It’s with great sadness that I report to you that Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale just said at his briefing that 2010 would be the last year that the Pentagon would buy the venerable High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle.
Budget documents released today show that the the Pentagon is devoting about $1 million to replace war losses of Humvees, but will buy none over and above the current numbers. The Pentagon budgeted for about 8,000 Humvees in FY 2010 to the tune of $1.3 billion.
We’ll likely get more info on how serious the Army is about the JLTV, the Humvee’s replacement, at the Army breakout in a few minutes. But it’s just gigantic that the newest budget zeros out funds for the Humvee. Since about 1985, the Humvee has served very well in a variety of roles both as its originally intended support vehicle role and as a no joke combat vehicle in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 100,000 have been produced in various configurations for the US military.
I’ve logged many hours in Humvees of various configurations and I had to good fortune to travel to Mishawaka, Ind., and South Bend, to see the production facility and drive the AM General test track in an uparmored Humvee. I’m psyched about the possibilities of the JLTV and feel that it’s high time we moved away from the Humvee, but I’ll look back with great affection at that cramped, dusty, bumpy, creaky, stinky, hot, bull-dog-tough truck.
UPDATE: Army budget officials Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton said at the breakout that “we reached the end of the line with the Humvee a sooner than we expected.” Fewer losses in Iraq and Afghanistan and the introduction of the M-ATV makes for “fewer uses for the Humvee.”