This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-06-274 
entitled 'Defense Logistics: Lack of a Synchronized Approach between 
the Marine Corps and Army Affected the Timely Production and 
Installation of Marine Corps Truck Armor' which was released on June 
22, 2006. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

June 2006: 

Defense Logistics: 

Lack of a Synchronized Approach between the Marine Corps and Army 
Affected the Timely Production and Installation of Marine Corps Truck 
Armor: 

GAO-06-274: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-274, a report to congressional committees 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The increasing threat of improvised explosive devices (IED) in Iraq has 
led to widespread interest by Congress and the public regarding the 
availability of critical force protection equipment. GAO initiated a 
series of engagements under the Comptroller General’s authority to 
address these concerns. In March 2006, GAO reported on factors that 
affected the production and installation of armor for the Army’s medium 
and heavy trucks. This engagement examines issues affecting the 
production and installation of armor for the Marine Corps’ medium and 
heavy trucks. The objectives were to (1) determine the extent to which 
truck armor was produced and installed to meet identified requirements, 
(2) identify what factors affected the time to provide truck armor, and 
(3) identify what actions the Marine Corps and DOD have taken to 
improve the timely availability of truck armor. 

What GAO Found: 

The Marine Corps met its requirements for the production and 
installation of add-on truck armor in September 2004---8 months after 
the requirements were identified in January 2004. In addressing its 
truck armor requirements, the Marine Corps used a three-phased 
approach. In the first phase, the Marine Corps validated its initial 
requirement in January 2004 to armor 1,169 trucks for protection 
against IEDs and other similar threats. Due to the immediacy of the 
need to deploy forces to Iraq by March 2004, the Marine Corps installed 
interim armor that did not provide sufficient IED protection, which 
Marine Corps officials acknowledged, stating that their intent was to 
field some level of protection until a more robust armor solution 
became available. In the second phase, the Marine Corps increased its 
armor requirement to 1,438 trucks in April 2004 and fully met that 
requirement in September 2004 with armor that provided enhanced IED 
protection. In the third phase, the Marine Corps is upgrading to 
integrated armor for its 7-ton trucks, which provides improved 
protection because the armor is built into the body of the vehicle. 
They expect to complete installation by May 2006. 

Two factors affected the timely production and installation of Marine 
Corps truck armor. First, a lack of a synchronized approach between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on addressing truck armor requirements and 
solutions resulted in the Marine Corps identifying its truck armor 
requirements and seeking armor solutions 2 months after the Army. 
Consequently, this delay may have limited the Marine Corps’ ability to 
field interim armor that met IED protection requirements in the first 
phase, and may have contributed to the time to provide add-on truck 
armor to deployed Marine Corps forces in the second phase. The Marine 
Corps did not officially identify a requirement for truck armor and did 
not begin seeking out armor materials from industry until January 
2004—2 months after the Army began its truck armor program in November 
2003. According to Marine Corps officials, the armor-grade steel needed 
for sufficient IED protection was not available from suppliers in time 
to meet the Marine Corps’ deployment timeline of March 2004. As a 
result, the Marine Corps fielded the interim armor with only limited 
IED protection. Second, mission needs restricted the rate at which the 
Marine Corps could replace its interim armor with add-on armor and 
install integrated armor. 

The Marine Corps and DOD have taken actions to improve the timely 
availability of truck armor and other critical wartime equipment. For 
example, the Marine Corps increased the rate of installation for 
integrated armor by expanding its armor installation capacity. The 
Marine Corps is also taking longer-term actions, such as developing a 
plan to address the availability of truck armor for future operations. 
In addition, DOD established a joint requirements process to improve 
coordination and accelerate the process of fielding urgent wartime 
solutions. However, it is unclear whether this process applies to 
urgent wartime needs such as armor because it excludes the development 
of new technology solutions. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO is recommending that DOD (1) establish a process for sharing 
information on developing materiel solutions and (2) clarify the point 
at which the joint requirements process should be utilized. DOD 
concurred with the second recommendation but believes communication is 
sufficient to satisfy the first recommendation. GAO disagrees. DOD also 
provided comments related to the context and accuracy of the report, 
which we incorporated as appropriate. 

[Hyperlink. http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-274]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact William M. Solis at (202) 
512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Marine Corps Met Truck Armor Requirements in September 2004: 

Lack of a Synchronized Approach between the Services and Mission Needs 
Affected the Time to Provide Truck Armor to Marine Corps Forces: 

Marine Corps and DOD Took Actions to Improve Truck Armor Availability: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Assessment of Marine Corps Truck Armoring Efforts: 

Multipurpose 5-Ton Trucks: 

Logistics Vehicle System: 

Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Table: 

Table 1: Marine Corps Armor Phases and Types of Armor: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim Armor 
Protection: 

Figure 2: Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim and Add-
on Armor Protection: 

Figure 3: Requirement, Production, and Installation of Integrated 
Armor: 

Figure 4: Unarmored Marine Corps 5-Ton Multipurpose Truck: 

Figure 5: 5-Ton Truck Requirements, Production, and Installation of 
Interim and Add-on Armor: 

Figure 6: Armored Cab of the Marine Corps Logistics Vehicle System: 

Figure 7: LVS Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim and 
Add-on Armor: 

Figure 8: Armored Medium Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Replacement: 

Figure 9: MTVR Truck Requirements, Production, and Installation of 
Interim, Add-on, and Integrated Armor: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

June 22, 2006: 

The Honorable John Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Duncan L. Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

When combat operations were declared over during Operation Iraqi 
Freedom (OIF), U.S. and coalition forces transitioned to stabilization 
operations to restore public order and infrastructure in Iraq. Since 
that time, U.S. forces have come under frequent and deadly attacks from 
insurgents using a variety of weapons--including improvised explosive 
devices (IED), mortars, and rocket launchers--and there have been 
numerous attacks on military convoys as they carry supplies and 
equipment throughout the region. The threat of IEDs, in particular, has 
become increasingly frequent and has been ranked as the number one 
killer of U.S. troops in Iraq. The explosives used in IEDs consist 
mainly of dynamite, land mines, old artillery shells, or other types of 
military ordnance. Many IEDs are hidden and disguised along traffic 
routes, and are remotely detonated against unsuspecting military 
personnel. 

As a result of experiences in Iraq, the Department of Defense (DOD) and 
the services have taken several immediate steps to improve the 
protection of military forces operating in the region. Among these is 
the fielding of new capabilities to counter emerging threats 
encountered in Iraq, to include such improvements as add-on and 
integrated armor for trucks, body armor, and systems for detecting and 
defeating IEDs. 

