. Li-Ion and NI-MH rechargable battery packs save the Military Millions

Some idiot that knows nothing about batteries or power density must be getting free AAs for life
Given the general lack of military service among our elected representatives (I know there are exceptions when one generalizes, thanks anyway), this demonstrates why those who desire to serve in a legislative body should have had to demonstrate their desire to serve by starting with a little time in the military. Some time humping a PRC-25/77 or its current equivalent might have given them a little insight into the realities of batteries for electronic devices. Another chapter of further edification on weapons systems would include time humping an M-60 machine gun or today's equivalent, the SAW.
 

mancow

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Wildland firefighters encounter extreme conditions similar to a battlefield all the time and they use AA packs. The MBITR and PRC152 have a disposable battery pack but it uses the 123 Lithium 3v cells which are ludicrous expensive. I wish they offered a AA pack for them. I would like to see what the actual performance would be. I can't imagine it would be any worse as long as they were lithium.
 

radioman2001

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Just about every radio Motorola makes has the capability of using AA batteries, just look in the accessories catalog. Since there seems to be a merger of military and civilian radios over the last few years it's not that unreasonable. Also most field locations don't have the capability to charge a Ni-Cad or others, so they use disposable batteries anyway. All my portables in the military had disposables, and I'm sure they were an incrediculous price. An antenna for our air band radio was $1,800.00. and it looked like a skinny venetian blind.
 
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LowBat

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Reading the article I do agree with the idea of trying to favor one size of battery for your gear if possible. I do that for my hiking gear and that battery happens to be the AA cell (both rechargable NiMH and alkaline). NiMH AA can be recharged in the sun and Alkaline AA are about 25 cents a piece in bulk. There are exceptions I can't always get around, but for the most part I just have to carry one battery size and it's interchangable if needed.

For the military I'd think they'd adopt the lithium 123 cell as the standard. It's lightweight and has a long shelf life. In bulk they are about $1 each, but in a mass order that price should come down. That is unless political sweet dealings play a role in awarding the contract, then those 123 cells could end up costing as much as a toilet seat or screwdriver.
 

ff-medic

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I'm Prior Service. I would expect a politician to come up with this sort of thing. Especially a politican that has never served or deployed.

Troops deserve the best, most reliable equipment that they receive. Most generally, it has been tested and vetted by the government, and its testing agencys.

As far as the U.S Army is concerned, They have the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) — also known as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center (NSC). It is also responsible for testing and imput on new gear by contractors. It has a purpose, and a good one. Think of it, in a sense as " Underwriters Labatories" for soliders. Except, it is a much cheaper version, and the U.S Army does not have to pay thousands , or millions of dollars to put its seal of approval on their gear and equipment.

You cannot go into a deployment, or a comabrt situation with substandard equipment. Any soldier with the , 18th Airborne Corp, or subordinate units - 1st Cav Division or most commonly, the 82nd Airborne Division can go anywhere in the world with in about 12 hours. Would you want to deploy to a zone, or situation, with substandard equipment ; that at any moment it could turn hostile? Not me. My batterys in my communication gear, my weapon, my GPS, and my night vison better work. My life and the life of my fellow soldiers depends on it.

It cost alot for the Military to deploy. Their equipment and their gear deserves to be top notch, and not substandard or lacking in any fashion. Miles upon miles from any support, or rear echelon unit to be restocked, or resupplied. They need to be able for hours or days, perform combats missions and tasks. Communicate with thier higher echelon, and call in an air support if needed. They need to eat, and be able to rest and recuperate. They need the equipment and the firepower to complete the misson. They need the support of their politicans and their fellow Americans. They don't need complaining, controversy, lack of support, and controversial equipment. They most certainly do not need to be defeated on the battle field cause some politican wants to save 16 cents on something.

I suggest we grab a politican. Put them in a C-130 at about 8,000 feet in full gear, and ready to jump. They will be behind enemy lines for 48 to 72 hours, for an ambush mission. Tell them that the fabric in the parachute is substandard, and may fail ; cause the politicans wanted to save money. The batterys in their radios to call in air support, and to give a "SITREP" to their higher command, might last 6 hours....so money could be saved. The weapon they are carrying, shoot it with a bed sheet wrapped arouund it, cause heat, dust and humididty could make it fail ; so the politicans could save money. Eat their half dozen MREs in thier pack within 4 hours, cause if they don't ; they will spoil, this so the politicans could save money. Good luck..." Now jump fat boy." Or woman...


FF - Medic !!!
 
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radioman2001

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I am not saying that we don't as a whole send our troops out without the best that we can, but in war you get what there is in supply. As a former member of service too (FAC), and dealing with radio, you get whatever is available. What you are saying may sound great when you can have an uninterupted supply line, but that's not how I remember the service.You were happy with whatever you did get. In the early days of A***anistan, I remember families sending FRS radios to their sons and daughter since they had no squad level comms. I don't know what you did in the service and I am not belittling it either, but some of what you say is nonsense.

