Delivery Trucks

By Marjorie Censer / January 6, 2010 at 5:00 AM

As of Jan. 5, the Pentagon has fielded 164 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles to Afghanistan, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said today.

Nearly 240 of the trucks have been delivered, he added.

"And then there are obviously many more vehicles than that that have been produced," Morrell told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. "And as they vie for space for airlift and absorption in Afghanistan, they are being used, many of them, for training purposes domestically."

But he stressed that the military faces a "herculean effort" in trying to get 30,000 additional forces -- and their equipment -- to theater.

"So this is going to be . . . a real test of our ((U.S. Transportation Command)) folks, as well as ((U.S. Central Command))," he said. "And they have a priority list based, you know, in terms of space available, what has the top priority to flow in at what time."

But, Morrell added, the Defense Department hopes to send over 500 M-ATVs a month by the spring. He said the military is not yet sealifting the trucks.

Last month, Oshkosh announced that it had again exceeded the monthly delivery requirement for M-ATV by meeting its 1,000-vehicle total on Dec. 18.

December was the first month in which the company was set to ramp up to 1,000 vehicles, a rate at which it expects to stay through May 2010 to deliver more than 6,600 of the trucks.