Delays In Funding Delay Much Need, Lifesaving Equipment
April 29, 2007
I’m angry right now…. very angry. I’m angry because the actons of lawmakers in Washington DC is putting the lives of our troops at a terrible risk. I’m angry because while they continue to play their political games, our troops are sufferig. I’m angry because every delay, means more soldiers lives put at risk. I’m angry because these people could care less about our troops, to them it’s all a game about which political party comes out on top, and nothing about the safety and well-being of our troops.
Awhile back, I did an article about the Buffalos. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with the v-shaped hulls that when hit by an IED, directs the blast out and away from the passengers in the vehicle. To date, NO U.S. troops have died while riding in one of these vehicles. Just last month at a hearing in Washington DC, lawmakers urged the Army to get more of these vehicles to the warzone as soon as possible. Now, that effort could be delayed as lawmakers continue to battle over the war spending bill. HELLO! Our troops need these vehicles NOW!
According to military leaders in both the Army and the Marines, these vehicles have reducd roadside bombing casualties in Iraq alone, by as much as 2/3. That’s saving a whole lot of lives that might otherwise not be saved. Currently, there are around 1,100 of the vehicles in Iraq. The Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Special Ops forces want thousands more. The goal for all branches combined is more than 7,700.
Because of the current battle over the war spending bill, the Pentagon says that there isn’t enough funding to purchase as many as the commanders say that they need. According to General Peter Scoomaker who spoke at the hearings with lawmakers last month, that getting more of these vehicles out on the frontlines, solely based on funding. Speaking for the Army, he said that they not only need the MRAP’s now to provide better protection to the troops, but that it is necessary to stay on a path of developing an even better vehicle, because the enemy continues to adapt their methods of attack. At the hearings, Senators pressed to get more of the vehicles into the frontline.
“We’re buying far too few of them,” said Sen. Bryon Dorgan, D-North Dakota. “If we have that capability, why would we not do everything to mobilize, to move as many of them into the field as is possible?”
Good question Senator, I’m asking the same thing myself. I think may have possibly even come up with an answer to your question…. Because the people we’ve elected to National office, find it more important to continue to play their political “power” games, instead of focusing on the fact that our troops need these vehicles as well as other equipment NOW instead of later, when lawmakers tire of the games.
In January the military contracted to purchase 4,100 of the vehicles from various companies who manufacture them. According to the Army, dollars that have already been approved and in the pipeline are not affected by the battle over war spending that is currently raging in Washington DC. However, that still leaves them short of the vehicles that are needed.
While this battle in Washingron DC continues to rage, Marines out on the dusty roads of Anbar provnce in Iraq, say that these vehicles have more than proven their worth. According to Marine SSG Tim Kessler, Marines were riding in one just this month and took a hit from a roadside bomb. Though the blast blew out a tire, NO ONE in the vehicle was hurt or killed. A few days earlier, another of the vehicles carrying 6 Marines was hit by 2 roadside bombs. Two Marines suffered broken bones, but not one of them died. All of them survived.
“It’s an extremel survivable vehicle. I guarantee it saves lives,” said Kessler, pointing to the scars on the side of the MRAP. He added that had the Marines been riding in a Humvee or another vehicle, they would have all been dead.