A Quick Overview of the US Armed Forces

The United States divides its military forces into five services. The Army is the largest and is intended to be the primary ground combat force. The Navy is in charge of operations at sea and includes a powerful air component. The Air Force is the youngest service and is in charge of aerial operations. The Marines are primarily intended to deploy combined arms forces in response to crises around the world. Finally the Coast Guard is the smallest of the armed forces and is primarily charged with homeland defense.

Reserve units and personnel join the active duty forces, both federal and National Guard units for the Army and Air Force. These have state and federal missions.

Within this framework there are several chains of command and responsibility. The President is the commander in chief of the Armed Forces. The Secretary of Defense oversees the Department of Defense and provides guidance. The military departments of the DoD train and equip the force. The Joint Chiefs of Staff provide the president with professional advice and provide a means for the services to coordinate their actions. They plan and coordinate. There are also regional commands, which conduct operations.

Probably the most famous of the regional commands is CENTCOM. This is the Central command, which conducts operations in the MidEast, most famously the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. EUCOM controls operations in Europe, much of the territory of the old Soviet Union and Africa. AFRICOM is being formed and will take over operations in Africa. PACOM is in charge of operations in Asia and the Pacific Ocean. SOUTHCOM deals with operations in Latin America, and NORTHCOM deals with operations in North America. There are also four more commands with worldwide responsibility. SOCOM is in charge of special operations, JFCOM provides joint support for worldwide operations, STRATCOM controls the strategic weapons and space operations, and TRANSCOM controls transportation around the world.

Currently the biggest deployment is in Iraq with approximately 130,000 servicemen, but in terms of manpower, the greatest force is in the continental US with 900,000. This is followed by Iraq, then Germany with about 70,000, Japan with just under 50,000, Korea with just over 30,000 and Afghanistan with less than 30,000. Italy and the United Kingdom have just over 10,000 each. There are another 100,000 at sea. In 2003 the US had forces present in 130 nations on bases or military facilities. There are still around 2,000 troops deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo.

US military forces have been present in German, Japan and Korea since the end of WWII. Many older deployments have ended with the end of the Cold War, including the Panama Canal Zone and bases in the Philippines. Guantanamo Bay is one of the oldest, dating back to the end of the Spanish American War in 1898.

There are about 1.4 million active duty personnel in the US Armed Forces, and plans are to increase that number by another 90,000. There are another million in the reserve components.

For more information on the US military please check out the author's site at http://usmilitary.com

Military Exoskeleton Suits

Most of the exoskeleton suits are still in work and some of them work pretty well, but they are thinking too small and are too much under budget. Exoskeleton suits as everyone knows can be used for just about anything on the ground, combat or non-combat alike. If the current exo suit is as good as it says, I think they should look to a higher view. Of course this is a good starter but not good for lifting anything if your arms can't handle it.

If they start thinking bigger and better like in the movies like you say, it can definitely do a lot better. Example, one worker exo could replace 3 people working on a construction project at the same speed, but 3 exo workers could get it done in a far faster time limit thus getting the whole project done far faster. Some people will say it will take jobs away instead of creating them. But if you don't take away the jobs the fighting force overall will work much faster and efficient.

I've had an idea a little before, maybe some other people may have had the idea too, but if they work on the obliques a lot more and included arms for it. Maybe in case they had to tip a car over for cover, add the Dragon skin armor for plaiting around the whole exo which would cover the body shell and put a helmet on with all kinds of tech in it, and make it almost impossible for a bullet to slip in and still comfortable and quick moving. It could make a good front line assault group that can be used for certain missions.

And you know those soldiers that get booted from the army for being too strong...give those guys these and in case for some reason the system fails. They will be able to unload some of the more heavier stuff and still be able to move around on there own. Ideally like medieval times, there would be knights that wore armor into battle and really did some good punches to overall battles that may have took a lot more lives to defeat. I know a lot of people would think these are stupid ideas but if you get the right people and trained them good to pilot anything close to what I just said, it would be like you have god himself on your side.

As a former design specialist working for a DOD contractor the design of piloted and remote control was in development in the mid 80's. The problems then were 1 Power 2 reset 3 panic the first verbal control panic button was Reset and returning unit to "Zero" Power was limited to battery, hydraulic, and diesel. The exoskeleton issue is to structure the system needs to closely fit the environment.

One can only wonder what will happen to all that delicate equipment when a little sand or dust gets in there. Will it short out when a soldier must cross a stream or the humidity of a rainy day? Care for a roll in the mud? I am a great enthusiast of sci-fi equipment. If you want an equipment hauler for here and now the bicycle is a simple, proven, and available combat vehicle.

The bicycle was the secret weapon that allowed 30,000 Japanese to defeat 100,000 British at Singapore in World War II. By traveling 3 times faster than on foot the Japanese were able to project an image of about the same size force as the British. Given Japanese control of sea and air "resistance was futile". The Viet Cong proved the bicycle was a formidable hauler of supplies. The Germans had a bicycle corps trained to jump off their bikes and become infantry in seconds. The bicycle was considered ideal for recon and Special Forces.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/ WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.