In response to increasing widespread interest by Congress and the 
public regarding the availability of critical force protection 
equipment for deployed troops, such as body armor and armor for high- 
mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) and other vehicles, we 
initiated a series of engagements under the authority of the 
Comptroller General of the United States to examine this issue. In 
April 2005 we reported on shortages of a number of critical items 
during OIF, to include certain protective items such as body armor and 
armored HMMWVs.[Footnote 1] We identified a number of systemic causes 
for these shortages, including inaccurate requirements, delayed 
funding, and ineffective distribution processes. As a result, we made 
several recommendations to the Secretary of Defense calling for 
actions, such as ensuring the accuracy of Army war reserve requirements 
and developing and exercising deployable distribution capabilities, to 
improve DOD's system for supplying items to U.S. forces. In March 2006, 
we reported on several factors that affected the production and 
installation of Army truck armor during OIF and other current wartime 
operations.[Footnote 2] These factors included the Army's failure to 
fully capitalize on previously identified truck armor requirements and 
awarding contracts for amounts less than total requirements due to 
increasing needs for truck armor and inadequate funding. In our report, 
we made a recommendation to the Secretary of Defense calling for the 
Army to establish a process for documenting and communicating all 
urgent wartime funding requirements for supplies and equipment when 
they are identified and the disposition of funding decisions. 

This current engagement examines issues affecting the production and 
installation of armor for medium and heavy trucks used by Marine Corps 
forces during OIF and other ongoing operations in the U.S. Central 
Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.[Footnote 3] Our objectives 
were to (1) determine the extent to which Marine Corps truck armor was 
produced and installed to meet identified requirements, (2) identify 
what factors affected the time to provide truck armor, and (3) identify 
what actions the Marine Corps and DOD have taken to improve the timely 
availability of truck armor. 

In conducting this review, we focused on medium and heavy tactical 
trucks used by Marine Corps forces in the CENTCOM area of 
responsibility, which included those in Iraq and Afghanistan.[Footnote 
4] To identify the extent to which truck armor was produced and 
installed to meet identified requirements and what factors affected the 
time to provide armor, we visited Marine Corps organizations to obtain 
data on the requirements, funding, production, and installation of 
truck armor kits. We considered the armor requirement as met for each 
type of truck when the quantity of add-on and integrated armor produced 
and installed on vehicles equaled the requirement. Based on the 
information gathered, we identified factors that affected the time to 
provide truck armor to deployed forces. We also identified the Marine 
Corps' short-term and long-term efforts to improve the availability of 
truck armor. We assessed the reliability of the data we obtained and 
determined that they were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of 
this report. We performed our review from April 2005 to March 2006 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. A 
more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology is located in 
appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

The Marine Corps met its requirements for the production and 
installation of add-on truck armor in September 2004--8 months after 
that requirement was identified in January 2004. In addressing its 
truck armor requirements, the Marine Corps used a three-phased 
approach. In the first phase, the Marine Corps validated its initial 
requirement in January 2004 to armor 1,169 trucks for protection 
against IEDs and other similar threats. Due to the immediacy of the 
need to deploy forces to Iraq by March 2004, the Marine Corps addressed 
this initial requirement by installing interim armor on all 1,169 
trucks. However, the interim armor did not meet requirements because it 
did not provide sufficient protection from the fragmentation effects of 
IEDs. Marine Corps officials acknowledged that the interim armor 
provided protection against the prevalent ballistic threat at the time 
but offered only limited protection against IEDs. These officials 
stated that their intent was to field some level of protection until a 
more robust armor solution became available. In the second phase, the 
Marine Corps increased its armor requirement to 1,438 trucks in April 
2004 and fully met that requirement in September 2004 with add-on armor 
that provided the required IED protection. In the third phase, the 
Marine Corps is upgrading armor protection from add-on armor to 
integrated armor for 900 7-ton trucks in Iraq and Afghanistan, which 
were included in the 1,438 trucks armored in the second phase. As of 
March 2006, 803 integrated armor kits have been installed, and the 
Marine Corps expects to complete installation of integrated armor by 
May 2006. The other trucks (5-ton truck and 22-ton bulk hauler) are not 
receiving integrated armor because they are at the end of their 
economic life cycle and will be replaced. 

Two factors affected the timely production and installation of Marine 
Corps truck armor. First, a lack of a synchronized approach between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on addressing truck armor requirements and 
solutions resulted in the Marine Corps identifying its truck armor 
requirements and seeking armor solutions 2 months later than the Army. 
This delay may have limited the Marine Corps' ability to field interim 
armor that met IED protection requirements in the first phase, and may 
have contributed to the time to provide add-on truck armor to deployed 
Marine Corps forces in the second phase. The Marine Corps did not 
officially identify a requirement for truck armor and did not begin 
seeking out armor materials from industry until January 2004. According 
to Marine Corps officials, the armor-grade steel needed for sufficient 
IED protection was not available from suppliers in time to meet the 
Marine Corps' deployment timeline of March 2004. As a result, the 
Marine Corps fielded the interim armor with only limited IED 
protection. However, the Army identified its initial truck armor 
requirement in November 2003 and begun developing armor kits using the 
preferred type of steel at this time. Had the Marine Corps began 
seeking armor solutions in November 2003, it might have been able to 
acquire the preferred type of steel in time for its March 2004 
deployment to Iraq given the average lead times for this steel during 
this time and the willingness of industry to work with the Marine Corps 
to expedite the availability. Second, mission needs restricted the rate 
at which the Marine Corps could replace its interim armor with add-on 
armor and install integrated armor. As a result, the fielding of add-on 
armor and integrated armor was stretched out over a longer period, 
placing troops at greater risk as they conducted wartime operations in 
vehicles without the preferred level of protection. 

The Marine Corps and DOD have taken several actions to improve the 
timely availability of truck armor and other critical wartime 
equipment. For example, the Marine Corps increased the rate of 
installation for integrated armor by expanding its armor installation 
capacity. The Marine Corps also is taking longer-term actions, such as 
developing a plan to address the availability of truck armor for future 
operations. While we did not evaluate this plan, we did note that it is 
aimed at identifying long-term requirements for truck armor and 
developing solutions to address these requirements. In addition, DOD 
established the Rapid Validation and Resourcing of Joint Urgent 
Operational Needs (JUONS) process to improve coordination of wartime 
combatant commander requirements, and to accelerate the process of 
fielding urgent wartime solutions that are outside the services' 
established requirement processes. However, it is unclear whether this 
process applies to urgent wartime needs such as armor because it 
excludes the development of new technology solutions. 

