During WWII, General James M. Gavin led American Paratroopers on numerous parachute combat jumps, leading them all the way to Berlin and victory over the Germans. However, his men had to walk wherever they went exposed to artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, claiming many lives. When Paratroopers came up against tanks, they were outgunned with just hand rocket launchers. After the war, General Gavin wrote in his 1947 book "Airborne Warfare" that we should have light tracked armored personnel carriers that could be parachuted into battle:

"Using a 150-foot canopy singly, or in combination with a 90-foot canopy, it is practicable to drop an artillery piece and its prime mover. Some visionary individuals have even suggested that personnel carriers be dropped in this manner. The idea has merit...

....Organizations created to fight the last war better are not going to win the next. Nor is building an airplane around the ground weapons that won the last war an assurance that we will win the next. Keeping foremost in our minds the functional purposes of our means of ground combat, these means must be developed and produced so that they can be delivered to the battlefield in sufficient quantity to gain the decision. ..not only must our airplanes be developed but our ground fighting weapons and equipment as well. Only thus will we attain a position of dominance in Airborne Warfare"

General James M. Gavin in Airborne Warfare

A few years later, the Korean War began and the U.S. Army still did not have the air-deliverable armored vehicles it needed and many men died. General Gavin wrote in his article "Cavalry...and I don't mean Horses":

"Where was the cavalry? ...and I don't mean horses. I mean helicopters and light aircraft, to lift Soldiers armed with automatic weapons and hand-carried light anti-tank weapons, and also lightweight reconnaissance vehicles, mounting anti-tank weapons the equal or better than the Russian T-34s...If ever in the history of our armed forces there was a need for the cavalry arm--airlifted in light planes, helicopters and assault-type aircraft--this was it... Only by exploiting to the utmost the great potential of flight can we combine complete dispersion in the defense with the facility of rapidly massing for the counter-attack which today's and tomorrow's Army must possess"

After the Korean War, General Gavin became the Head of the Army's Research and Development Corps and vowed to do something about it so America's Army would be better prepared for future non-linear battlefields. Under his guidance the large and heavy M59 armored personnel carrier was replaced by the better protected, more mobile light tracked, amphibious and airdroppable Airborne Multi-Purpose Vehicle Family (AM/PVF) which became known as the M113 Family of Vehicles. FYI The companion program General Gavin and then-Major Harold "Hal" Moore were also working on, the Armored Reconnaissance Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR-AAV) became the M551 Sheridan light tank, the first tracked tank to be parachute airdropped into combat in Panama in 1989. Since then, the M113 has been readily used successfully in combat by the U.S. and free world armies all over the world from Vietnam, the Middle East, Entebbe, Panama, the Balkans, the Far East, Desert Storm and is in combat today fighting global terrorists. Despite being arguably, the world's greatest armored fighting vehicle of all time, ever---the M113 "Soldiers on" without a name, though many other lesser vehicles now long since retired---have been named after a great Army hero; the M24 Chafee, M3 Stuart, M4 Sherman... Since the M113 simply keeps on winning battles from Vietnam to today in Iraq its high time we name it after the Army hero---whose brilliance conceived it--General James M. Gavin.

We urge you to join General Gavin's wife, Mrs. Jean Gavin and other Paratroopers by signing this petition calling on the U.S. Army to recognize the genius of General Gavin and his vehicle; the M113 Family of Vehicles by calling them M113 "Gavins".

In a letter dated, April 6, 2002, Mrs. Jean Gavin wrote:

"I would of course be happy to help in any way that I am able to do so to achieve this goal"

This petition will go directly to Army channels to show that the troops already call the M113 the "Gavin" and want this name officially recognized. If necessary this petition will go to the American Senate and House of Representatives so by special act of Congress, the M113 will be officially referred to as the M113 "Gavin".

Write your Senator/Congressman today!

We owe the memory of General Gavin, the lives of the many men who have gone before us, and the lives that will be saved in the future by the M113 that we honor this vehicle with the respect it deserves so we can fully utilize it to defeat the enemies of freedom in the present and the future.


M113 Gavins to the Rescue in Iraq!


Replace the hopeless Humvee, Pentagon chiefs are urged

By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 28/04/2004)

Armoured cars being sent to Iraq are not up to the job, according to a senior United States army general, prompting calls for Pentagon chiefs to swallow their pride and reactivate thousands of mothballed Vietnam-era armoured personnel carriers.

With improvised bombs, rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades taking an ever deadlier toll on coalition forces, the Pentagon is spending 225 million to replace thin-skinned versions of the Humvee, the US military's ubiquitous jeep-like transport, with an "up-armoured" model, as fast as they can be churned off the production line.

Humvees are proving easy prey on the streets of Iraq

Commanders have shuddered as troops attached home-made armour plating and even sandbags to ordinary Humvees, whose thin skin, canvas doors and shoulder height windows have made them highly vulnerable to attack.

The new, armour-plated Humvees have been touted by Pentagon chiefs as the best solution to complaints from the field about the standard version of the vehicle.

But Gen Larry Ellis, the commanding general of US army forces, told his superiors that even the armoured Humvee is proving ineffective.

In a memo leaked to CNN television, he wrote: "Commanders in the field are reporting to me that the up-armoured Humvee is not providing the solution the army hoped to achieve."

Reports from the field say that even with armour plating, the Humvee's rubber tyres can be burnt out by a Molotov cocktail, while at two tons, it is light enough to be turned over by a mob.

