As of April 5, more than 5,000 mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles to protect troops have been delivered to U.S. Central Command’s area of operations, according to U.S. Transportation Command.

“This is truly an achievement of all the military and commercial partners in this venture,” Gen. Norton Schwartz, U.S.Transportation Command commander, said. “These lifesaving vehicles are proving their value every day in protecting our warfighters and keeping them safe while in harm’s way.”

The milestone of 5,000 occurs a little more than three months after the Defense Department kept its promise to have 1,500 MRAPs in theater before the end of 2007. As of April 9, more than 5,200 MRAPS were in theater.

Supply chain partners, from manufacturer to the front lines, reached a major milestone in keeping warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan safe from the effects of many improvised explosive devices. Companies working on MRAPs include: International Military and Government LLC (IMG), BAE Systems, Force Protection Industries Inc., [FRPT] and General Dynamics [GD], which has partnered with Force Protection to create Force Dynamics LLC, to share in the production and program management of MRAP contracts (Defense Daily, July 2).

In late March, the number of vehicles delivered by sea exceeded the number airlifted to the area of operations. U.S. Transportation Command officials project that by the end of June all MRAP vehicles will be shipped by sea.

Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., the Joint Program Executive Office (PEO), manages the overall MRAP program for DoD. Before the vehicles ship out, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command center at Charleston, S.C., integrates and installs government furnished equipment into the vehicles.

“The many successes of the Joint MRAP Vehicle program are the result of an overwhelming team effort by the many players in this program,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, commander, Marine Corps Systems Command/Joint PEO. “From production to integration, from transportation to fielding, a number of commands and organizations have played major roles in this program. The professionals from USTRANSCOM exhibited flexibility and resourcefulness to accomplish the movement mission.”

USTRANSCOM’s MRAP End-to-End Distribution team has been monitoring the pipeline from production through to arrival in theater and delivery to final destination.

This success is significant, officials said, since USTRANSCOM also supports the president, humanitarian relief operations around the world, and commitments made to USCENTCOM and other combatant commands.