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Rakkasan Armament Program Saves Lives
Defend America News ^ | Sgt. Waine D. Haley

Posted on 07/20/2006 3:55:44 PM PDT by SandRat

Rakkasan Armament Program Saves Lives
Welders add armor to Humvees to protect troops from improvised explosive devices.
By U.S. Army Sgt. Waine D. Haley
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

TIKRIT, Iraq, July 20, 2006 -- A safety innovation has hit the battlefield in the form of heavy armor added to Humvees and is now on the roads of Iraq.

The 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, created the Rakkasan Armament Program, known as RAP, in January 2006. This program is intended to provide shielding between the soldiers and the number one killer of U.S. troops in Iraq -- the improvised explosive device.

"The responsibility of the commander is to figure out what we need to respond to this evolving threat,” said Col. Michael Steele, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander. “The easiest, the fastest and most appropriate answer is add additional armor. There are many different Humvee armor programs being conducted by units in Iraq. This particular effort is based upon threats the 3rd Brigade Combat Team is experiencing in their area of operation.

The additional armor is designed to combat those threats. No armor program is going to be 100 percent effective, but U.S. soldiers deserve whatever help they can get to survive on the roads of Iraq, according to documentation provided by the RAP’s leader, Capt. Keith Tyler, support operations officer for maintenance, 626th Brigade Support Battalion.

Sgt. James Hartleob, welding shop non-commissioned officer in charge for Company B, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, from Minot, N.D., estimates the additional armor has saved more than 25 lives as of July 2006. These numbers are determined by Hartleob and his staff examining the condition of vehicles after an attack.

Photo, caption below.
U.S. Army Spc. Brian Terry (left) from Lakeland, Fla., and U.S. Army Spc. Jeffrey Brown (right) from Grand Rapids, Mich., cut pieces of steel that will be mounted to Humvees as part of the Rakkasan Armament Program. Both are welders for Company B, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. U.S. Army photo by Sgt Waine D. Haley

“I know of three Humvees that have been hit and no one has been killed,” Hartleob said, “The 320th (Field Artillery Regiment) had a direct hit that took the front end off the vehicle and everyone walked away ... well one limped away; he broke his leg.” Making the new armor is no small task. The new plating nearly doubles the existing armor on the truck. Since the program started, more than 700 Humvees have been outfitted with the RAP armor.

The Rakkasans are rapping up their tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom IV next month and will pass on the improved vehicles and their knowledge to the incoming 25th Infantry Division Troops.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armament; iraq; lives; program; rakkasan; saves

1 posted on 07/20/2006 3:55:49 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

Working to protect their Borthers in Arms.

2 posted on 07/20/2006 3:56:26 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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