Our area just lost two more young men
in Afghanistan, one was only 22 and on
his second tour. Since IEDs were
involved we decided to take a look at
whats being done to protect those who
defend our freedom.
We’re gearheads so we looked at
a few vehicles being used. The war
began with the High Mobility
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV),
or Humvee. At the beginning of
the recent wars the Humvees had little
armor and casualties were high.
In 2007 we started using Mine Resistant
Ambush Protected (MRAPs). Weighing over 20 tons
loaded and top heavy these vehicles
did present some problems due to the
terrain of the area.
The MRAP would get mired in loose soil
and roll over on grades that didn’t
affect the Humvee. But the crew would
survive a 200 pound bomb blast, and
missile fire from rocket-propelled
By late 2008, the Pentagon knew it had
a problem with the MRAP and looked for
a replacement. Enter the M-ATV, or MRAP All-Terrain
The contract was awarded to Oshkosh
Defense in early 2009 and the Pentagon
began a huge airlift campaign to get the
vehicles from the factories in Wisconsin
and Pennsylvania to Charleston, South
Carolina where the Navy Electronics Command
fitted them radios and classified systems.
When finished there the vehicles went to
nearby Charleston Air Force Base and were
crammed into C-17s, larger C-5s, and chartered 747 freighters.
The M-ATVs were so large they only cleared
the cargo doors by inches, and some on
the scene likened it to putting a couch
in a closet. And they left the Air Force
Base at a rate of 30 a day.
Although these vehicles aren’t cheap, we
believe saving the lives of our men and
women protecting us is priceless.
Comments are always welcome.