To ensure that the services make informed and coordinated decisions 
about what materiel solutions are developed and procured to address 
common urgent wartime requirements, we are making recommendations that 
the Secretary of Defense (1) direct the service secretaries to 
establish a process to share information on developed or developing 
materiel solutions and (2) clarify the point at which the JUONS process 
should be utilized when materiel solutions require research and 
development. In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD 
concurred with the second recommendation, but stated it believes that 
multiple layers of communication already exist between the Marine Corps 
and the Army to satisfy the first recommendation. However, as evidenced 
in our report, these various layers of communication were not 
sufficient to bring the services' two truck armor programs together in 
a more uniform and coordinated approach from the beginning to ensure 
that requirements were identified and solutions developed for both 
services at the same time. DOD also provided additional comments 
related to the context and accuracy of the report, which we 
incorporated as appropriate. The department's written comments and our 
evaluation of them are discussed in appendix III. 

Background: 

Marine Corps convoys carrying supplies and equipment in CENTCOM's area 
of responsibility have been subjected to deadly attacks by insurgents 
using IEDs and other weapons. In response to these attacks, the Marine 
Corps has undertaken several force protection measures, such as adding 
armor to a number of medium and heavy trucks operating in Iraq, 
Afghanistan, and other CENTCOM locations. The Marine Corps fielded 
truck armor after identifying requirements and then designing and 
procuring three different levels of armor and fielding that armor in 
three different phases. 

Deployed U.S. Forces Face a Significant Threat from IEDs: 

Military convoys operating in CENTCOM's area of responsibility have 
been subjected to deadly attacks by enemy forces. In particular, 
attacks in Iraq by insurgents using IEDs have placed trucks and 
personnel at tremendous risk as they carry supplies and equipment 
throughout the region. In May 2003, U.S. and coalition forces began 
stabilization operations in Iraq that continue today. However, since 
that time, the United States has incurred more casualties than during 
major combat operations, mostly due to ambushes and IED attacks by 
insurgents operating in Iraq. The threat from IEDs has grown 
progressively, from single mortar rounds, to multiple explosives linked 
together, to suicide car bombs. In the spring of 2004, nearly every 
attack from an IED resulted in a coalition casualty. In particular, 
U.S. military convoys have been the targets of these types of attacks. 
In addition to Iraq, U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan also have 
been subjected to IED attacks. 

IEDs take a variety of shapes and sizes and have been employed in a 
number of different ways. They can contain commercial or military 
explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and ordnance 
components. For example, mortar and artillery projectiles have been 
employed as IEDs in Iraq. In addition, IEDs have been placed in many 
vehicles--from small sedans to large cargo trucks--stationed along the 
roadways. Furthermore, "person-borne" suicide bombs have also been 
used, with explosives contained in a vest, belt, or clothing that is 
specifically modified to conceal and carry this material. 

Outfitting Marine Corps Trucks with Armor: 

In light of the threat posed by IEDs and other weapons, such as mortars 
and rocket launchers, the Marine Corps has undertaken several force 
protection measures, including adding armor to a number of medium and 
heavy trucks operating in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other CENTCOM 
locations.[Footnote 5] The trucks being armored by the Marine Corps 
include the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR, or 7-ton truck), 
the multipurpose 5-ton truck, and the 22-ton Logistics Vehicle System 
(LVS). The MTVR and 5-ton are multipurpose medium trucks that transport 
all types of supplies. The LVS is a heavy truck that transports a 
variety of supplies and equipment such as bulk liquids (fuel and 
water), ammunition, bulk and palletized cargo, and bridging equipment. 
Appendix II contains a detailed description of each Marine Corps 
vehicle and a discussion of armor production and installation. 

Processes for Developing Wartime Requirements and Solutions: 

The Marine Corps identified wartime truck armor requirements and 
initiated a procurement program to develop armor solutions, which 
involved seeking funding from a variety of sources, identifying and 
contracting with suppliers for armor materials and components, 
designing and testing armor solutions, and installing armor onto 
trucks. 

Process for Developing Wartime Requirements: 

When a need for new equipment is identified by Marine Corps 
warfighters, units make official requests through the Marine Corps' 
requirements process by submitting a universal needs statement, which 
acts as a "work request" for current and future wartime capabilities. 
For example, the universal needs statements for truck armor described 
an urgent need to protect all Marine Corps vehicles from the 
fragmentation effects of IEDs and other threats and specified the 
numbers and types of trucks to be armored. Universal needs statements 
are forwarded from units to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command 
at Quantico, Virginia, where they are validated and approved for 
funding by the Marine Requirements Oversight Council.[Footnote 6] Upon 
validation, the statements are forwarded to the Program and Review 
office at Marine Corps headquarters to obtain funding and to Marine 
Corps Systems Command for procurement. The Marine Corps validated its 
first requirement for truck armor in January 2004 prior to the 
deployment of the First Marine Expeditionary Force to Southwest Asia. 

Development of Truck Armor Solutions: 

To address validated requirements for truck armor, the Marine Corps 
initiated a procurement program to develop armor solutions for its 
deployed trucks. The Marine Corps obtained funding for its armor 
program from a variety of sources. While the services can reprogram a 
small amount of funds from one program budget to another, the majority 
of funding had to be approved by the Office of the Under Secretary of 
Defense (Comptroller) and, in some cases, Congress. Specifically, to 
obtain funding for truck armor, the Marine Corps sought approval from 
the DOD Comptroller and Congress to reprogram funding from other 
procurement or appropriations accounts,[Footnote 7] requested funding 
from the DOD-managed Iraqi Freedom Fund,[Footnote 8] and requested 
funding through supplemental appropriations. 

The Marine Corps Systems Command was the activity responsible for 
developing truck armor solutions to address validated Marine Corps 
requirements. Systems Command's armoring efforts consisted of a phased 
approach to develop and field three distinct levels of armor: interim 
armor components, add-on armor kits, and integrated armor. Table 1 
shows the Marine Corps' armoring phases with the type of armor used in 
each phase. 

Table 1: Marine Corps Armor Phases and Types of Armor: 

Phase I: Interim armor; 
Phase II: Add-on armor; 
Phase III: Integrated armor. 

Phase I: Kevlar/ceramic and 3/16-inch high hard steel (HHS); 
Phase II: 3/8-inch rolled homogeneous armor (RHA); 
Phase III: Armor integrated into the body of the vehicle. 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

[End of table] 

The phase one interim armor consisted of commercial off-the-shelf and 
Marine Corps depot-produced armor components, such as 3/16-inch high 
hard steel (HHS)[Footnote 9] armor doors, ballistic blankets, and 
Kevlar/ceramic panels. Recognizing that the interim armor provided 
limited protection from IED fragments, the Marine Corps subsequently 
produced a more robust solution of add-on armor for phase two that 
provided greater protection against IEDs and roadside bombs. This add- 
on armor initially included 3/8-inch rolled homogeneous armor 
(RHA)[Footnote 10] steel doors and side panels, and ballistic glass. 
Later, as the threat became more lethal, the Marine Corps began 
producing and installing additional add-on armor coverage for phase two 
that included underbodies, roofs, tailgates, rear cab plates, and 
gunner shields. To produce add-on armor kits, Systems Command used its 
own Logistics Command to produce and ship the add-on armor kits. The 
Logistics Command obtained the armor panels and components directly 
from suppliers and manufactured some parts in its depot, and shipped 
kits directly to CENTCOM's area of responsibility for installation. 

