The Department of Defense made a significant investment in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recent figures suggest the move paid off. Officials say that soldiers riding in MRAPs were approximately 14 times more likely to survive an improvised explosive (IED) device attack than troops travelling in Humvees, according to USA Today.
The Pentagon spent about $47 billion on the trucks, and the findings will help validate the advocates of the significant investment. Among those who championed their construction was Vice President Joe Biden and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who say the vehicles may have helped save thousands of lives over the course of the wars.
MRAPs became more common in 2007 when the military made the shift away from Humvees, which had become recognized as being especially vulnerable to IED attacks. As the Pentagon shifts its focus from the Middle East to Asia, MRAPs may play a larger role.
"It indicates first of all the IED threat, or the need for heavily armored protection is something that we're going to want to have in our tactical vehicles in future," Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the publication.
Though the findings are a bit of good news, it comes amid a solemn milestone. A weekend firefight brought the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 2,000, according to The Associated Press.