The rapid response by the Department of Defense to protect the warfighters reached a major milestone today when the 10,000th Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle rolled off the assembly line and into government hands.
In February 2008 the MRAP program office, headed by Marine Corps Systems Command, recorded its 5,000th MRAP vehicle acceptance. That milestone was reached less than a year after the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made MRAPs the DoD's top acquisition priority. Since then, the program has advanced at near-unprecedented speed, doubling production of the life-saving vehicle in just over four months.
Gates said, "This is a significant achievement. This program has gone from zero to ten thousand in just about a year and a half. These vehicles have proven themselves on the battlefield and are saving lives"
"The many successes of the joint MRAP vehicle program are the result of an overwhelming team effort by the many players in this program," said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, MCSC commander. "From production to integration, from transportation to fielding, many commands and organizations have played major roles in this program."
Within weeks this 10,000th truck, which is built to help withstand close-up impact of an improvised explosive device while protecting people inside, will join its predecessors on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., is the designated joint program office and manages the overall program for DoD. Before being shipped overseas, the MRAP will be installed with weapons, radios and other equipment by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command center at Charleston, S.C. From that point U.S. Transportation Command takes over and moves the vehicles by air and sea to the combat zone.
The final contract order for MRAP vehicles is expected later in the summer, bringing the overall total more than 15,000 vehicles in the current build-up. More information on the MRAP program can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2008/0108_mrap/.