First MRAP Fatality

FL_mrap_012208.jpgHey, folks, greetings from O'Hare airport. My connecting flight to Kansas City is delayed a couple of hours (I discovered after running from one terminal to the other like OJ back in the old Hertz commercials), so I have a little time on my hands here.

Here's an item reported on a few days back that I thought would be worthy of a discussion among the DT clan. Our man Eric Daniel relays that it's important to note that the Soldier killed was seated in the most vulnerable position in the MRAP and that an IED that size would've taken out everyone in a Humvee. Also, it's unclear if the gunner died from the blast or the MRAP's subsequent roll. But, still, this casualty is a surprise since most considered the MRAP to be IED-proof altogether.

Here's a bit of the report:
A Soldier killed over the weekend south of Baghdad was the first American casualty in a roadside bomb attack on a newly introduced, heavily armored vehicle, a military spokeswoman said Jan. 22.

The V-shaped hull of the huge MRAP - Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected - truck is designed to deflect blasts from roadside bombs, a weapon that has killed more American Soldiers than any other tactic used by Sunni insurgents and militia fighters in Iraq.

The Soldier who died Jan. 19 was the gunner who sits atop the MRAP vehicle. Three crew members tucked inside the cabin were wounded. The vehicle rolled over after the blast and it was not clear how the gunner died - from wounds in the explosion or in the subsequent roll-over.

Maj. Alayne P. Conway, deputy spokeswoman for the 3rd Infantry Division, said the attack and the death were under investigation.

There now are more than 1,500 of the costly vehicles in service in Iraq and the Pentagon is working to get at least 12,000 more, using $21 billion provided by Congress. MRAPs cost between $500,000 and $1 million, depending on their size and how they are equipped

The cycle of war continues . . .

-- Ward

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