Gen Ellis said it was "imperative" that the Pentagon instead accelerate production of the newest armoured personnel carrier, the Stryker, which weighs 19 tons and moves at high speed on eight rubber tyres.

But the Stryker has many influential critics who say it is too big to be flown easily on the military's C-130 transport aircraft, and too cumbersome to manoeuvre in narrow streets. Instead, they want the Pentagon to turn back the clock and re-deploy thousands of Vietnam-era M-113 "Gavin" armoured personnel carriers, which are still used by support and engineering units, and are held in huge numbers by reserve units.

Gary Motsek, the deputy director of support operations for US army materiel command, said: "I have roughly 700 113-series vehicles sitting pre-positioned in Kuwait, though some are in need of repairs. I have them available right now, if they want them."

The Washington Times: Inside the Ring
December 12, 2003


The Army's past

Michael L. Sparks, an Army Reserve officer, and many like-minded veterans, are pressing the Army to move on from the new wheeled Stryker armored vehicle and embrace the past: the venerable M-113 personnel carrier.

Mr. Sparks wants the Army to bring thousands of M-113 armored personnel carriers out of storage, modernize them and put them in all combat infantry units; including the light infantry which has no armored vehicles. And he wants this affordable enhancement done quickly to help the troops in Iraq right away.

He contends the tracked M-113 is more reliable, road-safer and provides better protection than any wheeled vehicle can ever offer. He says studies prove compact tracked vehicles are 28 percent more space/weight efficient than placing armored boxes on top of wheeled suspensions/drivetrains.

"Our troops are driving around Iraq in doorless, fabric-sided [Humvees or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles], fiberglass/thin metal 10-ton FMTV trucks and 21-ton Stryker rubber-tired armored cars and losing men's lives and limbs daily to roadside bombs and accidents," Mr. Sparks said. "Some Soldiers are also foolishly driving around Iraq in gasoline-powered captured or government-provided civilian automobiles. Combat psychology studies show if you look and are vulnerable it will embolden the enemy to attack you."

Some senators have been critical of the lack of armor protection for the Humvees, which fall prey to roadside bombs that have killed scores of American Soldiers. A program to "up-armor" them will take months, or years. Mr. Sparks, an infantry officer, said: "The Army has thousands of thick-skinned M-113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles sitting in storage that are 'as is' far better protection than the up-armored rubber-tired Humvees or Strykers will ever be.

"For a fraction of the cost of up-armoring Humvee trucks requiring years of time our men in Iraq do not have, we could fit in a matter of weeks underbelly armor, gun shields for the troops to fire out behind protective cover and rocket propelled grenade-resistant applique' armor to M-113 Gavins. This would supply all our men in Iraq protected mobility."

DEFENSE WEEK article reveals Army digital hubris

Reveals how out of touch current Army officials are.

They would rather waste billions on mental digital but physically impotent armored cars while the troops are slaughtered by physical RPGs, IEDs/land mines. The Army's leaders don't get it. They can put digital crap in M113 Gavins if they insist, but the important thing is to be PHYSICALLY PROTECTED.

But notice that if we got the word out to commanders in Iraq they could request up-graded M113 Gavins and force the Army to come up with another set of lies/excuses or to do the right thing finally.

Defense Week, Monday, December 22, 2003 DW Volume 24, Number 50

Date: 12/22/2003 1:11:11 PM Eastern Standard Time

Pentagon Approves Fifth And Sixth Stryker Brigades


The Defense Department on Wednesday announced plans for the Army to begin funding an additional two Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs), bringing the total number of brigades the service will procure to six.

That's good news for General Dynamics, which has hoped the Army would buy a full complement of Strykers. All told, the service plans to buy 2,121 of the vehicles, at a total cost of $7.2 billion, according to the Defense Department's latest Selected Acquisition Report.

In a December 2002 memorandum, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved SBCTs 1 through 4, but he directed further study of SBCTs 5 and 6 before the Army would receive final approval to field them.

An Army enhancement plan approved by Rumsfeld Dec. 8 also provides for the upgrade of the first four brigades. The plan calls for giving the final two Stryker brigades advanced fire support, network and sensor capabilities, and retrofitting the first four brigades with newer technology as it becomes available.

The Stryker-a wheeled armored vehicle made by General Dynamics-is seen as a key part of the Army's transition to a rapidly deployable future force. Outfitted with high-tech digital communications, the Stryker is designed to be delivered by C-130 Hercules airlifters, ready to roll into the fight.

GD spokesman Kendell Pease praised the Stryker decision.

"This is a very positive thing for the United States Army," he said. "It confirms that it was the right thing for the Army."

The Army's first Stryker brigade is now receiving its baptism by fire in Iraq. Certified as operationally effective in September, the Stryker unit from Fort Lewis, Wash., crossed into Iraq early this month following training exercises in Kuwait.

Some critics of the Stryker had suggested the Army wait until the first Stryker brigade proves itself in combat before moving to buy more SBCTs. In October, Col. Douglas Macgregor, a senior fellow at National Defense University, said he hoped the Army would "stop at three (SBCTs) and look at the remaining $3 billion sitting in the bank and go back to the Hill and say, `We've got some other ideas.' "

Mike Sparks, an Army reserve infantry officer and author, has been an active proponent of one such idea: upgrading the M113 family of tracked vehicles (affectionately-and unofficially-known as "Gavins," after legendary World War II paratroop commander Gen. James Gavin) instead of buying more Strykers.