As an improvement over add-on armor already fielded, in phase three the 
Marine Corps is currently installing an integrated armor kit for the 
MTVR. Unlike add-on armor, integrated armor is a permanent modification 
and is designed for the life of the vehicle. Integrated armor provides 
the greatest level of protection through more comprehensive coverage. 
The integrated truck armor kits are produced by Oshkosh Truck 
Corporation. Installing integrated armor is much more complex than add- 
on armor because it requires stripping the truck to its frame and 
rebuilding. It takes a five-person crew more than 300 hours per vehicle 
to complete the installation of integrated armor. 

Marine Corps Met Truck Armor Requirements in September 2004: 

The Marine Corps met its requirements for production and installation 
of add-on truck armor in September 2004---8 months after that initial 
requirement was identified in January 2004. In addressing its truck 
armor requirements, the Marine Corps used a three-phased approach. In 
the first phase, the Marine Corps validated its initial requirement in 
January 2004 to armor 1,169 trucks for protection against IEDs and 
other similar threats. Due to the immediacy of the need to deploy 
forces to Iraq by March 2004, the Marine Corps addressed this initial 
requirement by installing interim armor on all 1,169 trucks. However, 
the interim armor did not meet requirements because it did not provide 
sufficient protection from the fragmentation effects of IEDs. In the 
second phase, the Marine Corps increased its armor requirement to 1,438 
trucks in April 2004 and fully met that requirement in September 2004 
with add-on armor that provided the required IED protection. In the 
third phase, the Marine Corps is upgrading armor protection from add-on 
armor to integrated armor for 900 7-ton trucks in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
which were included in the 1,438 trucks armored during the second 
phase. 

First Phase Requirement Addressed with Interim Armor: 

In its first phase of truck armoring, the Marine Corps validated its 
initial requirement to armor 1,169 trucks in January 2004. However, 
they addressed the requirement by installing interim armor that did not 
provide sufficient protection against IED fragments. Figure 1 shows 
Marine Corps production and installation of the interim armor 
protection over the 2-month period taken to address the initial 
requirement. 

Figure 1: Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim Armor 
Protection: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the line in the graph simply indicates that sufficient 
purchase, production, and installation occurred to meet the 
requirements. 

[End of figure] 

Due to the immediacy of the need for armor and because forces were 
preparing to deploy in 2 months, in January 2004 Marine Corps officials 
purchased truck armor that was readily available, could be quickly 
shipped to CENTCOM's area of responsibility, and was easily installed. 
This interim solution consisted of a mix of Kevlar/ceramic armor plates 
purchased off the shelf from commercial companies to protect doors, and 
3/16-inch HHS armor plates produced by a Marine Corps depot to protect 
doors and cargo areas. Officials said the interim armor protected 
against the prevalent ballistic threat at the time and was readily 
available off the shelf from industry. However, this interim armor did 
not meet the validated requirements. Part of this requirement was to 
address an urgent need to protect all Marine Corps vehicles from the 
fragmentation effects of IEDs. Marine Corps officials said an integral 
part of the Marine Corps' armoring strategy was to procure and install 
armor on all vehicles prior to going to CENTCOM's area of 
responsibility, using the best materials readily available at the time. 
According to congressional testimony by the Systems Command's 
Commanding General, the Marine Corps always made clear the fact that 
they would pursue a more robust solution as better raw material steel 
became available.[Footnote 11] As a result, the interim armor fielded 
by the Marine Corps offered limited protection from IEDs and troops 
were placed at greater risk as they conducted operations in vehicles 
equipped with insufficient protection. 

Second Phase Requirement Met with Add-On Armor: 

The second phase of truck armoring began in April 2004, when a second 
requirement to armor 1,438 trucks with 3/8-inch RHA steel was validated 
and then met 5 months later using add-on armor that provided the 
required IED protection. To meet this requirement, the Marine Corps had 
to re-armor the existing 1,169 trucks that had interim armor, plus 
armor an additional 269 trucks with the required IED protection. 
Installation of add-on armor on the trucks was completed in September 
2004, 5 months after establishment of the April requirement and 8 
months after establishment of the initial requirement. Figure 2 shows 
Marine Corps production and installation of the add-on armor protection 
over the 5-month period needed to meet the April requirement. 

Figure 2: Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim and Add-
on Armor Protection: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the line in the graph simply indicates that sufficient 
production and installation occurred to meet the requirements. Dotted 
line over the graph indicates some overproduction occurred. 

[End of figure] 

Since the time the Marine Corps met its second phase armor requirement 
with the installation of 3/8-inch RHA add-on armor, it continued to 
make improvements to that armor during the second phase to better 
protect against IED fragments. According to officials, the upgrades 
included expanding armor coverage to the underbodies, tailgates, roofs, 
and gunner shields of the trucks. For example, the Marine Corps 
installed underbodies on 87 of the 5-ton trucks[Footnote 12] and 
underbodies on all 235 LVS trucks. Upgraded add-on armor has also been 
installed on the MTVRs until the MTVRs with integrated armor could be 
fielded. According to Marine Corps officials, this improved add-on 
armor offers significant protection of vehicles, including coverage for 
the seams to better shield against explosive blasts and fragments. 

Third Phase Requirements To Be Met with Integrated Armor: 

In the third phase of truck armoring, the Marine Corps established two 
requirements to armor MTVRs with integrated armor. The first 
requirement to armor 1,018 MTVRs was validated in October 2004, but was 
reduced to 900 in June 2005 primarily due to the rotation of fewer 
troops and trucks in and out of CENTCOM's area of responsibility. The 
Marine Corps plans to install armor on 900 MTVRs for forces in Iraq and 
Afghanistan by May 2006. As of March 2006, the Marine Corps had 
completed installation of integrated armor on 803 MTVRs. Figure 3 shows 
Marine Corps production and installation of the integrated armor 
protection. 

Figure 3: Requirement, Production, and Installation of Integrated 
Armor: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the dotted line in the graph simply indicates the 
amount of armor produced by March 2006 to meet the requirements. 

