April 19, 2013

About Those MRAPs...

There's been a conspiracy theory floating around, don't know if you've seen it yet, that's simply drenched in teh crazie.

Here it is:
The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles were first deployed to the field in 2007 as a way to protect U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from ever-more-powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by insurgents. DHS has acquired over 2,700 MARPs to be used on missions inside United States.
While Snopes has already dealt with this:
A March 2013 claim that the Department of Homeland Security had "purchased 2,700 tanks" for use in the U.S. was based on a year-old (i.e., March 2012) notice posted on the DHS web site announcing that a contractor had been engaged to install new chassis on a number of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles (not "tanks") that were being returned from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although similar vehicles have been used by DHS (and local police forces) for functions such as carrying Rapid Response Teams to disaster sites, the DHS did not "purchase" the MRAP vehicles referenced in that announcement, and the chassis work was contracted for by the Marine Corps Systems Command.
I wanted to take a closer look.  While there WERE 2,717 MRAPs procured..  But they're for The Navy, and  are to be used by The Marines:
Navistar Defense, L.L.C., Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded an $879,923,195 firm-fixed-priced delivery order 0023 under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for the procurement of 2,717 units of rolling chassis; 10 engineering change proposals; and 25 contract data requirements lists, for MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Work will be performed in West Point, Miss., and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2013. Procurement funds in the amount of $879,923,195 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The original contract was competitively procured. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.
In fact, the contract is to upgrade the vehicles for The Marines.  From Navistar:
Lisle-based Navistar Defense LLC landed an $880 million order from the U.S. Marine Corps to upgrade more than 2,700 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, the company announced Tuesday.
So what of the MRAPs being used by the DHS?

Turns out there are 16.  Nationwide.  From Business Insider:
The Department of Homeland Security is using 16 military-style, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles for use during "high-risk warrants," according to an official spokesman.
The MRAPs were transferred to DHS from the Department of Defense, free of charge. But despite recent reports, they have actually been in service since at least 2008.

"The MRAPs we have are not new," Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for DHS, told Business Insider. "We have been using them for years."
And then finally there's this Update:
An earlier version of this post included a figure of over 2,700 vehicles, as cited from the original RT link. This figure likely comes from a press release from Navistar Defense, mentioning delivery of 2,717 to the U.S. Marine Corps. A DHS Spokesman confirmed with Business Insider that they have only 16 nationwide.
So it's not 2,700 but 16.  And the 2,700 weren't procured for DHS but are being refitted for The Marines.  The whole story's wrong.

By the way, RT? What's RT?

That would be Russia Today.

Right now I am wondering if the super patriots believing the Obama Administration has purchased 2,700 MRAPs for the sole purpose of clamping down on civil unrest realize that the original source of the story (one they got wrong) is a state-owned news source from the former Soviet Union.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Russia Today ran the story a few years ago about one or two AMerican gunship helicopters attacking and killing two or three news people (A reporter, a cameraman, maybe a sound person) in Iraq (apparently they decided the camera was a gun or a missile launcher), and then attacking a van with Iraqi civilians in it (including children) when they tried to help the news crew. No US source initially carried that story. Oddly Russia Today seems to be an English language broadcast; maybe its their revenge for losing the cold war.