In a statement sent to Defense Week, Sparks wrote: "There's no reason why Congress can't direct that the new brigades be equipped with American-made, up-armored, hybrid-electric, $500,000 each M113 Gavins tracked armored fighting vehicles upgraded from the thousands we have in storage that would have RPG [rocket-propelled grenade], landmine and small-arms-resistant gunshields to save our men's lives today in Iraq/Afghanistan."

In a report released last week, Victor O'Reilly, a defense analyst and author, forwarded a similar proposal.

[EDITOR: read the O'Reilly Report here: www.combatreform.com/ppd43.pdf]

Claiming that the M113-made by United Defense of Arlington, Va.-has been "neglected" by the Army, he asserted that the M113A2 models could be upgraded to a more modernized A3 model (but without hybrid-electric drive) at a cost of $210,000 apiece.

"The armored brigade combat teams currently fighting in Iraq have approximately 80 M113 series vehicles each," he wrote. "Upgrading these to a survivable and vastly more capable MTVL configuration would cost under $40 million" versus roughly $1.5 billion per Stryker brigade.

No Gavins needed

The Army says that critics of the Stryker are missing the point: integral to the vehicle, officials say, is the advanced network capability it brings. And with the approval of SBCT 5 and 6, buying more Gavins does not seem to be in the cards.

Maj. Gary Tallman, an Army spokesman, said the service was continuing with some planned upgrades to some M113s, but he emphasized that they are not a substitute for the new Stryker capabilities.

"We are not going to procure more" M113s in response to current operational needs, he said.

The M577 Tracked Command Post Carrier-part of the M113 family-is being upgraded to the M1068A3 Standard Integrated Command Post System, which replaces the older 4.2kW gasoline auxiliary power unit (APU) with a quieter 5.0 kW diesel APU, among other things.

"This per the program plans prior to" Operation Iraqi Freedom, Tallman said.

With troops in Iraq still facing hit-and-run ambushes, the Army is rushing to deliver up-armor kits for humvees and tactical trucks to the field. However, it will take time, and Stryker critics such as Sparks and O'Reilly have advocated that the Army take some Gavins out of storage to serve as a stopgap.

Tallman said ground commanders in Iraq have not made such a request.

"That is a command decision," he said. "That's up to the ground commander, but from a program standpoint, [there are] just scheduled modifications and conversions [for the M113] and no change to the program life cycle."

In addition to the first two Stryker brigades, which will be based at Fort Lewis, the Army is planning to base Strykers in Hawaii, Alaska, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

The 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate), based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will be the third SBCT. The Army then plans to convert the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light), based at Fort Polk, La., into a cavalry regiment with Strykers.

The fifth Brigade, slated for fielding in 2006, will be in the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The sixth and final SBCT, scheduled for fielding between 2008 and 2010, is scheduled to be the 56th Brigade (Mechanized), 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.


Sample Letter to your Chain of Command (where M113s are in CENTCOM etc.)


XXXXX 17 January 2004

SUBJECT: Immediate M113 vehicle plus-ups for xxxxxxx deployment to Iraq


1. ____ x M113 light tracked armored fighting vehicles and ____ x M2 .50 caliber heavy machine guns be supplied to my unit in addition to our existing equipment in light of our new mission as provisional infantry. These equipments are in Army war-stocks and I request in writing an answer to this request. If FORSCOM receives this request I am confident it will be supplied to my men to accomplish the mission and save lives. The following explains why this additional equipment is needed.

2. Why is our Army accepting daily casualties in Iraq, Soldiers in Arlington Cemetary and walking around Walter Reed missing limbs when we have thousands of 11-ton M113 thick-skinned, tracked armored vehicles sitting in storage that could prevent these deaths and maimings? We have strong national backing behind the troops, but we're slowly pissing away national will (center of gravity) to casualties we didn't have to sustain. The current thinking for remedying casualties is to don more heavy gear, operate in larger units, buy more up-armored HMMWVs, put Stryker into the fray and slap make-shift armor kits again on vulnerable rubber-tired vehicles. EXPENSIVE, slow-to-field, doesn't protect the majority of our troops. NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. The solution for the non-linear battlefield where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time is not more Balkan-style "presence patrols" in inadequately or unprotected HMMWVs/Stryker wheeled vehicles. We are taking dozens of casualties simply "driving to contact". Even up-armor HMMWVs cannot sustain an RPG. What can? Is cheap? What'll work---Now?

M113 Gavins---tracked armored fighting vehicles.

3. Our Army has thousands of 1.5" to 1.75" thick-skinned, 11-ton, metal road wheels, steel-tracked M113A3s are widely availability in war stocks to include CENTCOM and older M113A2s are unused storage here in CONUS (attached excel spreadsheet) and can be made land mine/RPG resistant. This information is compelling and should be forwarded with our request to FORSCOM.

M113s in war stocks (Army Prepositioned Sets)

[M113 Gavins in war stock data write to us if you are a Soldier needed it: itsg@hotmail.com]

4. Cost to to add underbelly and RPG protection to M113 is small; less than $78,000. Much of this add-on armor is already in the supply system.

