View Full Version : Iraqi Army Needs Armored Vehicles

12-27-2005, 06:56 AM
27 Dec. Washington Times - Iraqi Army Needs Armored Vehicles (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20051227-124949-3236r.htm).

The emerging Iraqi army is in dire need of more armored vehicles, an issue largely lost in the two-year debate over U.S. soldiers and Marines who at one time lacked protective gear.

Defense sources say the required number of armored vehicles has not kept pace with the Iraqi army's growth, leaving exposed, newly minted troops to conduct patrols in thin-skinned trucks.

"One of the main things is they don't have much armor at all," said retired Coast Guard officer Michael Kearney, a defense contractor who is working to bolster the force. "Their people are running around in pickup trucks, and they are getting nailed."

Mr. Kearney ran a program to get quickly to the Iraqis 77 refurbished T-72 tanks in time for security duty in the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

The Soviet-era tanks, shipped by sea and then trucked through Kuwait, gave the 9th Mechanized Division, for the first time, a 45-ton, cannon-brandishing tank to take on insurgents who daily try to kill Iraqi soldiers.

The tanks were greeted like saviors when they arrived at the sprawling Taji army base north of Baghdad in November...