[End of figure] 

According to Marine Corps officials, since the MTVR is at the beginning 
of its economic life cycle, the Marine Corps decided to armor this 
truck with armor that was integrated into the body of the truck. Marine 
Corps officials said that only the MTVR trucks will receive the 
integrated armor because both of the other types of trucks used (the 5- 
ton and 22-ton bulk hauler) are at the end of their economic life cycle 
and are expected to be replaced over the next 5 years by the MTVRs and 
the Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR). 

Lack of a Synchronized Approach between the Services and Mission Needs 
Affected the Time to Provide Truck Armor to Marine Corps Forces: 

Two factors affected the timely production and installation of Marine 
Corps truck armor. First, a lack of a synchronized approach between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on truck armor requirements and solutions 
resulted in the Marine Corps identifying its truck armor requirements 
and seeking armor solutions 2 months later than the Army. Second, 
mission needs also affected the Marine Corp's ability to replace its 
interim armor with add-on armor and to install integrated armor. As a 
result, the total length of time to field add-on armor and integrated 
armor was stretched out over a longer period, placing troops at greater 
risk as they conducted wartime operations in vehicles without the 
preferred level of protection. 

Lack of Synchronization between the Marine Corps and Army in 
Identifying Truck Armor Requirements and Developing Solutions May Have 
Affected Armor Availability For Deploying Units: 

A lack of synchronization between the Marine Corps and Army in 
identifying truck armor requirements and coordinating an armor solution 
from industry may have limited the Marine Corps' ability to field 
interim armor that met IED protection requirements and may have 
contributed to the time to provide the second phase armor protection to 
deployed Marine Corps forces. The Marine Corps began procuring 3/8-inch 
RHA armor for effective protection against IED fragments in late 
February 2004--3 months after the Army identified this armor as a 
solution for IED protection in November 2003. After testing many types 
of armor materials to protect against IEDs, the Army subsequently 
issued armor protection guidance in December 2003 recognizing HHS and 
Kevlar/ceramic plates, which the Marine Corps purchased for its interim 
armor solution in January 2004, as ineffective against IED fragments. 
The guidance also stated that 3/8-inch RHA steel offered good 
protection against IED blasts and fragments. Marine Corps officials 
said they were aware of the Army's armor protection guidance and had 
pursued acquiring 3/8-inch RHA steel in January, but it was not 
available from industry to meet their needs. As a result, as an interim 
solution to meet deployment deadlines, they purchased the best armor 
steel available, although it did not provide sufficient IED protection. 

To verify whether a shortage of 3/8-inch RHA steel occurred during the 
January and March 2004 time frame, we asked several steel suppliers who 
had supplied steel to an Army and Marine Corps steel distributor 
whether 3/8-inch RHA was in short supply. Industry officials told us 
that if the Marine Corps had requested 3/8-inch RHA steel directly from 
them, they could have made it available sooner despite a lead time that 
varied from 30 days to 4 months. In fact, according to industry 
officials, both the 3/16-inch HHS and 3/8-inch RHA steel required the 
same amount of lead time. Ultimately, in early February 2004, the 
Marine Corps approached industry with the assistance of congressional 
staff, and by the end of February, 3/8-inch RHA steel became available. 
By March 2004, the Marine Corps began producing 3/8-inch RHA add-on 
armor for their second phase armor effort. 

A formal process did not exist to require the military services to 
coordinate when developing common wartime requirements, such as truck 
armor, or share information on research, development, and procurement 
efforts supporting solutions to those requirements. Both the Marine 
Corps and Army have separate and distinct requirements determination 
processes to address their warfighters' urgent needs. The two services 
share information only through informal communication channels, which 
may not always occur in the timeliest manner. For example, the Marine 
Corps validated its first requirement to armor vehicles against IEDs 
and other explosive devices in January 2004, 2 months after the Army 
had validated a similar requirement in November 2003. In addition, in 
November 2003, the Army had built a prototype armor kit for production 
made out of 3/8-inch RHA steel, which is what the Marine Corps 
officials said they began seeking 2 months later but were unable to 
obtain. If both the Marine Corps and Army had coordinated requirements 
earlier and had worked together to purchase 3/8-inch RHA steel from 
industry in November 2003, the Marine Corps might have had 3/8-inch RHA 
available for its first armor phase instead of the 3/16-inch HHS it 
used for interim armor, or might have completed its second armor phase 
sooner than September 2004. Without a formal process for coordinating 
common urgent wartime requirements and the development of materiel 
solutions across military services, the Army and Marine Corps could 
continue to develop different solutions with varying degrees of 
effectiveness in response to the same warfighter needs. 

Mission Needs Affected Production and Installation of Truck Armor: 

The production and installation of truck armor was also affected by 
mission needs. Specifically, mission needs restricted the rate at which 
armor could be installed onto vehicles in the theater of operations. 
According to Marine Corps officials, the need to install armor without 
jeopardizing theater missions limited the number of vehicles that could 
be taken out of action at any one time. As a result, installation rates 
for the Marine Corps' add-on and integrated armor were paced with the 
rotation of trucks into the maintenance area as they returned from 
missions. In addition, the installation of integrated armor on the MTVR 
trucks also has been constrained by lengthy installation times--on 
average it takes a five-person crew more than 300 hours per vehicle to 
install a single kit. As a result of these constraints, the 
installation of add-on and integrated truck armor was stretched out 
over a longer period, and the Marine Corps provided funding and set 
production rates for add-on armor components to match the limited rate 
of installation. Consequently, troops were placed at greater risk as 
they conducted operations in vehicles that were equipped with the 
interim armor that provided limited protection from IEDs. 

Marine Corps and DOD Took Actions to Improve Truck Armor Availability: 

The Marine Corps and DOD have taken several actions to improve the 
timely availability of truck armor and other critical wartime 
equipment. For example, the Marine Corps increased the rate of 
installation for integrated armor by expanding its armor installation 
capacity. The Marine Corps is also developing a longer-term plan to 
address the availability of truck armor for future operations. In 
addition, DOD established the Rapid Validation and Resourcing of Joint 
Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) process to improve coordination of 
combatant commander wartime requirements common to multiple services 
and to accelerate the process of fielding urgent wartime solutions that 
are outside the services' established requirements processes. However, 
it is unclear whether this policy applies to urgent wartime needs such 
as armor because it excludes the development of new technology 
solutions. 