M113 Gavin RPG resistant applique' armor

Passive Armor: www.rafael.co.il/division/ordnance/arm_prod_line/passive.html

Active Armor: www.rafael.co.il/division/ordnance/arm_prod_line/reactive.html

M113 Gavin underbelly armor

Belly Armor Kit / Cage No. 80212, P/N 4240277

Chapter III: Growth of U.S. Armored Forces in Vietnam www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter3.htm

"To reduce mine damage to M113's, "belly armor" kits arrived in 1969. When this supplemental armor was applied to M113's and Sheridans, it protected them from mine blast rupture, saved many lives, and gave the crews added confidence" M113 Gavin Gunshields

NSNs Track Commander's Cupola Shield Kit, Machine Gun / 2510-00-121-8990 Shield, Protective / 2510-01-006-4587

TC's cupola gunshields + side gunshields for the two troop hatch MGs

The NSN number for the complete Gun Shield Kit including the cargo hatch side shields is NSN 2590-00-121-8990. AMDF price is $11,708.00. Check the Army supply system for availability(?) If the "system" doesn't have the shields (likely) the DSC bids for someone to make them like they did in 1999: 25 - SOL:SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN (10/29/99) http://www.fbodaily.com/cbd/archive/1999/10(October)/29-Oct-1999/25sol001.htm COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY ISSUE OF OCTOBER 29,1999 PSA#2465 Defense Supply Center Columbus, PO Box 16595, DSCC-PBAB, Columbus, OH 43216-6595 25 -- SHIELD KIT, MACHINE GUN SOL SP075000R2737 DUE 121799 POC For Information Only, Point of Contact -- Carol Black Phone:614-692-1346 Fax: 614-692-1577 NSN: 2590-00-121-8990, YPC99201000244. Shield Kit, Machine Gun. Made in accordance with Army drawing 11660854 and all current related data. Full and open competition applies. Quantity is 52 each to be delivered within 150 days after date of award to Richmond, Va. All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered. See note(s) 12 and 26. Copies of this solicitation are available at the address above or by faxing 614-692-2262 or e-mailing: incoord @ dscc.dla.mil and will not be available until 15 days after this notice is published in the CBD. Requests should include the company name, address and solicitation number(s). The small business size standard is 750 employees. Technical drawings/bid sets are available from DSCC-VTCD via one of the following medias: internet at http://abiweb.disc.dla.mil; facsimile at 614-692-2344; e-mail at drawings @ dscc.dla.mil or by mail at Defense Supply Center Columbus, ATTN: DSCC-VTCD, P O Box 3990, Columbus, OH. 43216-5000. Requests should include theRFP number, opening/closing date, NSN, Purchase Request number (e.g. YPC), Buyer's name and your complete name and address. FEDERAL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL SPECIFICATIONS CANNOT BE PROVIDED BY DSCC. Proposed procurement contains a 100% option for increase quantities. This is an unrestricted acquisition. While price may be a significant factor in the evaluation of offers, the final award decision will be based upon a combination of price, delivery, past performance and other evaluation factors as described in the solicitation. Estimated issue date is 18 Nov 99. Posted 10/27/99 (W-SN395719). (0300) Loren Data Corp. http://www.ld.com (SYN# 0194 19991029\25-0001.SOL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25 - Vehicular Equipment Components Index Page However if you don't want to waste months playing with DSC because your men are getting shot at in places like Iraq/Afghanistan, United Defense, the maker of the M113 Gavin can deliver 44 kits in 20-22 weeks. Their price would be around $8,000 per kit, saving you about 4K per kit. Understand that cost does not come into play when we are talking about the safety of our troops but $176,000 buys a hell of a lot of beans and bullets...or better yet more gunshields!

POC: Mr. Tom Reuter
United Defense
M113 Field Service & Spares
(800) 235-0015 Ext: 825
cell @ 256-453-7049

5. M113s are simple to operate and maintain. You could train a Soldier in a week quite well. You don't have 1 DA or civilian contractor per company running around like in SBCTs. The class IX is already in our supply system. The M113 is a multi-purpose vehicle: CSS, INF, ENG, MED. If you want to understand urban ops with a permissive and non-permissive environment blurring, and how to operate in it, look at Israel which oprerates thousands of up-armored M113s and doesn't lose a man a day in combat operations like we are in Iraq. Things Israelis know:

a. Tracked "Tanks rule"!
b. Tanks rule only when working well with infantry
c. Helicopters are great killers: but fly high, fly irregular patterns to avoid shoot-downs. The Longbow is great for precision interdiction. Paint them light tan or gray so they are harder to detect, track and hit during the day time.
d. HUMINT is decisive.
e. Snipers are far more crucial than home station training, manning, employment lend them to be
f. Muslim culture: if it looks bad ass- it is bad ass! Current enemy thinking: "Attack it if it has wheels, if it has tracks, leave it alone, it will shoot back and kill you"
g. That ugly, primitive, simple tracked IDF M113 still is ubiquitious and highly successful: it's heavily armored, it dismounts SOF and infantry, engineers to achieve decisive effects

Are we willing to lose more men than the Beirut barracks to IEDs and RPGs because our leaders are too worried about careers or the funding of Stryker to ask the hard questions of a caring Combat Commander: Why can't I have M113s? They are sitting in storage awaiting a use. Would we rather have me and my men die than weld or strap plates to the side of my HMMWV or wait for expensive and inadequate kits? A Ford Explorer SUV has better armor!

SSG Paul Johnson, 1-505 was KIA in Iraq from an IED.

He didn't die right away.

He died after a few minutes from burns. His HMMWV was blasted and burned. An up-armored M113 would have kept rolling and he'd be alive today.

6. HQDA PAO spokesman, Major Tallman recently stated in a DEFENSE WEEK article "that no ground commander has requested M113s". This is not accurate,

WE and many others ARE REQUESTING more M113s to fully equip our Soldiers with armored mobility and a means to aggressively fight back behind gunshields. Our men are going into harm's way and do not need to be put off with bureaucratic excuses about "MTOEs" and "TRADOC procedures"; we need the tools we require to accomplish the mission and get our men home alive and well.

