New Vehicles Protect Marines In 300 Attacks In Iraq Province

April 19th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: New Vehicles Protect Marines In 300 Attacks In Iraq Province

USA Today
April 19, 2007
Pg. 4
By Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today
In more than 300 attacks since last year, no Marines have died while riding in new fortified armored vehicles the Pentagon hopes to rush to Iraq in greater numbers this year, a top Marine commander in Anbar province said.
Brig. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of coalition forces in Anbar province, said the Marines have tracked attacks on the vehicles since January 2006. The vehicles' raised, V-shaped hulls deflect the force of blasts from homemade bombs buried in roadways.
There's been an average of less than one injured Marine per attack on the vehicles, Allen said. There have been 1,100 attacks on coalition vehicles during the period in Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni Muslim insurgency.
Attacks on other vehicles caused more than two casualties per attack, including deaths, Allen said.
The Marines provided statistics for injuries involving the new vehicles, but they did not release the number of deaths involving Humvees. The Marines do not release causes of death because they do not want to give the enemy combat intelligence.
Pentagon casualty records show that of the 60 combat deaths this month in Iraq, 35 troops have been killed by homemade bombs, which the Pentagon calls improvised explosive devices (IEDs). None was a Marine. At least 16 of the dead were riding in Humvees, according to records and published reports.
IEDs are responsible for 70% of U.S. casualties in Iraq, Pentagon records show.
The Marines operate about 100 of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and want an additional 3,000 MRAPs in Anbar province. Marine Corps Commandant James Conway told the Joint Chiefs of Staff last month that he wants to require every Marine traveling outside bases to ride in the MRAPs.
"It's a great vehicle in term of protecting troops," Allen said.
Congress wants more money to buy the vehicles this year. The Senate version of the emergency Pentagon spending bill being debated by Congress would include $4 billion to buy the vehicles.
The vehicles "can and will save lives," says Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who pushed an amendment for an additional $1.5 billion for the vehicles through the Senate last month. The new vehicles "are a dramatic improvement in the odds of survival" for U.S. troops, he said.
The Pentagon needs more than $8 billion this year and next to pay for about 7,700 vehicles. In January, it issued contracts with nine companies to develop and build the vehicles.
The vehicles' safety is enhanced, Allen said, by raising their hulls a few feet off the ground where the force of a buried bomb is concentrated. Humvees, by contrast, have a lower center of gravity and are thinly protected on the bottom.
The Army, which has most of the 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, will have about 1,800 of the vehicles in Iraq by December. It has other armored vehicles, such as tanks, and intends to continue to operate armored Humvees because they are more mobile than MRAPs.
May 2nd, 2007  
We should try and get a picture of an MRAP up on the forum.
May 3rd, 2007  
Team Infidel

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