For Quick Delivery of Mine-Resistant Vehicles, U.S. Military Relies on Airlift

For Quick Delivery of Mine-Resistant Vehicles, U.S. Military Relies on Airlift

The Defense Department late last month delivered its 4,000th Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to the Southwest Asia war zone, a rapid pace of deliveries that reflects the importance DOD places on its top procurement priority. Months after U.S. Transportation Command began shipping massive numbers of MRAPs by ship to ports in the Middle East, sealift has yet to surpass airlift as the primary means of delivery.

At the end of March, more than 1,700 MRAPs had been delivered overseas from the United States by large container ship -- but nearly 2,300 had been delivered by Air Force C-5 and C-17, or via leased An-124 transport. When the Air Force in early March delivered the 2,000th MRAP to the U.S. Central Command war zone, it was the accumulation of hundreds of small batches.

The Air Force's workhorse C-17, for example, typically hauls two or three MRAPs at a time, but can get from the U.S. to Iraq in a single day.

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