Edition: Tue, April 10, 2007
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Equipping the Plus-Up

What is it? As the combat environment in which our Soldiers fight continues to change, the requirements for the type of equipment necessary to fight successfully and win also change. As we continue to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army remains focused on force protection to ensure troops involved in the plus-up have everything they need to ensure their safety while achieving the mission.

What is the Army doing? One of our primary force protection enhancements is the up-armored Medium and Heavy Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (TWV). As of 21 February 2007, there are over 11,900 Heavy and Medium TWVs in Theater with Add-on-Armor (AoA). We kitted another 146 vehicles at home station, prior to unit deployments, with AoA kits. There are an additional 55 AoA kits available in theater to armor vehicles previously used only on Forward Operating Bases (FOB), bringing fill to 94 percent of requirement. The Theater will re-task organize to ensure units have the Heavy and Medium TWVs to meet mission requirements. All trucks intended to operate off the FOB will be armored prior to shipment. No Soldier goes off a FOB unless they are in an armored vehicle. We are providing the right number of up-armored HMMWVs (UAH), weapons, and command and control systems. All brigades will have a full complement of UAHs to meet mission requirements. All plus-up UAHs will have Blue Force Tracking, Jamming devices and machine guns. In the next six months we will produce 4,000+ UAH with the latest armor protection.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? Facing even greater requirements in the near future, and to ensure full protection with no compromises, the Army has developed a plan to make use of every available asset worldwide to fully equip plus-up forces. The essential elements of the plan include: 1. Ensuring Soldiers of deploying units have the equipment they need to train with before deployment. 2. Preparing unit sets of what we call "TPE" (Theater Provided Equipment) for the forces when they arrive in theater. 3. Speeding up production of key "in demand" systems, capabilities and additional equipment like armored trucks. 4. Retro-fitting--in theater or back in the U.S.--equipment that has been in the fight with updated force protection. 5. Continuously reviewing and streamlining the process to identify, request, validate and deliver needed equipment to the Soldier.

Why is this important to the Army? The U.S. Army's priority is sending only the best trained and equipped Soldiers into combat operations and that means providing the best force protection equipment for Soldiers. Even as we plus up troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom and beyond, force protection will not be shortchanged. Further, the Army will ensure all these Soldiers continue to have the best and most capable equipment in the world.

The 2007 Army Modernization Plan discusses the Army's equipping efforts. To learn more, click here.


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