Washington, D.C. – Force protection has always been a top priority to this committee and it will continue to be a top priority as long as our military is deployed in harm’s way. We in the Congress recognize that it is our constitutional duty to properly outfit our brave men and women who choose to serve their country in military duty and who are currently deployed overseas fighting the global war on terror. As the threat to our military personnel continues to evolve, force protection requirements must continue to adapt. Every day, we must be able to confidently say that we are doing everything possible to provide our warfighters the protection they need and deserve.
In this regard, I am very interested in learning even more about the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. It is my understanding that the Army and the Marine Corps are going to acquire and field this vehicle to partially replace and supplement Up-Armored Humvees in theater. These vehicles should mitigate or eliminate the three primary kill mechanisms of mines and IEDS: fragmentation, blast overpressure, and acceleration. Our witnesses gave us a very good classified briefing on this vehicle last week and I know that the source selection process is still under way so there are certain things that our witnesses can’t say. However, I would like to hear assurance from our witnesses that the industrial base is positioned to support production of this vehicle on a timely, cost-effective basis with detailed estimates to ensure greater safety and mission success for our troops in harm’s way. I look forward to your testimony.
Again, I want to thank all of you for your service to our country. Thank you for being here.