Military rolling out new line of combat vehicles

Marketplace Staff Mar 19, 2007

LISA NAPOLI: Today marks four years since President Bush declared war on Iraq. The U.S. Marine Corps is spending more than $200 million to improve combat vehicles. From Wisconsin Public Radio, Patty Murray has details.


PATTY MURRAY: In military speak, the vehicle is called an “M-RAP,” which stands for Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected.

Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Truck is one of five companies with contracts to get the vehicles to Iraq. It hopes to have the first of its fleet on the way within three months.

It comes too late for veteran Stephen Castner. His son was a Wisconsin Army National Guard corporal. He was killed in Iraq last year after his armored Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.

Castner says the MRAPs are much more combat-worthy than Humvees. He says that’s because their v-shaped bottoms help deflect blasts.

STEPHEN CASTNER: All-around, these vehicles are much heavier in weight. They’re built much more solidly. They offer a substantially greater probability of survival for the soldiers inside. And that’s what it’s all about.

Castner hopes the Army will also make the switch to MRAPs from Humvees.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, I’m Patty Murray for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.