The 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Africa battalion has begun shipping more than 1,300 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) from a depot in Italy, many to reserve and National Guard MP units throughout the US, the army announced.
“We started shipping M-ATVs in April for this particular mission. The Ocean Giant (cargo vessel) was the second shipment on May 19 carrying over 240 M-ATVs, and we are doing a third shipment with the USNS Bob Hope starting in a couple of days,” Army Field Support Brigade-Africa commander Lt. Col. Miguel Floresrivera said.
Sailing from Durrës in Albania, the US vehicle cargo ship Bob Hope is set to stop in Livorno, carrying equipment used by US forces during DEFENDER-Europe 21, 598th Transportation Brigade public affairs officer Jeffrey Jurgensen revealed.
The Bob Hope is also expected to pick up hundreds of M-ATVs in Livorno on its way.
In 2016, more than 3,000 new mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles arrived at Leghorn Army Depot, a location “ideal” in supporting the US military and NATO operations, as well as in being “a power projection platform.”
Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) is a term for light tactical vehicles designed to withstand improvised explosive devices (IED). The MRAP program was initiated by the Pentagon in 2007 as a response to the increasing threat of IEDs during the Iraq War.
The Oshkosh-developed ATVs the army touts as “highly advanced” are designed to access difficult-to-traverse terrain. They were built for better mobility with the same protection as larger and heavier MRAP vehicles.
MRAP ATVs are used around the world, including by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, Poland, and Iraqi Special Operations Forces.
Currently, it has five variants: M-ATV Special Forces, M-ATV Assault, M-ATV Engineer, M-ATV Command, M-ATV Utility, all of which are designed for specific purposes.