Pentagon to Send 250 MRAPs Back To Iraq to Fight ISIS

lastmrapThe Defense Department plans to bolster the Iraqi National Security Forces for the fight against ISIS with MRAPs, the heavily-armored vehicles that Defense Secretary-designate Ashton Carter steered through a rapid acquisition process to counter roadside bombs.

The Pentagon is expected to send about 250 of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Iraq early next year, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said at a news briefing.

The Iraqis likely will not have to pay for the vehicles. Other Pentagon officials said that the transfer of the MRAPs would probably be done as “Excess Defense Articles,” which would allow the Defense Department to give them to the Iraqis with State Department approval.

Currently, there are about 1,500 MRAPs in Kuwait with U.S. forces there, and the 250 for the Iraqis would likely come from that lot, the officials said.

U.S. forces left behind MRAPs for the Iraqis when combat forces were withdrawn in 2011, but ISIS stole most of them earlier this years as Iraqi forces fled and left behind their equipment. U.S. Central Command has since reported destroying several MRAPs in airstrikes.

The agreement for the Iraqis to take the MRAPs followed discussions earlier this week in Baghdad between outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Iraqi officials on the needs of the Iraqis for more equipment and heavy weapons for ground forces.

“No specific list was submitted” by the Iraqis to Hagel but “airstrikes are not the panacea” in uprooting the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from entrenched positions in major cities, Kirby said. “Everybody realizes that.”

As the former undersecretary for acquisitions and deputy secretary at the Pentagon, Carter made the fielding of the MRAP his top priority as casualties among U.S. troops mounted in Iraq and Afghanistan from the improvised explosive devices that took a heavy toll on Humvees and other lightly-armored vehicles.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made Carter the head of an MRAP task force to geet the vehicles to the field quickly. Gates later wrote that Carter and his team “implemented the largest defense procurement program to go from decision to full industrial production in less than a year since World War II.”

Eventually, nearly 28,000 MRAPs were produced at a cost of about $45 billion, and more than 24,000 were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

President Obama noted Carter’s work on the MRAP as he nominated Carter to succeed Hagel earlier this month. “When our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were struggling to defend against roadside bombs, he moved heaven and earth to rush new body armor and vehicles” to the combat zones, Obama said.

About the Author

Richard Sisk
Richard Sisk is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com.
  • royrdsjr

    Say,that is good news. ISIS could sure use them.

  • Reverend Clint

    At least it won’t cost too much to ship them/drive them

    • retired462

      Did we have to pry them away from the police?

      • Christpher

        Donut boxes and sprinkles probably had to removed from the vehicle. Along with unused stunguns and spent 1911 magazines. Cops need them to scare the “thugs”.

    • Guest

      Hahahahaha that was my thought prior to reading they were going to take them from Kuwait. I was thinking MAN, they are going to be the MOST EXPENSIVE vehicles we own. With building them, shipping to Irag to begin with, shipping them home, THEN…shipping them back. I bet it would cost at LEAST 40-50K just ship 1 back and forth once. Mulipl;y that by 250…!!!!!! But yes, driving them from Kuwait will be MUCH , MUCH cheaper. Hmmmm….well…….it….it should BE!!! hahahahahaha

  • andy

    Who is incharge again? cluless

  • Big-Dean

    it’s called “just in time” supply chain (for ISIS)

  • Ziv

    Doesn’t ISIS have enough of our MRAP’s already?

    • John Doe

      Right???? We need to send boots with MRAP’s. That way there they stay in our hands and will be.used correctly.

  • AAK

    I for one am happy the Iraqi troops will have something much safer to run away in.

  • Lance

    Hate to say like our arm sales to South Vietnam this is too little to late.

  • Virgil Cuttaway

    Why not make the Iraqis pay for them? All the local police forces in the US that has them has to pay for them through the 1033 program.

    • freelancemike

      NO. They’ve mostly been given away.

  • BlackOwl18E

    The irony of this whole war with ISIS is killing me. We go to war with Saddam’s Iraq originally with the idea that we can take away its WMDs and keep them out of the hands of terrorists. Our war ends up destabilizing the region and allowing the existence of a terrorist state.