If combat commanders knew M113s were available even more would request them. However, there is no reason why upgraded M113s couldn't be supplied immediately to us as a "test case" that could be expanded to be applied to the rest of the Army.

7. Iraqi Freedom Key Facts to Date

* 250 Soldiers killed by RPGs and IEDs in unarmored 3-ton HMMWV, 10-ton FMTV and thin-skinned 20-ton Stryker trucks or on foot that could have been saved had they been in up-armored M113s

* 2000 Soldiers wounded and maimed from all types of attacks, specific causes not known, but at same ratio as KIAs would likely mean 1000 Soldiers could have been saved disfigurement had they been in up-armored M113s

* Rebuilding up-armored but still thin-skinned 4+ ton HMMWVs will require two years which at current casualty rates will mean 250 more dead and 500 more wounded by next June's planned major troop reductions

* Up-armored HMMWVs severely stressed by weight their engine and suspension systems are not designed to handle will be even more road-restricted than current HMMWVs and will incur drastically higher operations and maintenance costs negating any desired cost advantages

* M113A3 tracks and engines can easily accept the extra armor/gunshield weights necessary to attain land mine/IED and RPG protection without excessive O & M costs

* Enemy is not targeting up-armored HMMWVs with weapons mounts, it's not accurate to assume up-armoring will protect our Soldiers when we know vehicle is too light to not be tossed into air by land mines/IEDs and cannot be armored to protect against RPGs

* If we up-armor all our HMMWV trucks at a cost of $250,000 each, the enemy will be forced to discover that they are NOT adequately landmine/IED and RPG protected and incur more friendly casualties despite 2 years and $239 million dollars

* Up-armoring M113s will cost $78,000 per vehicle and make them far more protected from land mines/IEDs and resistant to RPGs than any existing Army wheeled vehicle and this can be done in a matter of weeks

* The up-armored M113s are far more cross-country mobile than any wheeled vehicle to fully traverse the entire desert-urban terrain of Iraq to render more effective pre-emptive convoy security clearing of land mines/IEDs and small-arms/RPG ambushes

* M113s have a lower center-of-gravity than Army wheeled vehicles. M113s can swim and at least float if they should drive into an Iraqi river or marsh saving Soldier lives now being lost in roll-overs.

8. There may be built-in resistance to upgrading M113s within those that prescribe to the former CSA's wheeled vision but their private agendas should not matter when we can and should save lives and limbs with upgraded or even as-is M113s. It would be highly embarrassing to the Army that Soldiers were killed/maimed just because a mere 10 more M113 armored vehicles were denied a commander headed for combat.

9. Upgraded M113s would have a "home" in our Army after Iraq for non-linear war

The Stryker armored car purchase is very expensive at $3 million per vehicle and only affects 5 brigades out of 33 in the active Army. If a larger number of M113s were upgraded to get the majority of our troops out of trucks in Iraq, there is an easy "home" for them in the current/future force post-Iraq: supply them to the Delta Weapons Companies and Scout platoons in our light/heavy Divisions who now use inadequate HMMWV trucks for anti-tank and security missions. M113s are fully C-130 air-transportable, combat-loaded to include parachute air-drop. Furthermore, Light Sapper Combat Engineer units with HMMWV trucks transformed to upgraded M113s would be able for the first time to breach under armor using rocket line clearing charges and greater safety. Their brethren, Heavy Division Sappers use old M113s now and need upgraded M113s, too. These M113s could be fitted with hybrid-electric drives, band tracks and the full C4I digital networking features now only resident in the 4th ID and a handful of Stryker wheeled brigades, transforming the rest of our Army to "Future Combat System" capabilities.

10. Specific Requirements


11. POC for this memorandum is (xxx) xxx-xxxx

unit XXXX



Sample letter to Congress

Dear ___________________,

I am writing to you concerning our current war in Iraq.

Why are our men needlessly getting killed and maimed in wheeled vehicles that can never adequately protect them? Bribing Soldiers with $10,000 as a re-enlistment bonus just to get them to stay in Iraq for another year is pathetic! If you are DEAD you can't spend it. The Soldiers are not gaining anything from a financial bonus. However, these monies could instead be pooled together to save lives. For instance, the money that would have been given to 8 Soldiers ($80,000) a M113A3 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) sitting in storage could be supplied with RPG-resistant armor, underbelly countermine armor and gunshields to enable these same 8 Soldiers to fight alert, and heads-out to prevail in 360 non-linear combat, so they can return home ALIVE and intact.

I wonder if anyone in Washington has been paying any attention to the growing list of fallen Soldiers in Iraq. What do you say to a wife who loses her husband and is left raising their children alone? What do you say to the child who is left without a daddy and he/she wonders why daddy will never be back home? Why should Soldiers come home without limbs, or spend the rest of their lives with a disability when our country has the greatest equipment ever made and we are not using it? Our Soldiers are being treated like objects instead of people. They deserve a lot more respect than they receive when they are out there in the middle of HELL placing their lives at risk for the sakes of this country. When is someone going to do something about this?

It is extremely urgent that a bill be passed ordering the Army to up-Armor 500 M113 Gavin light tracked armored vehicles immediately and send them to Iraq, and stop having our troops drive in vulnerable wheeled trucks! It was a waste of my tax dollars to send over a bunch of useless vehicles, deathtraps, when the proper equipment should have been sent over the first time around. What excuse do we have for not supplying our Soldiers with the best equipment on earth that will protect them?