Marine Corps Is Taking Short-and Long-Term Actions to Improve Armor 
Availability: 

The Marine Corps is taking short-term and long-term actions to improve 
the availability of truck armor. In the short term, to address current 
armor needs for deployed forces in Iraq and other CENTCOM locations, 
the Marine Corps accelerated the rate of installation by increasing the 
number of installation sites for integrated armor kits. For example, as 
of August 2005, the Marine Corps had installed integrated armor on 41 
MTVRs using one installation site in Iraq, and as of October 2005 it 
had installed armor on 177 MTVRs using two sites--one in Iraq and one 
in Kuwait. The Marine Corps opened a third site in November 2005 at the 
Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Georgia to further increase 
installation rates. As a result of the increased number of installation 
sites, total installation of integrated armor increased to 803 MTVRs as 
of March 2006. 

The Marine Corps is also taking longer-term actions to improve the 
availability of truck armor for future operations. For example, the 
Marine Corps has developed a strategic plan for tactical wheeled 
vehicles that addresses future truck armor needs. According to Marine 
Corps officials, the plan involves ongoing assessments of the Marine 
Expeditionary Force concept of warfare--the need to stay light and 
expeditionary--and limitations of available airlift and seabasing that 
impact the amount of armor applied to a vehicle. In addition, the 
Marine Corps is also investigating future kit-armoring strategies with 
the Army using the "A" kit and "B" kit concept identified in the Army's 
long-term strategy. Under this strategy, the Army's plan for add-on 
armor for trucks requires two kits. The A kit provides a basic 
framework of fixtures for all trucks ready to accept armor and includes 
hard-to-install parts and permanent mounting provisions for the B kit. 
The B kit contains the actual armor to be applied to all trucks fitted 
with an A kit and includes modular components that can be installed and 
removed by two people. The Marine Corps currently plans to incorporate 
this A kit/B kit armor concept onto its LVSR and MTVR as new vehicles 
are produced. Marine Corps officials told us that this concept 
addresses some of the concerns raised by Marine Corps officials, such 
as wear and tear on the vehicles due to the additional weight of the 
armor. Other long-term Marine Corps efforts underway include studies on 
future armoring needs and solutions. These studies are evaluating the 
ground transportation needs of the Marine Corps in an expeditionary 
context and will make recommendations regarding the value of current 
vehicle systems and necessary changes to develop and maintain a 
tactical wheeled vehicle fleet that meets Marine Corps requirements 
through 2020. While we did not evaluate these studies, we did note that 
they are aimed at identifying longer-term requirements for truck armor 
and developing solutions to address these requirements. 

DOD Has Taken Steps to Improve Coordination of Requirements across 
Services: 

DOD has taken steps to improve coordination of urgent wartime needs 
across the services by developing the JUONS process. DOD established 
the JUONS process in July 2005 to improve coordination of combatant 
commanders' urgent wartime requirements that are outside the services' 
established processes to accelerate the fielding of wartime solutions 
that may be purchased off the shelf or warrant minor modification. 
However, according to Army officials, it is not clear whether the JUONS 
process addresses urgent wartime needs that may emerge in the same 
fashion as armor. The acquisition of an armor solution was in part an 
off-the-shelf purchase combined with some level of research and 
development of new technology. According to the JUONS instructions, 
solutions that involve the development of a new technology or 
capability should not be processed under the instruction's procedures. 
However, the instruction also allows the minor modification of an 
existing system to adapt to a new or similar mission. Army officials 
said they were unclear whether urgent wartime requirements such as 
armor should be processed under JUONS given that the armor solution can 
be described as both an off-the-shelf solution with minor modification 
and a solution that required the development of new technology. For 
example, according to Army officials, the recently fielded armor 
solutions were readily available off the shelf and required some 
modification. However, officials also said that the armor solutions can 
be described as new and developing technology because research was 
needed to identify effective armor protection standards and new 
technology was necessary to integrate and apply armor onto vehicles. As 
a result, it is not clear if similar future requirements are to be 
processed under JUONS or other requirements generation processes. Until 
the types of solutions about which the JUONS process applies are more 
clearly defined, it is uncertain whether this process would apply to 
joint urgent wartime requirements for items needing some level of 
research and development, such as truck armor. 

Conclusions: 

The results of our work on Marine Corps truck armor indicate a broader 
systemic problem with a lack of synchronization between the Marine 
Corps and Army in identifying common urgent wartime requirements and 
developing solutions to those requirements. Because there was no formal 
process requiring a synchronized approach between the two services for 
identifying requirements or developing solutions, the Marine Corps did 
not identify a requirement for truck armor or begin developing armor 
solutions until 2 months after the Army had done so. A more unified and 
coordinated approach between the Marine Corps and the Army might have 
allowed the Marine Corps to field a better interim armor solution that 
provided sufficient protection against IEDs. In addition, earlier 
coordination may also have enabled the Marine Corps to begin developing 
and fielding its second phase of armor, which provided the required IED 
protection, sooner. Further, due to the lack of a formal process for 
sharing requirements information between the services, official 
documentation was not available to determine whether the Marine Corps 
made informed decisions about the materials it selected for its interim 
armor or to assess the basis for these decisions. While the work we 
performed focused on the Marine Corps and Army, the lack of a DOD-wide 
framework for coordinating wartime requirements and solutions impacts 
on all of the military services. 

Subsequent to the procurement and installation of Marine Corps add-on 
truck armor, DOD established a new joint process, called JUONS, to 
ensure that the development of wartime requirements common to the 
Marine Corps, Army, and other services are coordinated. However, 
because this new process does not apply to the development of new 
technologies, it is not clear whether it will improve interservice 
coordination when solutions involve some level of research and 
development, like truck armor. Without a formal process for 
coordinating all common wartime requirements and the development of 
materiel solutions across military services, the Army, Marine Corps, 
and other services could continue to develop different solutions with 
varying degrees of effectiveness in response to the same warfighter 
needs. It is likely that DOD will again face urgent wartime 
requirements common to multiple services to rapidly develop materiel 
solutions to improve force capability or protection of deployed forces. 
The effective coordination of common requirements and sharing of 
information on materiel solutions in development are critical to ensure 
the needs of the warfighter are met in the timeliest and most effective 
manner possible. Without improved coordination, deployed military 
personnel and their missions may be placed at significant risk because 
they lack the appropriate equipment at the critical times it may be 
needed. Furthermore, until a formal process for coordinating and 
sharing information on all common urgent wartime requirements and 
solutions is established, Congress and the Secretary of Defense may be 
unable to exercise effective oversight of decisions made to address 
urgent wartime requirements. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To ensure that the services make informed and coordinated decisions 
about what materiel solutions are developed and procured to address 
common urgent wartime requirements, we recommend that the Secretary of 
Defense take the following two actions: (1) direct the service 
secretaries to establish a process to share information between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on developed or developing materiel 
solutions, and (2) clarify the point at which the JUONS process should 
be utilized when materiel solutions require research and development. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally agreed 
with our recommendations. Regarding the first recommendation that DOD 
direct the services to establish a process to share information between 
the services on materiel solutions in development, DOD partially 
concurred, and stated that it believes that multiple layers of 
communication already exist between the Marine Corps and the Army. For 
example, DOD cited the Marine Corps' participation in the Army's armor 
kit working group. DOD also noted that the Marine Corps coordinated 
with the Army Research Lab and the Army's Aberdeen Test Center on armor 
kit design and testing. While we agree that the coordination between 
the Marine Corps and Army on truck armoring was beneficial to the 
Marine Corps' program, these processes were generally informal in 
nature. As evidenced in our report, these various layers of 
communication were not sufficient to bring the services' two truck 
armor programs together in a more uniform and coordinated approach from 
the beginning to ensure that requirements were identified and solutions 
developed for both services at the same time. Instead, the Army 
identified its first truck armor requirements and began developing 
solutions in November 2003, while the Marine Corps did not begin its 
program until January 2004. As we reported, had the Marine Corps began 
seeking truck armor solutions in November 2003, if might have been able 
to acquire the preferred type of steel in time for its March 2004 
deployment to Iraq given the average lead times for this steel during 
this time period and the willingness of industry to work with the 
Marine Corps to expedite its availability. 