    Now all of the equipment we could not find ways to get rid of fast enough after the Second Iraq War ended are being needed to actually fight a real group of terrorists. To top all of this off, some of the equipment we sent there for the Iraqi security forces to use fighting terrorists was actually stolen and is now being used FOR terrorists.

    The irony just goes on and on. It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so tragic…

    • Christopher

      In before some idiot whines about “Obummer” when it was Bush who failed to negotiate the status of forces agreement in 2008.
      Rather then let our troops be subjected to tribal kangaroo courts.

    • Lurker

      This was just a horrible train wreck rig from the beginning in 2003. Saddam was a scum bag tyrant but at least the Ba’athists were secular and kept the country together.

      What the hell were we thinking? What did we even get out of the whole affair? Nothing but lost lives, an even more unstable Middle East, a battered military, billions of dollars lost, a divided public, and a shattering of our international image that took(will take?) years to repair if ever.

      It had to be our single worst foreign policy decision in the last half century.

    • Guest

      Good assessment Black Owl, I fully agree. Now if only some of the Bush / Cheney
      Kool Aid drinkers would open their eyes. Are you out there Major Rod?

    • Jim Nastelli

      Too true. It’s history repeating itself. We did the same crap in South Vietnam. We never learn.

      • green3

        The Iraq/Iran/Islamic region has been at war consistently for a few thousand years, long before Bush or Obama came around, and will continue to be in turmoil till the Earth implodes. We, as in Americans, need to worry less about foreign this or that nonsense, and worry more about our own house. We are in so much debt that our decedent’s 100 years from now will be dealing with the consequences of our stupidity. It was not Bushes fault, nor is it Obama fault that we, as Americans have allowed our government to run our country into the ground.

  • Bernard

    Maybe we should have left the MRAP’s there in the first place. As for them being used by ISIL, an MRAP wouldn’t stand long against a functioning air power. Even drones have Hellfire. Not that there won’t still be casualties. :-(

  • blight_asdflkj

    MRAPs are perfect to drive the Malakis into exile into Shiastan Province of the Islamic Republic of Iran, previously known as the south end of Mesopotamia.

  • bob

    That’s funny. Certainly solves the problem of “what are we going to do with these things that Congress forced on us once the war ends”.

  • rtsy

    mission creep anyone?

  • robot

    unless they will have U.S. troops in them don’t bother, we all know what happened the last time we gave the Iraqis armored vehicles,

  • hibeam

    We got out too soon now we are getting back in too late. Maybe we can open a web site while we are at it?

  • Homeboy

    Kurdistan

  • mpower6428

    Fox news owes Janine Garafolo an apology……

  • joe

    Lets hear it for neo conservatism eh? way to keep the palestine peace process off the table for another 30 or so years!

  • Brokendown88Z

    We should have thought of pre-positioning equipment years ago, as it seems we’ll never be completely out of there. Made sense in Europe, makes sense in the Middle East. Just have to ensure we have US troops guarding/maintaining it or it won’t be there when we need it.

    • GyUSMC

      Wasn’t it Reagan who began a preposition program for enough equipment for a Marine Brigade on roll on roll off ships at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. These were probably used in the first gulf war and never replaced nor replenished.

      • blight_

        Pretty sure we replaced that stuff, then used it again in 2003. Unsure of the status of those stockpiles.

        That said, it often made sense to leave equipment in-country and rotate troops out. This accelerates wear on the equipment you leave in country, but means you don’t have to pay onerous logistics costs of moving divisional equipment sets around every 9 months (Marines) or 12-14 months (Army) in Iraq.

  • dgala

    I hope for pete’s sake all sensitive equip has been removed.

  • Turk83

    Money well wasted!

  • SCPO

    We should rig them with a device that we can explode remotely if captured by ISSI.

  • retired

    The only thing se should send to the middle east is a few well placed nukes.

  • Butchk9

    i think they should buy them. Doing so might be cause for criminal charges against their troops for using them as escape vehicles. I think the Iraq government still has oil…plus billions in stoln aaid money we sent.

