Army shutters MRAP program office

By Courtney McBride / June 9, 2017 at 11:58 AM

The Army's program office for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles cased its colors today, "signaling the formal end of the command," during a ceremony hosted by the program executive office for combat support and combat service support and shared in a video online.

Col. Jason Craft served as the project manager for MRAP.

Moving forward, MRAP will be governed at the O-5 rather than the O-6 level, PEO CS&CSS spokesman Michael Clow told Inside Defense.

"There will still be an enduring MRAP program . . . and it will become a part of the project management office for transportation systems," Clow explained. He characterized this as a normal progression for the program.

The Defense Department spent approximately $47 billion to rapidly acquire MRAPs to address the threat of underbody blasts from improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army eventually divested thousands of MRAPs as part of the drawdown -- a move that drew criticism. Former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), for instance, characterized it as an example of government waste.

"The Army will retain its newest, most capable MRAPs and divest older, less capable MRAPs that have no enduring requirement and are cost prohibitive to ship, reset, upgrade and sustain," a service spokeswoman told Inside Defense in 2013.

More recently, the service has seen delamination of the transparent armor on its MRAPs, and PEO CS&CSS and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center have been collaborating on a solution.

The Army launched a reset and standardization effort for its remaining MRAPs, upgrading the vehicles' survivability and suspensions and consolidating the configurations for each variant.

The majority of reset MaxxPro MRAP vehicles were placed in Army prepositioned stocks; the remainder were designated for operational use or kept in the continental United States for home station training.