Surge will include thousands of mine-resistant vehicles

As it prepares to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the U.S. military could buy nearly 4,000 additional mine-resistant all-terrain vehicles than currently on order.

During testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the military may need as many as 10,000 of the M-ATVs, which were designed for Afghanistan's rugged terrain.

The Pentagon has already tapped Oshkosh Corp. to build 6,219 of the vehicles by April. With production runs expected to hit 1,000 vehicles a month, it appears the firm could produce the additional vehicles by August or September.

Gates first indicated that more M-ATVs would likely be needed if more troops were deployed into Afghanistan during a trip to Oshkosh's Wisconsin production facility last month.

"The M-ATV's lighter weight, independent suspension system and greater off-road mobility is well-suited to Afghanistan's rugged terrain and will make a real difference in our operations there," he said during the trip.

Funding for the additional M-ATVs would be included in the administration's request for more funding for the war this year, which Gates said administration officials are just beginning to tabulate.

Gates has estimated the funding request would total $30 billion to $35 billion this fiscal year -- figures that appear to be based on the White House's calculation that each deployed troop will cost roughly $1 million annually.

But House Budget Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., who is also a member of the Armed Services Committee, questioned the estimate, arguing that the additional troops will not deploy until the middle of the fiscal year.

Gates said the $30 billion-$35 billion estimate is "basically a ballpark figure and we now need to get down and get the details."

But Gates added there would be additional costs, such as the M-ATVs, which were not factored into the cost-per-troop calculation.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.