The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) have apparently recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.
Although I’ve seen and read several online reports about this vehicle of late, and although it is apparently unknown exactly how many have been delivered to DHS, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.
The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).
From Navistar Defense:
The International® MaxxPro® is Navistar Defense’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and incorporates the latest design in armoring technology. Extensively tested by the military and used in theater today, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features that greatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle that every crew wants when they’re out in the field.
MaxxPro® MRAP specifications:
Length: 254″ (21.2 feet)
Width: 102″ (8.5 feet)
Height: 120″ (10 feet)
Wheel base: 153″ (12.8 feet)
Curb weight: 37,850 lbs. (18.9 tons)
Engine: MaxxForce® 9.3
The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats. Its V-shaped hull helps deflect blasts out and away from the crew and its armoring can be customized to meet any mission requirement.
The installation contract retrofits 2,717 vintage MaxxPro vehicles (work performed in West Point, Mississippi) with a new rolling chassis. This chassis enhancement included the addition of the DXM™ independent suspension, a MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, and a 570 amp alternator and driveline. The work was completed at the end of May 2012.
Observations and Questions:
Why would DHS need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs and mine blasts?
There are rails along the perimeter windows/gun ports to help displace the impact of RPG rounds… seems a bit much for a Police/Rescue vehicle…
They all have gun ports… Rescue vehicle?
Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets? What are they expecting or preparing for? It is a ridiculous over-the-top display of force that is meant to intimidate and associate the DHS name and logo with ‘FEAR’. Just like all that’s happening with the TSA (under the wing of DHS), this is about normalization of a new way of American life.
By the way, you’re the one who paid for these. Or better said… your grand-kids will pay for these since we are living on a negative balance sheet with a 16 Trillion dollar deficit.
George Washington once said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
Update: One reader has suggested that the DHS vehicles are not Navistar MaxxPro, but Golan (Israeli made) armored vehicles, while another reader who apparently has worked for Navistar confirms that this vehicle is indeed made by Navistar. There have been numerous reports on this story swirling within the blogosphere with varying claims of make and model. While this new information may or may not be accurate, I still question the need for these types of military armored vehicles riding on the ‘free’ streets of America, regardless of who makes them.
Existing Reset Line Available to Service Vehicles Returning from Deployment
LISLE, Ill., March 15, 2012 Navistar Defense, LLC received an award to conduct the installation work associated with its January order to upgrade 2,717 International® MaxxPro® Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with a new vehicle chassis.
These mods are for the “vehicle reset line”, meaning, for those that are or have apparently come home from overseas. Where are they exactly being deployed? It is difficult to say, because they have not exactly said. There are pictures out there with Homeland Security printed on the sides of these vehicles. There are reports that some of them are being purposed for Border Patrol. There are personal accounts of seeing the vehicles elsewhere. The DoD and DHS have an apparent working relationship, and these returning MRAP’s are apparently being re-purposed here on American streets. On the one hand it sounds frugal, on the other it sounds unnecessary (with exception to border patrol IMHO). One could argue that we might simply mothball them until such time they’re needed again (although understandably, decay would set in – it’s cost versus reward).
NAVISTAR DEFENSE RECEIVES MRAP INSTALLATION ORDER
“We are focused on increasing the capabilities of our existing fleet with minimal impact to defense funding,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “The vehicle reset line we established for this installation work can also be utilized to restore older vehicles to like-new condition. Therefore, we are poised and ready to reset vehicles returning from deployment…”
The installation contract retrofits vintage MaxxPro vehicles with a new rolling chassis. This chassis enhancement includes the addition of the DXM™ independent suspension, a MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, 570 amp alternator and driveline, while leaving a residual chassis with a beam axle that can be reused. The retrofits will be conducted in West Point, Miss., and work is expected to be completed by the end of May 2012.
The company has fielded nearly 9,000 MaxxPro vehicles and continues to anticipate needed vehicle capabilities, enhancements, reset and reuse options for its entire fleet of 32,000 vehicles.
source: Navistar Defense, LLC (March 15, 2012 archives)
The DHS and DoD report up the Executive branch to the Commander in Chief. The DoD / military is primarily limited to overseas actions due to the Posse Comitatus Act, while the new DHS (thanks to the Patriot Act after 9/11) is intended for operations on U.S. soil. The DHS is seemingly becoming the ‘legalized’ military here at home… and one could argue that it may be circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act to some degree.
Source: Modern Survival Blog