Leaders from the Army and the Marine Corps are expected to decide this month just how many MRAPs their services will need for future fights. And those requirement numbers can’t come too soon for officials in Joint Program Office Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles as they prepare to hand over joint control of all MRAPs to the services next year.
“Not one service, as of today … has decided what their enduring requirement is for MRAPs,” David Hansen, joint program manager for MRAP, said Dec. 5 at this year’s Defense Logistics Conference in Washington D.C. “Until they say that, we can’t do a lot of forward planning for reset.”
On Sept. 30 of next year, the Pentagon’s fleet of about 28,000 MRAPs will be permanently transferred to the services when JPO MRAP closes for good.
The Marine Corps has always been the lead service for these heavily-armored trucks, but the Army currently owns 22,000 MRAPs. “A lot of things may change; the Army may have less trucks in their enduring requirement than I think. They may have more trucks than I think – who knows – but we are kind of waiting for the Army which has 22,000 MRAPs to decide where the Army needs to go with MRAPS,” Hansen said.
Marine Corps leaders are scheduled to decide upon their service’s MRAP requirement on Dec. 13, Hansen said, adding that the Army has also scheduled a decision meeting on that same day.
It’s unclear when the Air Force and Navy make their MRAP number decisions. One factor that’s slowing the decision process may have to do with deciding which missions go to the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the planned replacement for the Humvee.
“Does the MRAP fill some niche in the future, does it not? But every service has decided that it needs something in the future,” Hansen said. “They need to decide how many so they can decide how many they want to have active and how many they want to have in storage.”