DOD further stated that it believes it met the intent of our 
recommendation with the creation of the Army-Marine Corps Board and the 
Navy-Marine Corps Board. As noted by DOD, these Boards address issues 
at the 3-star level and provide a means to share information between 
the services. According to DOD, the Army-Marine Corps Board was not 
mature enough to influence the initial development of truck armor, but 
in 2005 it was used to coordinate production delivery priority between 
the Army and Marine Corps for the up-armored HMMWV. While we agree that 
these Boards enhance the coordination between the two services, they 
represent an agreement between the services, initiated by the services. 
The intent of our recommendation is for DOD to develop a more 
comprehensive DOD-wide process that requires synchronization and 
coordination between the services in identifying common urgent wartime 
requirements and developing solutions to those requirements. 

In response to our second recommendation to clarify the point at which 
the JUONS process should be utilized, DOD concurred, stating that the 
Joint Staff is working on an update to the JOUNS process instruction. 
According to DOD, this update will clarify when and if the JOUNS 
process can be used when materiel solutions require development of a 
new technology or capability. The update is expected to be completed by 
September 2006. 

DOD provided additional comments related to the context of the report. 
Specifically, DOD noted that it believes the Marine Corps exhibited due 
diligence in providing armor protection for its deployed tactical 
wheeled vehicle fleet. It further described in detail the Marine Corps' 
approach to first develop an interim solution using commercially 
available materials, including 3/16-inch HHS, to ensure all vehicles 
entering Iraq would have at least some protection until armor with a 
better level of protection could be fielded. We agree that the Marine 
Corps exercised diligence in armoring its trucks for Iraq and other 
deployed locations given the circumstances and we believe this 
information is accurately presented in the report. However, as noted in 
the report, a more unified and synchronized approach between the Army 
and the Marine Corps may have improved the availability of the 
preferred 3/8-inch RHA for the Marine Corps' interim armor. 

DOD also provided additional comments related to the accuracy of the 
report which we have incorporated in the report as appropriate. The 
department's specific comments and our responses to them are discussed 
in detail in appendix III. In summary, the department disagreed with 
our statements regarding the (1) lack of coordination between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on addressing truck armor requirements and 
solutions, (2) lack of a formal department wide process to ensure 
interservice coordination, and (3) delays in the Marine Corps' 
identification of the requirement for 3/8-inch RHA and its attempts to 
acquire and install this improved armor. While we acknowledge that the 
Marine Corps made attempts to coordinate with the Army through various 
informal processes, evidence showed that the lack of a synchronized 
approach between the services led to differing processes within the 
services for generating armor requirements and solutions. Similarly, 
while we agree that the department had a number of interservice working 
groups and committees designed to enhance interservice coordination, we 
continue to believe that the lack of a more formal interservice 
coordination process precluded the Marine Corps and the Army from 
identifying armor requirements and solutions for both services at the 
same time. Lastly, while the department refuted our evidence that the 
Marine Corps did not identify a requirement for 3/8-inch RHA until 
April 2004, it was unable to adequately document its position. See 
appendix III for a more detailed discussion of these issues. 

We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional 
committees, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the Army and 
the Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Director of 
the Office of Management and Budget. We will also make copies available 
to others upon request. In addition, the report will be available at no 
charge on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff members have any questions regarding this report, 
please contact me at (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov. Contact points 
for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be 
found on: 

the last page of this report. GAO staff that made major contributions 
to this report are listed in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

William M. Solis, Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To address our objectives, we examined the Marine Corps' programs to 
provide armor for each of its medium and heavy tactical wheeled 
vehicles, or trucks, operating in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) 
area of responsibility.[Footnote 13] The Marine Corps trucks we 
examined included the 5-ton, Logistics Vehicle System, and Marine 
Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Replacement. Descriptions of each of these 
trucks along with detailed information on the availability of armor for 
each truck are included in appendix II. 

To determine the extent to which truck armor was produced and installed 
to meet identified requirements and the factors that affected the time 
to provide armor, we interviewed Marine Corps officials involved in 
identifying armor requirements, providing funding, and acquiring truck 
armor for deployed forces. We conducted interviews at the Marine Corps 
Systems Command and Marine Corps Combat Development Command in 
Quantico, Virginia; the Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, 
Georgia; Army headquarters in Arlington, Virginia; and the U.S. Army 
Development Test Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. We also 
collected and analyzed armor supply data such as requirements, funding 
levels, production levels, and installations for the period between 
January 2004 (when truck armor requirements were first formally 
identified) and March 2006, which we obtained from Marine Corps bases 
or source documents. We considered the armor requirement as met for 
each type of truck when the quantity of add-on or integrated armor 
produced and installed on vehicles equaled the requirement. We did not, 
however, visit CENTCOM's area of responsibility to validate the extent 
to which armor had been installed and was actually in use by trucks. 
Based on the information gathered, we identified factors that affected 
the time to provide truck armor to deployed forces. 

To determine what actions the Marine Corps and the Department of 
Defense took to improve the availability of truck armor for current and 
future operations, we interviewed Marine Corps and Joint Staff 
personnel to identify short-and long-term efforts. We also reviewed the 
service's studies related to addressing future truck armor needs. 
However, we did not evaluate the identified solutions' potential for 
success. 

