Up-armored Humvees mandatory for off-base travel in Afghanistan
Stars and Stripes August 11, 2006
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — U.S. military commanders reiterated orders Thursday that troops traveling off base must use up-armored Humvees, unless they receive an exemption from a commanding officer.
On Sunday, troops at this air base questioned Command Chief Master Sgt. Curtis Brownhill about the availability of armored Humvees in Afghanistan, and asked him to work to provide more of the armored vehicles for troops here.
Brownhill, an adviser on sustainment issues to the Central Command commander, Gen. John Abizaid, said officials are already working to get more armor protected vehicles in the country, but the threat of roadside bombs in Iraq still outweighs the needs in Afghanistan.
Officials from Combined Joint Task Force-76, the eastern Afghanistan operational command, said on Thursday that troops leaving base on missions are in fact required in all cases to travel only in vehicles with “Level 1” factory-installed armor.
The order also states that commanders can waive that requirement if vehicles are unavailable or if the mission does not warrant that level of protection.
In a statement Thursday, Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata, deputy commander for support, said that officials here are comfortable with the number of armored vehicles in the country.
“If there are new requirements out there, we will process those as quickly as we do all others,” he said. “We continue to make improvements to our up-armored vehicles and conduct daily assessments of the force protection required to operate effectively in the area of operations.”