"As far as the U.S Army is concerned, They have the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) — also known as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center (NSC). It is also responsible for testing and imput on new gear by contractors. It has a purpose, and a good one. Think of it, in a sense as " Underwriters Labatories" for soliders. Except, it is a much cheaper version, and the U.S Army does not have to pay thousands , or millions of dollars to put its seal of approval on their gear and equipment."

It probably DOES cost millions to get a seal of approval, since it's government run, and BTW Underwriter's is a non-profit organization, that doesn't get any government assistance.

Having a standard is what I believe this whole idea is about, not a bad idea, huh. Just look at how even fighter jets are now made generic with specialized hardware for each specific branch of service.
 

ff-medic

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IIt probably DOES cost millions to get a seal of approval, since it's government run, and BTW Underwriter's is a non-profit organization, that doesn't get any government assistance..
Sir. R&D cost millions. As I understand, Underwriters Labratorys ; test manufactures equipnet and items ; charging them thousands, if not millions of dollars ; tho place their " Sticker" on their equipnet, applicances..ect.

Having a standard is what I believe this whole idea is about, not a bad idea, huh. Just look at how even fighter jets are now made generic with specialized hardware for each specific branch of service.
Lighter, more leight weight and composite equipment. I don't see it as generic. I see it as a way to be more effective in aerial combat, and traveling at a more greater distance with less fuel.

And Sir, its not nonsense. In my situation, it is called experience.

Boxer - Schumer - Feinstein. .Their actions, changing wording and phrasing to be more politically correct ( Example = Not sniper , but Target Interdiction Specialist ) has me with the severe case of the craps. But politicians run the Military, and force their political correctness on everyone else , below them. I guess that is their privledge.

As Sylvester Stallone said in Rambo One... " Unless they have been me, unless they have been there."

Damn if he was not right in alot of comments in that movie. Damn it if he was not right.

" Six- One " out !!!!!

FF - Medic !!!!
 

radioman2001

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As far as UL maybe you should google them or go their site. If they charge the manufacturer, that's fine, then I am not paying for it out of my taxes. www.ul.com/ ( Independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization Testing products for public safety for more than a century).Yes I have been in some of those shoes, and you are not there to get a tan, you are there to do a job with whatever tools the government gives you, sure a nuke will do the job, but instead they sent in the boots with the tools to get it done. It may not be the best way to do it, but again you work with what you have, and you really don't have any say in it anyway. I really don't want to see the U.S. get into the same situation like Russia did during Regan and basically spend it's way in bankruptcy on military programs (maybe too late already).
Unless you were in procurement, I don't have a lot of confidence in what you are saying. This is nothing new, the government has been for years trying to make procurement more streamline and less expensive, and I see no reason why that any government supplier cannot make his or her product capable of running on AA or AAA batteries. The days of 67v batteries is long gone,and whatever the product is it could easily be made to run on a less expensive battery when bought in bulk. Most consumer items which came from military designs (GPS for Instance) use AA or AAA batteries. In some of my training manuals, it suggests using local resources in a pinch, whether it is maps or batteries. If our equipment runs on AA or AAA, just go to the local 7 eleven or it's equal.

Going over you comments I can see you either are or were not very happy in the military, and I hope your are out now. Your kind of spouting off does no one active any good, if you don't like the equipment, try using some from past wars and see how it goes. Technology will never prevent war, and it should never get to the point where it is convienent to go to war because of technology. It's supposed to be bad so you don't want to do it.
 
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ff-medic

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Yes I have been in some of those shoes, and you are not there to get a tan, you are there to do a job with whatever tools the government gives you, sure a nuke will do the job, but instead they sent in the boots with the tools to get it done.
Just like OIF and OEF. Air Force Combat Controllers, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations folks were the first on the ground. Boots on the ground ensures up to date accurate information, target assessment, and gets where aircraft and drones cannot. They can perform surgical missions where a scalpel is needed instead of a broad sword.

It may not be the best way to do it, but again you work with what you have, and you really don't have any say in it anyway. I really don't want to see the U.S. get into the same situation like Russia did during Regan and basically spend it's way in bankruptcy on military programs (maybe too late already) .
At least when Reagan was President we had a Military, instead of decreasing its size, only to spend billions more to upgrade it in a conflict or war. I do not believe Reagan had anything to do with bankrupting the country. He had both Senators and Congress to contend with. Budget restrictions, His suggested bills that would not pass ; or he did not like the language in alot of legislation and vetoed most, cause.......Everyone on the hill wanted to spend.

