AFGHANISTAN: Marines, soldiers, mules, donkeys and horses
6:12 PM, March 19, 2009

The taxpayer has spent billions to make sure America's fighting forces have the most high-tech modes of transportation.

But in a country like Afghanistan where the enemy hides in mountain lairs, where there are few foot paths, and no roads at all, sometimes a more primitive conveyance makes more sense.

And so soldiers and Marines possibly headed to Afghanistan were at the Animal Packers Course at the Hawthorne (Calif.) Army Ammunition Depot learning how to use mules, donkeys and horses to pack water, ammunition, weapons and medical supplies.

"With vehicles, you have to worry about things like lubrication, ties and fuel," said Marine Staff. Sgt. Tyler McDaniel. "With animals, you have to think about stuff like shoes and grooming."

--Tony Perry, San Diego

Photo: Marines at the Animal Packers Course. Credit: Marine Corps