Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle

I haven't posted in a while because I was busy (for once) at gunnery, which is basically a big outing to do target practice for Bradleys and tanks. Shooting the brads is fun, but it's just a distraction from what the Bradleys really love doing, which is breaking randomly, all the time. Over the past month, every one of my four tracks has been "deadlined" (so broken that it is either unsafe or impossible to operate it) at least once. My NCOs are competent and conscientious when it comes to maintenance; this level of malfunction is just normal. At this point, I'm just relieved when one breaks down inside the motor pool, because that means it won't have the opportunity to break down in the middle of a Korean street* while driving to a training area, at which point recovering it becomes the definition of a schlep.

Anyone who's seen the masterpiece The Pentagon Wars  knows the Bradley is a fundamentally ridiculous vehicle. And after discovering their compulsion to break down, I had only contempt for the BFV. However, after eight months with the damn thing, like an ugly dog, I couldn't help but feel affection toward it. Mech for life. And yeah, it beats sleeping on the ground (don't worry, my brad still leaks on my when it rains hard enough).

*To the best of my knowledge, Iraq and Korea are the only two places the Army will let you drive a bradley through urban areas.

PS I drew this whole thing freehand with a random pen, no tracing/pencil/tablet, just some corrections once I scanned it!

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