BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Feb. 22, 2012) -- The intense effort to return mine-resistant ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles with new survivability and automotive upgrades to the maneuver units meant there was no stopping work to celebrate the milestone of completing the 1,000th vehicle. The work continued around the clock; the focus was getting the vehicles into the hands of those who need them.

Joint Program Office MRAP is completing the survivability upgrades at several locations in theater while automotive upgrades are being completed by 401st Army Field Support Brigade civilians and contractors. The 401st AFSB is part of Army Sustainment Command, which forms Army Materiel Command's operational arm. The 401st is AMC's single face to the field for acquisition, logistics and technology and provides logistics support for the materiel solutions fielded to the maneuver units.

"The UIK [underbody improvement kit] is an enhancement that has significantly improved Soldiers effectiveness here in OEF," said Lt. Col. Kevin L. Geisbert, JPO MRAP country lead. "The JPO team of both government and industry professionals, working around the clock here in Bagram as well as many other sites in the CJOA [combined joint operations area], have labored tirelessly in order to keep the installation rate on schedule."

Geisbert noted that the challenges associated with this effort include expeditionary conditions, timeliness of materials, readiness of tools, and vehicle availability have stressed the process.

"However, the collective efforts of leaders, planners, supervisors, and mechanics, both [in the U.S] and here in OEF, have resulted in efficiencies that promise to keep the effort on schedule," he said. "Every single individual within the JPO Team, as well as our partners in the materiel enterprise, shares in the success to date."

Geisbert also said that while every contribution is significant, "the most deserving teammate is the Warfighter operating and winning in the battle space who every day validates the effectiveness of this system by effectively closing with the enemy."