  • guest

    Does this mean a bunch of sheriff’s departments and PD’s are going to have to continue to work without MRAPs? It seems that these vehicles could be useful patrolling our southern border.

    • blight_weroasdfl

      “Does this mean a bunch of sheriff’s departments and PD’s are going to have to continue to work without MRAPs”

      Which ones were you thinking of that needed MRAPs? Need one for your friendly local police department? Start here: http://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/leso/Pages

      “It seems that these vehicles could be useful patrolling our southern border.”
      http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/06

    • freelancemike

      It would be really nice if we took them away from local departments to send to Iraq. Police are supposed to be police, not wannabe soldiers.

  • blight_weroasdfl

    During the insurgency years, Syria was a supply dump for the Iraqi insurgency. After bringing the Syrians onboard, we eliminated that rear area. Doing so was critical to bringing about the peace. Now that Syria has lost control of that area again, it is natural to observe that it is used as a base for radical Sunnis, who can exploit interior lines to attack either Iraq or Syria. And so long as neither is able to operate in concert, the insurgents can base in one country when pressed from the other.

    It is unclear which country will fall first. The fall of Syria may result in a Lebanese/Hezbollah intervention, the fall of Iraq’s Baghdad-based government will result in Iranian intervention.

  • SFC Ham

    Did we not just destory many of them in Afghanistan now we need them again. Talk about a wast of taxpayer money.

  • IronV

    Great idea. ISIS will immediately confiscate them from the fleeing Iraqi soldiers.

    • blight_weroasdfl

      Never been fired, only dropped once.

      Though we can always make things worse by cutting off military aid. That really spelled the doom of the “Republic” of Vietnam.

      • IronV

        Corruption doomed South Vietnam. All the military aid in the world, destroying the Viet Cong, and 50,000 American lives couldn’t compensate for the ineptitude and criminality of the South Vietnam govt.

        • blight_weroasdfl

          That and Buddhist soldiers fighting for a Catholic elite, which happened to also be stupendously corrupt. Iraq is probably no less corrupt, though the majority and the Army are on the same religious page, for once.

  • rick

    isis said that they would be in afghanistan as long as the US was there,, if we pull out the war is over, we are just there to help the arms suppliers amass huge loot. .

    • blight_weroasdfl

      We’re not in Iraq (at least by overt American occupation, but now things have changed), but ISIS is there. More reasons for ISIS presence than pointing at an American footprint. Sadly if we leave Afghanistan they’ll just topple Karzai and bring in a new Salafi regime. It’ll probably be radical ethnic Arabs persecuting Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks.

  • LIAM

    nothing but one big freaking mess….glad to be out and not there any more……

  • ken

    Sure would have been a slap in the face if we had to manufacture more MRAPs because we scuttled them.

  • voodkokk

    Send Obama the bill. Will be a waste of 8 years. Can’t believe we have two more to go with this community adviser.

    • IronV

      Say what? Obama got us into Afghanistan and Iraq?

      • crackedlenses

        No, but he totally botched the pull-out of Iraq for political reasons and is well on his way replicating the same in Afghanistan.

  • voodkokk

    The Iraqis likely will not have to pay for the vehicles. Other Pentagon officials said that the transfer of the MRAPs would probably be done as “Excess Defense Articles,” which would allow the Defense Department to give them to the Iraqis with State Department approval.

    Why would they you friggin idiots, we have already paid for them probably 100 times.

  • voodkokk

    Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made Carter the head of an MRAP task force to geet the vehicles to the field quickly. Gates later wrote that Carter and his team “implemented the largest defense procurement program to go from decision to full industrial production in less than a year since World War II.”

    Wow, what an accomplishment to be write home about.

  • TR Lacy

    Why not move the ones from Astan to Iraq?

    • blight_weroasdfl

      That is an intriguing possibility, but transportation from Afghanistan to Pakistan is probably expensive enough. I can’t imagine that the MRAP’s were trucked in overland, since they would’ve been picked clean or captured by the Taliban. My guess is they were airlifted in, and simply airlifting them out is prohibitively expensive.

  • ken

    Maybe there will be a dearth of black paint in Iraq.