...... but again you work with what you have, and you really don't have..
You sound like Donald Rumsfeld. I do not belive he was much of a leader. had he listened to General Shinski and other Commnaders, the beginning of Iraq, and Afghanistan would not have turned out as it did.


Unless you were in procurement, I don't have a lot of confidence in what you are saying. This is nothing new, the government has been for years trying to make procurement more streamline and less expensive, and I see no reason why that any government supplier cannot make his or her product capable of running on AA or AAA batteries. The days of 67v batteries is long gone,and whatever the product is it could easily be made to run on a less expensive battery when bought in bulk. Most consumer items which came from military designs (GPS for Instance) use AA or AAA batteries. In some of my training manuals, it suggests using local resources in a pinch, whether it is maps or batteries. If our equipment runs on AA or AAA, just go to the local 7 eleven or it's equal.
No. I was not in procurement at all. Troops need the best availble equipement to fight with. If contractors want to overbill and charge drasticlly increased prices simply because they have a military contract ; that is what the Inspector Generals Office is for. let them investigate.


Going over you comments I can see you either are or were not very happy in the military, and I hope your are out now.
I was very content and happy with the Military. My argument is politicans cutting corners, trying to save a dime ; sacrificing the good and reliable equipment that the military should have

Your kind of spouting off does no one active any good, if you don't like the equipment, try using some from past wars and see how it goes. Technology will never prevent war...
No, but without good and reliable equipment, it can be lost. Such as communications, transportation aircraft, tents, lights, weapons..and ect.


FF - Medic !!!
 

radioman2001

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When the Russian President was interviewed some time after the fall of the Soviet Union, he specifically stated that they (Russia)could not keep up with the US in spending for its military to keep the balance of power.

"Just like OIF and OEF. Air Force Combat Controllers, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations folks were the first on the ground. " These are all children of the original FAC program, try and do the job with Vietnam technology today, yes you could it's harder and more rigorous, but it could be done. I am not saying that I personally would want to, but then again I don't want to spend all of our taxes making contractors rich as they think up new ways to do the same job.

Going to a common battery cell is not a step down in technology or going with the cheapest, the point is that we as county have a limited amount of resources, I would rather look for better ways to do the job at hand than spend it on a $2,000.00 battery (or in my case a $1,800.00 venitian blind antenna)when a few AA or AAA batteries in a reusable package will do.
 

Gator596

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Funny thing; If you were a bad soldier back in the day and were inclined not to read the warning printed on the side and cut open the battery for the PRC-77 - guess what you found inside? Civilian batteries!
IIRC there were a bunch of D size and a few AA all connected together and enclosed in the cardboard carrier that formed the "battery". Sometimes they were green coloured but they were often the shiny civilian ones. Many a 1980's era boom box were powered on the weekend by batteries bootlegged from the PRC-77.
 

Fast1eddie

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AN/PRC 77 and similar batteries were not common off the shelf civilian batteries! Although made by Eveready and Duracell, these batteries were lithium. I held Army MOS 31E (Field Radio Repair) and handled them often. They were extremely good batteries that worked very well in all climates. And yes, even when they wore down and not serviceable for radio use, one could grab some wire and run your boom box or whatever while you were in the field.

You could go to supply and get D and 9v cells for GI flashlights and Chemical Detection gear we maintained. Pretty hard to get back then due to declining budgets with plenty of equipment falling apart, and I do remember having to sign for them.

I understand all sides here, but you do get what you pay for. Would you, as a Commanding Officer want to tell the next of kin the soldier died due to poor quality batteries, thus unable to operate the equipment??? I think not.

Bottom line-mission critical equipment must work everytime. No exceptions, no excuses. No crap parts and equipment for our military, please.
 

krokus

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I have no issue with equipment running on common batteries, as long as the supply system is able to keep good batteries available. I don't want the dollar store batteries in place of a quality battery, for my brothers and sisters in uniform.
 

ff-medic

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I understand all sides here, but you do get what you pay for. Would you, as a Commanding Officer want to tell the next of kin the soldier died due to poor quality batteries, thus unable to operate the equipment??? I think not.

Bottom line-mission critical equipment must work everytime. No exceptions, no excuses. No crap parts and equipment for our military, please.
It does not have to be the most expensive piece of equipment, but the equipment has to be reliable. My job ( Industrial Fire Fighter / Paramedic ) reqires a flashlight for me to do my job.

I choose a Surefire LED flashlight. The flashlight is somewhat expensive, but it is brighter and more reliable than the yellow - 2 "D" Cell flashlights, and the 3 volt batteries last 12 hours continously in the LED light, where as the "D" cell flashlight would not last half that time. I change the batterys in my LED flashlight....about every four to six months. The LED flashlight was more expensive than conventional two cell ( "D" cell ) flashlights, but pays for itself in the batterys I save. It weighs less, and is smaller and more compact than most competitor flashlights of equal brightenss. I carry it on my belt in a pouch.

