Marines Demand Probe Into Armor Delay

Blast resistant vehicles 'could have cut deaths in half'
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 4:48 AM CST
Marines in Falluja point out blast marks on their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) during a visit by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Camp Falluja in Iraq's Anbar province in 2007. The...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US Marine Corps has asked the Department of Defense to investigate delays obtaining vehicles with blast-resistant armor for combat units in Iraq. An internal USMC memo claims the money needed for the vehicles, which could have cut deaths from roadside bombings by 50%, was diverted to other projects, reports Stars & Stripes.   

An urgent 2005 request for vehicles with life-saving extra armor, known as MRAPs, fell victim to the "byzantine" procurement system, according to the memo. Decisions were also unduly influenced by retired servicemen who were more concerned with protecting the budget for other programs than with saving marines on the ground, the memo charges.