Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 4, 2008 / 27 Adar I 5768

Give a troop a Jake

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ever wish, upon hearing that yet another of our soldiers or Marines has been killed or wounded while operating in dangerous areas of Iraq or Afghanistan, that you could do something - anything - to reduce the chances it will happen again?


Such a powerful and understandable sentiment seems to be operating in the minds of millions of Americans currently backing Democratic presidential candidates who promise, if elected, to begin immediately withdrawing our forces from harm's way (at least the Iraqi part). Unfortunately, this approach is not likely to prevent more American forces, or for that matter civilians, from getting hurt. To the contrary, our defeat and retreat under fire from one or both of these fronts in this global War for the Free World will set the stage for vastly worse carnage, certainly abroad and probably at home.


Those who subscribe to that assessment - and even many who do not - hope that, by supporting large and growing defense budgets, the troops will get what they need in the way of equipment to do their missions and receive the protection required to do so safely. To a very considerable degree, that is the case.


What if there were something more we could do though, something that might make a real difference - both to the safety of our guys on the ground and to their success? My guess is that millions of Americans would be willing to help.


It turns out that there is something else we as civilians might be able to do to transform the effectiveness and survivability of infantry soldiers and Marine "ground-pounders," troops who are obliged to perform today's tough jobs in urban settings and elsewhere pretty much the same way their grandfathers did in World War II. It involves a device known as a "Jake" - an infantryman's personal mobility, sensor and weapons platform best described as a "Segway on steroids."


The invention of the Jake is a classic American story. It is the brainchild of Russell Strong, a brilliant engineer and innovator known in his industry as "Mr. Tractor" for his revolutionary designs in the agricultural and heavy equipment industries. He started out in 1999 trying to perfect a means of providing revolutionary mobility to wheelchair-bound individuals. When he presented his concept to veterans wounded in Vietnam and Somalia, they urged him to adapt it for their comrades fighting today's wars - and tomorrow's.


The result is a compact unit with two Humvee-size wheels in back and two smaller wheels in front, the capacity to carry either two soldiers (and, where needed, a few more hitching rides on running boards), one soldier and up to a 2,000-pound pallet of gear, or no soldiers at all, thanks to the Jake's ability to be operated by remote control. This platform relies on its agility, speed and ability to operate in a "swarm" to give unprecedented options to troops fighting in alleys and other areas or working to interact constructively with civilians, while deterring attacks.


Powered by a hybrid electric engine, Jake can move stealthily in combat and with minimal disruption in crowded marketplaces. Each platform can also serve as a source of electrical power for the military, something always in short supply in forward operating positions.


Visionary military leaders like the Army's retiring Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Richard Cody, have called the Jake "the warrior transformer." Interestingly, the more junior the personnel, the greater the appreciation for the contribution such devices might make, now and in the future. Some preparing to deploy to Iraq have, when shown an early Jake prototype, pleaded with Mr. Strong to let them take it along.


So, what's the problem? The very qualities that make the Jake such a potentially transformative asset cause many in the institutional military to recoil from its early adoption. Like IBM, which once famously failed to appreciate that the day of the large, immensely expensive mainframe computer was giving way to the era of PCs and proliferating software, the armed forces need to appreciate that Jake represents the advent of an era when "networked" or "distributed" warfare is the norm - not something to which lip-service is paid.


For their part, many defense contractors recognize that Jake could enable them finally to overcome the weight-barrier to equipping foot soldiers with more firepower, technologies designed to counter roadside bombs and snipers and the integrated support of unmanned aerial vehicles. In the absence of a stated military requirement for Jake, however, few are willing to provide the $10 million required to develop and equip the first dozen prototypes needed to evaluate this platform and begin evolving concepts for its utilization. As things stand now, without a change of heart in the Pentagon or intervention from Capitol Hill, the whole effort to realize the Jake's promise could come to naught.


There is, as a result, an opportunity for the American people to help. Find out more about the Jake at www.AmericanAgility.com. If you like what you see there, make a contribution to allow Russ Strong and his team to overcome the inertia that has for too long kept these assets from saving the lives, and contributing to the success, of our brave troops in harm's way.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

Archives


BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"  

America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.

With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.

War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles