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Cleaning Up After the MRAP Frenzy

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You might remember a few months back -- as many lawmakers got themselves into a lather, treating the MRAP as the solution to every problem with the Iraq War -- we raised some questions about the pace at which they were being fielded and how they were going to be employed effectively during a counter-insurgency campaign.

Well, the dust is starting to clear from the stampede of those who were out to prove they love the troops more than the next congressman, and lo and behold, their zeal caused a few unintended consequences.

Here's an excerpt from the story running at Military.com:

The accelerated pace the military has used to buy and deploy thousands of heavily armored mine resistant vehicles for Iraq and Afghanistan could lead to problems with maintenance and cost overruns on the top priority project, according to congressional investigators.

Congress has appropriated $22 billion to acquire more than 15,000 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, also known as MRAPs, to protect troops from roadside bombs and other insurgent ambushes, according to the Government Accountability Office report. Defense Secretary Robert Gates designated the program as the department's highest priority acquisition last year.

That meant testing of safety and performance occurred while the vehicles were being bought, raising the possibility costly errors would be uncovered after the fact. More than 100 vehicles the military paid for were not fielded because of problems discovered after their purchase, according to the GAO report made public Wednesday.

"While the department's concurrent approach to producing, testing, and fielding the vehicles has provided an urgently needed operational capability, it has also increased performance, sustainability and cost risks," the GAO concluded

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Read the entire story here.

-- Ward

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