Point being. It is more expensive than most other regular flashlights, but is reliable, last longer than most of its competitors, and in the end run...saves me money. I have dropped it on its end, dropped it on the lens end..and it never failed. I did not have to shake it, adjust the head, or unscrew the end cap and manupulate the batterys ; or the wire springs in the end cap or the head to get it to work, as I have when I worked for River Transportation Companys ( I used to work on the barges ) who issued us plastic flashlights to work with.

My SureFire E1L ( LED ) flashlight holds one 3 volt battery, and last aproxmately 37 hours on low, and 8 hours on high. I save batterys, and have a tough reliable flashlight when I go camping. I can use it as a regular flashlight, or even a night light if I have to. And again, it pays for itself ; Cause I save batterys. Where can you find a "C" Cell, or a "D" cell flashlight that is as bright, last longer and is more durable. One of the foreman whom I used to work with ( Plays music in a band ), me and him ordered batterys off off the internet about two years ago, and I belive I still have the box of batterys that me and him ordered.

Equipment has to be reliable, dependable and long lasting. In some situations and events, a life, or many lives may depend on it.

I buy firearms, and I am a huge handgun fan. I buy them for their reliability and accuracy. The $700 Dollar handgun I buy was more expensive than the $550 dollar handgun, but the $700 dollar handgun is more reliable, shoots more accurate, is not as fallable as the $550 dollar handgun, does not loose its value as much as the cheaper handgun, and requires less maintainance.

If I were given the option to buy the $800.00 H&K USP handgun, or the $125.00 High-Point handgun, I would choose the H&K. The H&K is more reliable, is built better, not as prone to maintance failures, has a better finish for my camping and hunting applications, and one biggie is a longer barrel life. You actually save money in the end in my view.

I purchased a Wilson Combat pistol ( "Professional Model) for a little over a $1000.00, brand new ; in 2001. I paid about $1300.00 dollars for that handgun. Today, it is worth aproxmately $2800.00. A good investment huh. And I have only shot about 200 rounds through it since I got it. I bought it for its reliabilty, accuracy, and value.

I have a Sig P226 in 9mm. Prices on those pistols only go one direction....UP !

I have a Smith&Wesson "J" frame, Custom Shop hammerless pistol, in 38 SPL, that I paid a little over $400.00 for. Today it is worth well more than that.

I have a Glock model 23 in .40 caliber.

Each firearm is reliable, accurate ( a must for me ) for a self-defense , home defense situation. And when I take one of them camping in the summer, the moisture and salt from my fingerprints do not leave rust marks on the handguns surface / finish ( blued handguns ), and the internal workings are not affected by the humidity, rain and weather as much as similar handguns.

I shoot most of my handguns out to about 60 yards, and some farther.I practice on silloutes, jugs, cans, liquid soap caps. Anything to help me maintain my profeciency. I shoot head shots on the sillouttes, and make multiple liquid soap caps, and pop cans look like Fred Astaire on the dance floor. To do that, I have to have an accurate handgun. Some handguns are not as accurate ( especially at distances of 50 to 60 yards - even out to 75 yards ), nor as reliable as their competitors. For me to shoot, and shoot accurately ( I live in a rural area folks ), I have to have the proper and accurate handgun to do the task. Example = A handgun that shoots a two inch group at 25 yards is not going to be as accurate at 40 to 50 yards, as the handgun that shoots a 3/4 or one inch group at 25 yards. For a self defense situation, personal carry ; as I have a concealed carry permit ; I like my handguns to be able to be accurate out to 50 yards. Even though, a situation could present itself in a local urban area ; I may have to shoot clear out to 70 or even 75 yards, such as = the Wal-Mart, or shopping plaza parking lot. One cannot limit themselves, nor do I recommend their equipment limiting them, due to being in a cost cutting situation. If an individuals, or companys budget will allow, get the most reliable and dependable piece of equuipment. Cost cutting could, in the future prove to " Bite one in the butt."

My flashlights are reliable and proven, as are my handguns. To invest in anything else would not be proper thinking in my opinion.

Example = Buy the Ford 250 to pull the 5th wheel camper, or the more expensive Ford F-350. The F-350 is more expensive, but will save more money in the end run on fuel cost, cause the F-250 uses more fuel ( F-250 and F-350 Fuel to payload ratio ) to pull the camper, and the added weight to the smaller truck could end up costing more for maintance as far as tires and drivetrain problems, as well as the added stress on the motor. This may not be the best example, but one could understand the point.

Only the best for our Service Men and Women !!!!! Only the best. They deserve it.

FF - Medic !!!
 
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