MRAPs at Charleston
Roger Haines, a contractor with the 841st Transportation Battalion, prepares to load Mine Resistant Armor Protected vehicles for shipment from Naval Weapons Station, Charleston, S.C., to Southwest Asia. SDDC and the 841st have exported more than 10,000 MRAPs.

CHARLESTON, S.C., March 23, 2009 -- A ceremony was held here today to celebrate the 10,000th mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle shipped via surface by Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) to U.S. Central Command.

SDDC's 841st Transportation Battalion hosted the event to honor the many people and organizations that have ensured delivery of the lifesaving vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan. Guests included senior military leaders, industry and union leaders, local government and servicemembers.

"Though it's impossible to take a full accounting of the impact of having these vehicles, we already have seen the impact of not having them," Maj. Gen. Jim Hodge, SDDC commanding general said during the event. "Every one of you working on this program has a stake in the safe return of a servicemember to his or her family."

Initially MRAPs, a class of armored vehicles that protects against improvised explosive device attacks, were delivered by large Air Force and commercial cargo aircraft. The Air Force has moved more than 3,600 MRAPs via air out of nearby Charleston Air Force Base.

MRAP sealift began in November 2007, greatly increasing the number of vehicles in the Central Command area of operations. One cargo ship can carry up to 200 times the weight of a C-17 Globemaster III, at a cost of about 10 times less. SDDC and the Navy's Military Sealift Command have served as vital partners in the undertaking. With the support of the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Corps, commercial carriers, and the labor force at the port, the commands were moving nearly 900 vehicles per month.

The event also included comments from Gen. Duncan McNabb, commanding general, U.S. Transportation Command; and Lt. Col. Randolph G. Haufe, commander, 841st Transportation Battalion.

Page last updated Mon March 23rd, 2009 at 16:40