You can email us irish0001@aol.com or send a letter or post card to:

Air-Mech-Strike Study Group: General Gavin Petition
P.O. Box 1563
Columbia, CA 95310

Your name:
Your E-mail:

Your city/state and zip:

Do you agree that the M113 should be called the "Gavin"?
Yes No

If you have any comments or suggestions
please add them below:

How did you find out about the Gavin Petition?:



A Vietnam ACAV combat veteran points out that we need Gavins that can fight without being buttoned up, using gunshields:

"I was in the 17th Cav RVN ACAV. I spent 69 in Nam and then was wounded. The ACAV can take a significant hit without harming the crew. I finished my military career in December 2002. I was a 1SG of a Heavy CAV Troop before I retired i.e. Bradleys and M1's I can tell you this the Bradley and the M1 are not suited for the type of combat in Iraq. Neither is the Humvee. The M113 ACAV is the "Green Dragon" as the NVA and VC called it. It is formable and perhaps the best fighting machine ever created. Properly equipped with the M2 50Cal and the new 240Bravo and CAV shields no enemy will prevail. I am beside myself watching the waisted American Fighting men die in the damn Humvee's. In addition the Styker does not fair much better and is in fact 10 times more expensive. In addition there are 700 sitting in Kuwait. Just damn it sitting there. What is going on with the brass. The answer is they can fight because they never have.

Call it Gavin or ACAV I don't care. Get the troops in to ACAV's yesterday and out of the damn humvee's they are worthless."


"All media accounts indicate the unacceptable high rate of debilitating lower limb and facial wounds amongst our troops in Iraq is due to inadequate armor protection in HUMVEEs and similar vehicles. Providing uparmored alternatives and in field upgrades to existing vehicles to provide adequate protection against RPGs and mines should be a top priority. Whatever the your opinion of the wisdom of the war, there should be no controversy whatever giving our toops better protection. The current neglect of this crying need is nothing short of criminal. As to honoring general Gavin, the finest Army officer of his generation, it's long overdue."

Long overdue!!


"General Gavin epitomizes what every American Soldier should be. He was from a very common background, an orphan originally until he was adopted. An enlisted man first, then West Point and a great officer. He deserves this honor."


"The M113A3 version of the Gavin should be the basic vehicle for the IBCT. It does everything an LAVIII/IAV will do, it's lighter, tracked and C130 capable RIGHT NOW. The 82D should have one Gavin battalion per brigade for ground mobility and firepower."


"The Army should use the Gavin as the IAV and stop wasting millions and millions of dollars trying to make the inferior LAV III? work. The hell with the Army Chief of Staff desires lets get a vehicle that is proven and will do the IAV mission better.


Yes, I agree that the M113 should be called the 'Gavin'."


"Even as it is nears the end of its career (which should be rethought) I believe this family of vehicles has served us well. I have utilized this series as an anti-armor Soldier and a cavalry scout. It is an excellent vehicle with the current modifications.


It's amazing how we never suggested a name before, after all the missions it's accomplished, isn't B52 named 'superfortress', it is a combat vehicle, and we even named other armored cars, so it's worthy"


"I fought the M113 as a Mech Infantry PLT LDR in 1968 in 5/60(M), 9ID, RVN. I was an Armor officer who came from the states wanting to be in pure tanks. After being in combat with them, getting blown up from one, and being a REC PLT LDR with M48s, I learned to love that box on tracks. It never failed to do what we wanted, and after adding another .50 M2, it was an awesome battle wagon. I never knew about GEN Gavin, but if he's the one responsible, then name it for him with stars!"


"All our other armored vehicles have names, why not the M113? It always did a fine job when I drove one during my time in Germany."


"We already have the technology today to allow ARMY light infantry to be dropped anywhere in the world ready to take on any dictator or terrorist. This technology such as M113 GAVINS and E-FOGM's needs to be put into service instead of wasting billions on wheeled death-traps that wont protect Soldiers and cannot be transported by C-130, or OICW "starwars guns" that will only slow the Soldier down and reduce his ability to fight. The money that the army saves could be out to better use purchasing Ammunition so that Soldiers can get the realistic training they deserve and on Pay so the army wont have to resort to gimmicks in order to retain Soldiers."


"I remember being in 82d Airborne Division the first time I saw General Gavin and am familiar with his record and achievements. He was the best leader that I knew of during my 21 years service.


And it should be used in the medium formations of the up and coming BCTs.


Overdue recognition for a courageous man on and off the battlefield."


"I agree that your fighting men and women show always go into battle with equipment equal to or greater than the fire power they are up against!


Do It !"


"Having spent many years in the 82nd Airborne I know first hand what a great fighting vehicle the M113 is. I support this naming assignment.


The vehicle has more than earned a name, in the last 30 years. It has served the Army longer than any other vehicle except the horse. After this LAV3 contretemps goes away, I will probably make at least 20 more."


"I wish that we had more forward-thinking officers of Gavin's caliber. Our force projection Army needs them!"


"It is long overdue that General Gavin, the greatest Airborne leader, be recognized for his contributions to the art, science, and history of warfare."


"It seems only fitting that the M113 work horse should receive the name sake of the "war horse" behind!"


"The most recent variant of the M113 "Gavin," has untapped potential in coping with the threat of the modern battlefield. Amazingly, despite its production line availability, it was the lack of them that exacerbated the loss of life in Mogadishu ("Black Hawk Down"). We ended up having to borrow an earlier model of the same vehicle from the Malaysians in order to extract our own Rangers. It would be irresponsible for us to send our troops into another urban threat setting without the readily and flexibly deployable M113 Gavin.


