They have been up-armored, they have been cannibalized, they have been loved; now they are being dismantled and left for dead. Millions of dollars’ worth of heavy-duty military vehicles known as MRAPs are being smashed into metal lumps in preparation for the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
To the delight of defense contractors like General Dynamics, mine-resistant-ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) were “over ordered” by the Pentagon. The excess vehicles are now being crushed and sold to Afghan scrap buyers eager to get their hands on tons of reusable metal.
The Defense Logistics Agency reported some 938 MRAPs had been scrapped as of Oct. 1.
In defense of the disposal process, many of the MRAPs being crushed are not worth the price of a ticket home. Broken windows, damaged doors, and unusable electronics from bullets and IEDs have greatly diminished the value of the vehicles.
Disposing of excess MRAPs is part of an enormous $5-billion to $7-billion moving job that involves shipping U.S. vehicles, weapons, gear and equipment out of Afghanistan.
By road and by air, the military plans to remove 35,000 vehicles and 95,000 shipping containers by the close of 2014.
Any equipment deemed unworthy of shipping and not usable by the Afghan army will meet the same demise as the trustworthy MRAPs.
Examiner’s Note: MRAPs known as Cougars and Buffalos are manufactured locally at the General Dynamics plant formerly known as Force Protection. (Ladson, S.C.) I was privileged to tour the plant three years ago to see some of the production, first-hand. A non-disclosure agreement prevents me from speaking directly about the process or the extensive inventory. At the time, they had no plans to sell MRAPs to any other entities other than the U.S. military.
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