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Posted: July 9, 2008

Department of Defense announces MRAP milestone

The U.S. Department of Defense July 3 announced that 10,000 mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs) had been delivered to the government for use by American troops.

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, according to the announcement.

As of April 5, more than 5,000 MRAPs had been delivered to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, the U.S. Transportation Command reported earlier this year.

In March of this year, the number of vehicles delivered by sea exceeded the number airlifted to the area of operations, TRANSCOM reported.

TRANSCOM officials projected that, by the end of June, all MRAP vehicles would be shipped by sea. Many MRAPs have been delivered to U.S. forces by ships manned in all licensed positions by American Maritime Officers.

Within weeks, the 10,000th MRAP, 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, the DOD reported.

"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," Defense Secretary Gates said.

"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 p