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US military mulling what to do with surplus of MRAPs

By Published: March 8, 2012

At the height of the insurgency in Iraq, MRAPs were an essential and life-saving asset for front-line Army and Marine units confronting improvised explosive devices, commonly referred to as IEDs.

With the Iraq war over and the troops' days in Afghanistan numbered, the U.S. military, particularly the Army and Marine Corps, is trying to figure out what to do with the thousands of MRAPs in its inventories, the Washington Post is reporting.

Odd as it may seem, the MRAP -- technically known as the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle -- is viewed by some as a relic of sorts, an armored  vehicle probably ill-suited for many future operations, according to the Post article. They are ill-suited because of today's concerted focus on preparing and equipping the military for missions that demand lighter, more versatile vehicles.

Five years ago, the Post reported, the military began ordering nearly 28,000 MRAPs, armored vehicles with a V-shaped undercarriage designed to deflect and better absorb the explosive thrust of an IED. For the most part, they proved quite effective.

The majority of the vehicles in the inventory belong to the Army and Marine Corps. The Army has completed two studies on the issue, though no final decision has been reached on what to do with the surplus of MRAP vehicles, according to the Washington Post.

Some of the MRAPs likely will be kept in reserve while others may be sold to allies, used by other federal agencies or scrapped, the Post reported.

Five years ago, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, such as these at Camp Liberty in Iraq, couldn't roll off the assembly line fast enough. With the U.S. now out of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan due to end in 2014, the military needs to decide what to do with a surplus of MRAPs in its inventory.
Mark B. Matthews/Courtesy of the U.S. Army

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