RIMPAC 2014 is taking place between June 26 and August 01, 2014. The different exercises provide a good opportunity to test military equipment, which is still under development. For example Boston Dynamics Legged Squad Support System (LS3), also known as “BigDog“. Marines with the India company of the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines tested the system from July 10 to 12 in the Kahuku Training Area. One LS3 unit is able to carry slightly above 180 kg (400 lbs) and has enough fuel for a 30 km (20 mile) mission lasting 24 hours.
In my opinion, the LS3 is too noisy and the dependency on fuel is a considerable disadvantage. Even if the use of real mules is technologically unspectacular, their use may be favourably. After all, the US Marines used real mules in Afghanistan (Quelle: Gordon Lubold, “Fighting a high-tech war with a low-tech mule“, The Christian Science Monitor, 03.05.2009).