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Old 10-18-2003, 05:24 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Money earmarked to upgrade armored vehicles, Humvees in Iraq

October 17, 2003

Money earmarked to upgrade armored vehicles, Humvees in Iraq

By Rick Maze
Times staff writer

Under pressure from Congress to improve security for U.S. troops in Iraq, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has ordered $335.5 million to be spent on various technologies and protection equipment.
He announced the plans in an Oct. 16 letter to Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Skelton is one of several lawmakers who returned from a Sept. 11-16 visit to Iraq unhappy with the security situation, especially after learning that some troops lack upgraded body armor and armored Humvees.

?After visiting with American soldiers in Iraq, I urged the President to give our forces the tools they need to protect themselves in hostile situations,? Skelton said in a statement. ?Members of my congressional delegation to Iraq were shocked and surprised that our forces did not already have the necessary equipment to meet their security needs.?

Interceptor Body Armor and Humvees with improved armor are the most expensive items on the list provided by Wolfowitz. Other purchases include lightweight radar to detect mortar fire, unmanned aerial vehicles, various electronics countermeasure devices and explosive detectors.

?While engaged in the global war on terrorism, the Department of Defense is committed to doing its utmost to protect our deployed forces,? Wolfowitz said. ?We need to aggressively pursue any and all new systems and technologies that will enhance security to our forces in the field.?

Some lawmakers who have visited Iraq are not convinced DoD is being aggressive enough in protecting the troops. The fact there are 45,000 troops without improved body armor has drawn the most complaints, especially after Congress provided money in April to buy sets of Interceptor Body Armor for everyone being deployed.

Defense officials had promised to issue improved armor to everyone by mid-November but now say it will take until December.

Skelton said he is happy the military is doing something. ?I believe the Pentagon has listened to our concerns and I am encouraged by DoD?s commitment to enhance force protection. We must never fail to do all that is possible to keep our men and women in uniform safe,? he said.


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:10 AM
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Jerry D Jerry D is offline
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It's about time! you did something Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz ........ Thanks Ike (Skelton) for asking
[><] Dixie born and proud of it.
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