I'M WITH YOU 100%"


"In 1946 thru 1948 I served in General Gavin`s 82nd Airborne Division in his "A" btry 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion as Cannoneer on a 105mmHowitzer,later in "C" Btry 376th Parachute F.A. Bn. as Gunner on this field piece, as well as the 75mm "Pack-Howitzer. At 17,a Gliderman 1st,the General wanted all to be Paratroopers, so we were sent to Ft, Benning, Ga. for "Jump School",my just turning 18.Gavin "Led by example", so we would do anything he put to us, as we revered our leader. A GREAT man...one of the most outstanding leaders to come out of W.W.II. He deserves this HONOR, only, its too bad he is not still with us to experience this timely honor of having his vehicle, the M113, so named. All honor to his name!"


"You must give the troopers what they need to win the battle.


I'm not sure that I served under the General, I do remember him being listed or pictured in Chain of command display, that were around.


Please do this to honor this great American and man of honor."


"If he is the one that introduced the helicopter and the artillery in flight for the Airborne . Then it should be in his name. As I remember well all we had in Normandy is the bazooka."


"I am a veteran of the Viet Nam (conflict) War. I would support the General's name being held in high regards as he was a Soldier and a Great Leader during his military career. His name should live on.

Suggest also that the M113 series be named Gavin as long as the M113 remains in service. However, Gavin's concept of light cavalry should be continue forward to the next personnel carrier vehicle, whatever that is.


A great idea that is long overdue!!"


"Great idea, a long time overdue. Any chance to rename Fort Bragg to Fort Gavin??"


"Without question and its about time the General received this kind of recognition. If he had been Navy, a ship would have been named after him long ago.. "Airborne" All The Way!"


"During my time in the 82d Airborne Division, I came to know of the hero, Gavin. He was a legendary Soldier and a morally fit gentleman. He certainly deserves this honor."


"He was a genius when it came to warfare. I suggest naming many things in honor of him, a great leader and a wonderful human being."


"I just want to wish you the best of luck with project."




Best General ever in our military!!!"


"I was in an M113A2 in Germany all we called it was a track. This is a fitting way to call it something worthy."


"Having served under "Slim Jim" I feel he deserve every honor that can be given him. Being all-most 80 years old I would go anywhere in or out of this world with him."


"I don't understand why it has not been done. All the way!"


"I personally feel it is a good idea and I am sure General Gavin would be pleased."


"The GAVIN--- for General James Gavin ...General JIM........The greatest and youngest General ever in the United States Army !"


"Anything Soldiers from the sky accomplished should be taken into account


It is right and appropriate an honor to name the M113 the M113 Gavin after the finest Airborne Soldier and leader of WW2, and tactician and strategist of the 20th century, James Maurice Gavin. I am most proud to come from Gavin's boyhood hometown of Mount Carmel, PA. He can never be over applauded for his achievements and contributions, and the peace and freedom he helped secure for each of us, America and the world. Airborne all the way!"


"Yes, this man has lead the way for the American forces continually for 30 years. He deserves this."


"What better expression can be given to a Soldier of such distinction than to give him the tribute he so much deserves. Paratroopers remember Gavin now it is time to pay honor."

"If the name "Gavin" is accepted it would be a good idea to have an article about the name and the equipment in the various military magazines like the Legion, VFW, AMVETS and current pubs that are circulated within the military establishment. Suggest that a postage stamp honoring Gen. Gavin would be appropriate to help get the respect he deserves."


"You might remember the Waco Gliders and the Infantry they carried during World War II. (I'm a prejudiced 325 Glider Infantry Regiment Veteran.)


I am pleased to participate in this project. If I can be of any further assistance please let me know. I am quite willing to contact my congress men on this issue. Airborne!"


"As a young Lieutenant in the 82nd Abn. Div., from 1959 - 62, and stationed @ Ft. Bragg, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Gen. Gavin. At that time he was U.S. Ambassador to France (appted by JFK) and was visiting Bragg with the French Ambassador to the U.S. and his wife. They placed an urn of earth from St. Mare Eglise (sp ?) at the 82nd's Museum. The least the Sec. of the Army, etc., can do to honor this great WW II and diplomatic leader is to place his name on the vehicle cited. Thank you for this initiative.


Sounds like a great idea; I'm all for it!"


"General Gavin was a great general and deserves all the accolades we can bestow on him."


"Gavin was a great General."


"So many times in this country people that give/care the most go unrecognized were as those that don't give/care the get the most. It's high time we show our thanks to those that do care. Yes ! honor this man for his insight and caring for his fellow man"


"I just wish I had the opportunity to have served my time under his command. I am honored to sign this petition for the recognition of a great General. AIRBORNE"


"I served with General Gavin as a Company Commander in the 325 Glider Inf. in World War II."


"General James M. Gavin and his gallant paratroopers and glidermen liberated my home town Nijmegen during the so-called operation Market Garden 17 September 1944. I have met General Gavin on several occasions."


"It was a privilege to serve under the General."


"It is clear that this man should be seen for the man he was. Honor Him....


great idea!!"


"It would seem to me that there should be little question of the right course of action reference naming this vehicle. "It's a GAVIN". Do the right thing please."


"What's the hold up?? Politics or what??"


"I think if my dad were still alive today he would vote on this, so in honor of my father who was in the 101st Airborne, 502nd he would be proud to be one of the voters to name this after General Gavin!!! My Father's name was John DeRose and I am very proud of him and all the men who served in WWII and all the other wars! Geromino! Sincerely, Eagles Daughter!"


