Pentagon: New MRAPs Have Been Successful In Saving Troops' Lives

April 4th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Pentagon: New MRAPs Have Been Successful In Saving Troops' Lives

Hooah. good to hear.

USA Today
April 4, 2008
Pg. 5
Troops at Risk -- IEDs in Iraq
By Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today
WASHINGTON Troops traveling in the military's new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks have survived attacks from the most lethal explosives in Iraq, according to military commanders and a Pentagon report.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Multi-National Division-Central troops south of Baghdad, said his soldiers are facing more attacks from explosively formed penetrators (EFPs). These weapons fire a molten slug of metal that can slice through armor even on tanks. MRAPs also have withstood blasts from huge improvised explosive devices (IEDs) deeply buried in roads.
"The MRAPs, in addition to increasing the survivability of our soldiers from underbelly attacks, also have improved force protection for EFP attacks as well," Lynch said. "So I've had EFPs hit my MRAPs and the soldiers inside, in general terms, are OK."
Lynch's soldiers received their first MRAPs in November and now have 323, Maj. Alayne Conway, a military spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Lynch blamed Shiite extremists for the rise in EFP attacks.
The truck's V-shaped hull deflects explosions. Its chassis also sits high off the ground, where the force of buried bombs would be greatest. That makes them harder to target for insurgents using EFPs than Humvees, which are closer to the ground, Lynch said.
MRAPs are less vulnerable than Humvees and other vehicles to deeply buried bombs, another deadly form of IED, Lynch said.
"We've lost 140 soldiers under my command since we've been involved in this operation," Lynch said by phone from Iraq. "Many were the result of them being in uparmored Humvees or Bradleys or tanks. Underbelly IEDs, with significant amounts of explosive material, have been devastating. They cause catastrophic kills in those vehicles. Those same kind of attacks against MRAPs allow my soldiers to survive. I'm convinced of that."
The vehicles have performed well in other parts of Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
"The MRAP has demonstrated that it is much better than other wheeled vehicles in protecting troops from the effects of IEDs, and the newest of the MRAPs has sustained enormous explosions without any breach of the personnel compartment," according to the most recent Pentagon report on security in Iraq.
No Marine has been killed or seriously injured in an MRAP, Marine Gen. Robert Magnus said in written testimony to Congress on Tuesday. He told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee on readiness that Marines are up to five times more likely to be hurt in an attack on an armored Humvee than in an MRAP.
"While designs are improving, these vehicles provide the best available protection against IEDs, just as the enemy is trying to improve these crude but potentially lethal weapons," he wrote.
The Pentagon has shipped 4,380 MRAPs for troops on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military said. Of those, 3,200 are being driven in combat, the majority in Iraq. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the trucks the Pentagon's top acquisition priority.
The military plans to spend $22 billion to buy more than 15,000 MRAPs.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, head of the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization, said adjustments have been made to the passenger compartments to prevent head and leg injuries.
"We've had some catastrophic hits on them, but soldiers inside have lived through it," Metz said.
Overall, IED attacks have decreased to 20 per day, down from the 2006 peak of more than 60 per day. The use of drones for surveillance of insurgents has contributed to the decline, Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, told Congress in written testimony. Drones have allowed the military to kill more than "several hundred IED emplacers," he said.
April 4th, 2008  
Sweet! 'Bout time we got some good news!
April 4th, 2008  
A Can of Man
Awesome to see the US military is getting faster at adapting to new threats.

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