CAMP TAJI, Iraq (Army News Service, May. 29, 2008) -- They're big -- they're bad -- and they're new. The mine resistant ambush protected armored vehicle is the Army's newest improvised-explosive device defense counter measure for Soldiers conducting logistical patrols throughout Multi-National Division -- Baghdad.

Not much MRAP training is available now for units scheduled to deploy at the present time, even though this is the equipment Soldiers will most likely operate with once they arrive in theater. Luckily, key members from the 10th Sustainment Brigade, which is scheduled to replace the 1st Sustainment Brigade later this year, were able to get their first look inside the vehicle during a leader reconnaissance trip here May 24.

"This is really good training for us", said Maj. Anthony Steoger, maintenance officer in charge for the 10th Sust. Bde. "We don't have any of these back at Fort Drum."

The leaders were able to familiarize themselves with not only the vehicle itself but the electronic warfare equipment inside as well.

Chief Petty Officer Phil Palmer, electronic warfare officer for the 165th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sust. Bde., took the leaders on a private tour inside the enormous transportation system, while focusing on the electronic counter-improvised explosive device equipment.

The second part of their specialized tour covered maneuver capabilities and escape routes. Providing guidance for this portion of instruction was Staff Sgt. James Horton, truck commander from Battery B, 1st Battalion of the 206th Field Artillery also from the 165th CSSB, 1st Sust. Bde. Horton extended to stay in theater in order to help train Soldiers on the MRAP system.

Once the leaders head back to Fort Drum, they will be able to share their new knowledge of the MRAP with their unit in preparation for their future endeavor.

"These MRAPs are what's keeping our Soldiers safe out on the road," said Lt. Col. William Bailey, officer in charge of support operations for the 10th Sust. Bde. "Getting to know this new-age equipment through 'training for dummies' is really good information."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16