The Marine Corps is celebrating a decade of keeping Marines safer on the battlefield with the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected family of vehicles.
In 2006, combatant commanders identified the urgent operational need for an increased number of MRAP vehicles in theater to provide better protection against underbody mines, improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. MRAP vehicles were already in use by the Army and Marine Corps, but in limited numbers and for specialized missions, such as explosive ordnance disposal and other route clearance work. In response, Marine Corps Systems Command established the MRAP Joint Program Office in 2006, to combine the efforts of Marine Corps, Army, Navy and special operations acquisition expertise. The JPO’s mission was to get the maximum number of vehicles to the operating forces in the shortest period of time.
“The object of the program office was to field vehicles to all the services, U.S. Special Operations Command and coalition partners to ensure the same level of troop protection was provided to the entire joint and combined forces,” said retired Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, Joint Program Executive Officer for the MRAP vehicle program from 2007 to 2011 and a former commander of Marine Corps Systems Command. “The presence of the MRAP also challenged the enemy, since the insurgents had to increase the size of their explosive devices to have any effect on these more survivable vehicles. The larger devices, and longer time it took to implant them, increased the likelihood that our troops would detect an IED before it detonated.”
The MRAP family of vehicles consists of four vehicle categories that incorporate a “V-shaped” hull, armor plating and a raised chassis designed to provide protection against the three primary kill mechanisms of mines and IEDs: fragmentation, blast overpressure and acceleration.