Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Magazine article National Defense

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

Although U.S. forces in Iraq were not attacked with chemical or biological weapons, they nonetheless prepared for the worst. Army Chemical Corps units deployed their most sophisticated detectors, and the Defense Department accelerated the production and delivery of new protective garments.

But the reviews on how well chem-bio defense worked in Iraq are mixed. Army Brig. Gen Stephen Reeves, the joint program executive officer for chemical and biological defense, said that the industrial base responded remarkably well to the surge in demand. But he complained that troops in the theater encountered problems operating equipment that had not been properly tested.

Reeves' observations, as well as comments from other officers who returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom, are part of our cover story package, which begins on page 28.

Other Army units in Iraq, meanwhile, continue to suffer shortages of spare parts and vehicle components. Causing these problems are delays in the budget process and difficulties obtaining key vehicle parts. The Army officer in charge of providing logistics and support equipment, Maj. Gen. N. Ross Thompson III, has directed depots, arsenals and commercial vendors to ramp up production, and has taken steps to restructure the Army industrial base, to make it more responsive. More details on the Army's logistics challenges can be found on page 18.

At the Department of Homeland Security, officials are paying increasing attention these days to the issue of protecting aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles. …

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