The Air Force says it recently delivered the 2,000th mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP, to the US Central Command area of responsibility. “The men and women of Charleston (AFB) have stepped up to this challenge and are delivering MRAPs in record time.” said Col. John Millander, commander of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, S.C., the only USAF base from which MRAPS are airlifted to theater. “We’re not only meeting our goals, but consistently exceeding them.” Indeed the 437th AW surpassed the Pentagon’s goal of delivering 1,500 MRAPs, by the end of 2007, according to base officials. The MRAPs, which will phase out Humvees, are transported via C-5s, C-17, or Russian AN124s. In addition to Army and Marine Corps units, airmen who operate with ground forces are also getting the new vehicles, having received 17 MRAPs to date. (Charleston report by SSgt. Jennifer Arredondo)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.