    • blight_weroasdfl

      More like Black Rit dye used to make black flags and black clothes. They don’t appear to re-paint Iraqi Army vehicles.

  • Bill K

    Make the Iraqis sign up for OBAMCARE first. That will fix everything!

  • haloguy628

    Maybe 0bama can ask ISIS to give some back. It’ll save on shipping costs.

    • freelancemike

      How about we call them what they call themselves? Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. To call it ISIS is disingenuous at best and outright lying at worst.

      • haloguy628

        Once they occupy Levant, including Israel, then I will call them ISIL. Until then they are just ISIS. While I respect the enemy prowess it does not mean they will be dictating anything else.

        • freelancemike

          Well, I will stick with facts. I’m not going to let any prejudices my country has influence me. Their name doesn’t reflect the areas they occupy, but the areas they feel they have a historical and cultural right or imperative to occupy/inhabit.

  • MajorRonn

    The whole “Shock and Awe” thing was so much fertilizer from the pasture to start with. If it hadn’t been about Dubya’s ego, we could have accomplished the entire mission in less than a month using unconventional tactics executed by special ops teams from the Marines and Navy. The best parts would have been that A) American casualties would have been minimal, and B) 99.999% of the people in the world wouldn’t have noticed anything had happened. No destruction of infrastructure, minimal or nonexistent civilian casualties, just a nice, clean regime turnover that could have been charged off to an internal power shift.

    But I suppose Cheyney’s shock capitalism cronies wouldn’t have had their opportunity to make billions “rebuilding” Iraq with no-bid contracts and privatized services.

  • Jim in Montreal

    JUST get out of there…….Have we NOT learned??? I guess munitions manufactures need wars to pay their employee’s and bank a SH*t Load of money !!!?!!!???

  • deerbandit

    I believe ISIS needs a quick resupply and is depending on the Iraqis to flee their positions en masse and get new ones.

  • freelancemike

    I have an idea: Take away the freebie MRAPs from local law enforcement that really don’t need them and make the Iraqis pay for them. Quit wasting our damn money on Iraq! We don’t have enough as it is!

  • Gdadl

    So we are giving ISIS 250 MRAPs – USA to Iraq and then on to ISIS (after ISIS captures them). Good plan Obummy

  • B Wilson

    You would think the US would put a device on it to over-ride, locate it, and remote control it. It would be useless to the enemy and we don’t destroy a 1/2 million dollars!

  • B52 MECHANIC

    “The Iraqis likely will not have to pay for the vehicle”….the Iraqi’s are still producing and receiving billions of dollars in oil revenue each year. They are still a major supplier of oil on the world market. if anyone can afford to pay for these vehicles, they surely can. Not only should we charge Iraq for these vehicles, we should be charging them for the total cost of the U.S. defending their country with our blood, sweat, and a trillion dollars of our kids money.

    • blight_

      We won’t get squat if the Iraqi government collapses and the Iranians step in, or the Salafis.

      Four thousand Americans died “on the house” for the Gulf States ambitions to depose the local tinpot. And for “mobile anthrax trucks” that turned out to be stockpiled munitions missed by UN inspectors. Even after the Syrians turned over piles of WMD precursors and with the Islamic state crushing Syrian bases…no Iraqi anthrax trucks from “over the border” yet.

      Once the Islamic State takes over Syria, we’ll find out of Iraq really had an WMD program hidden in Syria when they use it against Lebanese Christians or Israel. If not, then even the last ember of the Iraqi WMD theory dies out.

      Returning to Iraq: We went in to take out Saddam. Mission accomplished. We did not think about the later. That is why we did not go in in 1991, because we would have to replace Saddam. Funny how even the wisp of a stupid WMD theory in 2003 eradicates the wisdom of the Republican national security team of the 1990’s.

  • M. K. Smith

    Obama is clueless on how to handle military operations. Taking the troops out now wanting to send them back for a set time period makes no sense. Heck, WW2 has been over for 70 years and we still have troops in Europe to defend them. What makes anyone think you can pull out of the Middle east once your in that mess is beyond me. Seems to me that sending equipment without our troops will be another case of giving more equipment to the bad guys. Maybe that is Obama’s plan?