"This would be an honorable and fitting tribute."


"Being a member of ALL the Airborne units from 1964 to 1976, if this is not named after him, the American government should be like an ostrich, which sometimes they are, and stick there head and 4th point of contact in the ground! Geronimo, Curahee, Rakassan ALL THE WAY!. Don't let his Soldiers' down and those who followed in those giant steps. If you do, God help this pitiful self righteous country because we are going down!!!!!!!"


"I would have thought that the Army did not need a petition to name the M113 in honor of one of our finest Generals..."


"Let the Armed forces do the job they were trained for and keep the Politicians out of it. Get good Contractors with the best parts for our mechanized Fleets. The Armed forces need to have the trust in all of their equipment to keep their Moral high and Fighting Spirit Sharp."


"Lets make this happen! All us former "AIRBORNE" folks will back this one "ALL THE WAY"."


"I think Gavin was one of the best generals in WW II; Gavin deserves this recognition and much more."


"I fully support the name be the Gavin in honor of a great man."


"I do not think that there is a name that is more deserving the Gentleman, as He was referred to by the Men that loved Him so. We should Honor the name and remember Him by naming the M113 as the "GAVIN" Airborne All The Way"


"Belated and long overdue but correct."




"Slim Jim" Gavin was every paratroops "paratrooper". He was the youngest Major-General (age:36) in the history of the U.S. Army next to U.S. Grant! Many times in combat his 82nd troopers saw him shouldering an M-1 Garand. He was a "front-line" leader. I was privileged to have met him on a few occasions. The last 2 were at the 40th anniversarie's of Ste. Mere Eglise and Nijmegen, where he dedicated the monument of the "famous Waal River crossing". He was truly an "All-American" and this M113 should have his name on it!"


"I use to be a 19Delta Cav Scout, I drove the M113 and was the Track Commander for a while. I always felt like I could make a difference when I was in that doggone thing. I think it's an excellent idea to call it the Gavin. We have a building named after him here at Fort Bragg,NC (Gavin Hall). Let's Do It!"

"We have too few heroes in this day and age and when a real one comes along we do little to recognize him. It also helps the troops using the equipment to remember why they are getting such a safe ride. We did the same thing with the Churchill tank in the second world war so I agree that this is a brilliant idea and long overdue. Airborne"


"Gen. Gavin is most deserving of this honor."



"Support the ground troops with everything possible. Wars are won on the ground with the sons of this great nation bearing arms. I'm a former office with the 173d Abn Bde from Vietnam '69. Last man from the Brigade of that era still on active duty. I took care of the troops as a Captain physician at Co B (Med) and with 2/503 all at LZ English Bon Son RVN"


"Great idea. As Much as he has contributed to what we know today as Airborne Combat...do this for him so that his name stands out.....forever"


"Gen Gavin was a great leader and a man with vision. He was well qualified for his position at R&D."


"I believe there is no better way to honor Gen. Gavin and his great vehicle than by naming his m113 after him, he is as deserving as any of the past war heroes who had vehicles named after them."


"Een man met zo'n achtergrond verdien dit. A man with his background deserve this, he was a great man."

"SSgt 101st Airborne Viet-Nam; Mos 11B4P; A Lot Of WWII Troopers I Know Always Said They Needed Something Like That It Is A Great Honor For Him Long Overdue I Am Proud To Be A Part Of It"


"As a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division and a Life Member of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, I think Lt. Gen. "Slim Jim" Gavin is an Icon of the Airborne Community deserves the honor to have the M113 APC carry his name. Every 'TROOPER' who wears the "AA" patch wears the spirit of Lt. Gen. Gavin."


"Concur 100%. All the way."


"The COHORT Chapter proudly requests that the M113 should be named after General Gavin."


"I fully support this effort. It is the least that should be done. It is a shame that we wait so long to honor our Soldiers. We have more than enough public buildings, parks and roads named after politicians who did very little for their country. We should be naming things after the true American heroes. When we run out of the names of true American heroes and patriots, then begin using the names of politicians.


Give Credit where credit is due"


"General Gavin led his troopers in combat and they had to walk. could not drop. Now that we can drop and not have to walk let call the M-113 "The Gavin" to keep that Gavin determination always present in our fighting troopers.


Slim Jim Gavin gave the US Army a good name. Naming this piece of kit after him will remind the US Army of its honourable roots of supporting the good."


"Served proudly with the 82nd Abn 1973 to 1977. Read every thing possible about one of the Army's best Generals....'Jumpin Jim Gavin'"


"This gesture would only be a start in fulfilling our obligation to honor a great American. General Gavin was a soldier, officer, and statesman sine pari--without equal!"


"I'm a World War II veteran of the 101st. A.B. Div. and I know General Gavin is worthy of this honer."


"I'm signing this in honor of my father who landed on Omaha Beach and fought through France and Germany. I know he would sign this if he were still with us."


"Made my first combat jump with Col. Gavin shortly after Midnight july 9th 1943 on the Island of Sicily. Took off from Tunisia North Africa.


He was a hell of a good man!"


"That's what I like about the American way of life; someone is always coming up with a thoughtful and appropriate idea. Of course the venerable APC should be named the 'Gavin' to honour not only General Gavin personally, but also as a symbol to help illuminate the magnificent qualities of this outstanding leader, and gentleman, to those who would bravely don the uniform, be prepared to carry the Colors into battle and do their best to emulate and build on his example. How could President Bush not agree? (from a humble Australian paratroop who experienced the privilege of serving with the 82nd Abn Div) God Bless America."


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