We assessed the reliability of the truck armor supply data we obtained 
for this review by interviewing agency officials knowledgeable about 
the data and corroborating them with other information gathered from 
other Marine Corps organizations. We determined that the data were 
sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. We performed our 
audit from April 2005 through March 2006 in accordance with generally 
accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Assessment of Marine Corps Truck Armoring Efforts: 

We examined the extent to which truck armor was produced and installed 
to meet identified requirements for the following vehicles: the 
multipurpose 5-ton truck, the logistics vehicle system (LVS), and the 
medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR, or 7-ton truck). This 
appendix provides an assessment for each of these three truck types. 
Each assessment presents a general description of each truck and our 
evaluation of the extent to which armor kits were produced and 
installed when required. 

Multipurpose 5-Ton Trucks: 

The Marine Corps multipurpose 5-ton trucks provide transportation, 
hauling, and towing of just about everything in the equipment 
inventory. These trucks transport troops, supplies, ammunition, 
construction materials, and other items. These trucks also tow many 
types of trailers, artillery guns, and vans. Almost all Marine Corps 
units are equipped with 5-ton trucks. As the primary truck transport 
asset of the Marine Corps, it is available in cargo, dump, tractor, and 
wrecker configurations. Figure 4 shows an example of the 5-ton truck in 
a cargo configuration. 

Figure 4: Unarmored Marine Corps 5-Ton Multipurpose Truck: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. 

[End of figure] 

To meet requirements, the Marine Corps installed armor protection for 
the 5-ton trucks in two phases. The first phase of armoring used 
interim armor, which included 3/16-inch HHS doors, Kevlar/ceramic 
panels, and ballistic blankets, and offered limited protection against 
improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The second phase of armoring used 
add-on armor, which offered better protection against IEDs because it 
included a better grade steel (3/8-inch rolled homogeneous steel), 
ballistic glass, and additional protection for the underbody, tailgate, 
roof, and other components. There is also an additional type of armor 
protection used by the Marine Corps, called integrated armor. However, 
integrated armor requirements were not established for the 5-ton truck 
because the 5-ton truck is at the end of its life cycle and is being 
replaced by MTVRs, or 7-ton trucks. In addition, according to Marine 
Corps officials, the 5-ton trucks make poor candidates for integrated 
armor because the added weight of the armor significantly reduces the 
payload capacity and usefulness of the trucks. 

Extent Truck Armor Was Produced and Installed to Meet Identified 
Requirements: 

The Marine Corps armored its 5-ton trucks in two phases, responding to 
two validated requirements. The requirement addressed in the first 
phase, to armor 171 trucks, was validated in January 2004. Marine Corps 
officials said they met this requirement 2 months later, in March 2004, 
by installing an interim armor solution before the First Marine 
Expeditionary Force was deployed to Iraq. However, Marine Corps 
officials were unable to provide monthly data on the number of 
installations completed. Our analysis showed that, at a minimum, the 
Marine Corps produced 123 door sets between April and September 2004 at 
the Marine Corps Logistics Command Maintenance Center in Albany, 
Georgia, and procured 3,830 Kevlar/ceramic panels from commercial 
sources to address the requirement. According to Marine Corps 
officials, some of these Kevlar/ceramic panels were used to armor the 5-
ton trucks. Due to the immediate need for armor prior to deployment, 
the Marine Corp met armor needs with the best available materials at 
the time--3/16-inch HHS and Kevlar/ceramic plates. However, the armor 
did not provide sufficient IED protection. 

The requirement met in the second phase, to armor 185 5-ton trucks 
(including re-armoring the 171 trucks with interim armor), was 
validated in April 2004. Marine Corps officials said they met this 
requirement 5 months later, in September 2004, by installing add-on 
armor kits that met requirements for IED protection, but they were 
unable to provide monthly data on the number of installations 
completed. Our analysis showed that, at a minimum, the Marine Corps 
produced 199 5-ton armored door sets between April and September 2004 
to meet the requirement. Figure 5 shows the requirements and 
installation levels for both interim armor and add-on armor for the 5- 
ton truck over time. As of September 2005, the Marine Corps had 123 add-
on armored 5-ton trucks operating outside forward bases in CENTCOM's 
area of responsibility. Eighty-seven of them also received underbody 
armor.[Footnote 14] 

Figure 5: 5-Ton Truck Requirements, Production, and Installation of 
Interim and Add-on Armor: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the dotted line in the graph simply indicates that 
sufficient production and installation occurred to meet the 
requirements, but is not representative of actual production quantities 
at given points in time. Dotted line over the graph also indicates some 
overproduction occurred. 

[End of figure] 

Logistics Vehicle System: 

The Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) is a heavy tactical transport 
vehicle system for fuels and bulk cargos that was first fielded in the 
mid-1980s. It is a modular system consisting of a front power unit 
(cab) that is designed to have interchangeable rear body units. The 
truck has an off-road payload of 12.5-tons and an on-road payload of 
22.5-tons. Figure 6 shows the front body unit, which can tow five 
different rear body units. Rear body units include a wrecker, a fifth- 
wheel semitrailer adapter, a dropside cargo unit, a self-loading 
container, and bridge transporter. 

Figure 6: Armored Cab of the Marine Corps Logistics Vehicle System: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. 

[End of figure] 

The Marine Corps installed armor protection on the LVS in two phases to 
meet requirements. The first phase of armoring used interim armor, 
which included Kevlar/ceramic panels, 3/16-inch HHS doors, and 
ballistic blankets, and offered limited protection against IEDs. The 
second phase of armoring used add-on armor, which offered better 
protection against IEDs because it included a better grade (3/8-inch 
rolled homogeneous) steel, ballistic glass, and additional protection 
for the underbody, tailgate, roof, and other components. There is an 
additional type of armor protection established by the Marine Corps, 
called integrated armor, but, as with the 5-ton truck, a requirement 
for this type of protection was not established for the LVS because it 
will ultimately be replaced by a new truck called the Logistic Vehicle 
System Replacement during the 2008-2009 time frame. 

Extent Truck Armor Was Produced and Installed to Meet Identified 
Requirements: 

The Marine Corps armored the LVS in two phases, responding to two 
requirements. The requirement addressed in the first phase, to armor 
204 trucks, was validated in January 2004. Marine Corp officials said 
they met this requirement by installing an interim armor solution 2 
months later, in March 2004, before the First Marine Expeditionary 
Force was deployed to Iraq. However, Marine Corps officials were unable 
to provide monthly data on the number of installations completed. Our 
analysis showed that, at a minimum, the Marine Corps produced 105 
armored door sets at the Marine Corps Logistic Command Maintenance 
Center between April and September 2004 and procured 3,830 Kevlar/ 
ceramic panels from a commercial company, some of which were used to 
armor the LVS. Due to the immediate need for armor prior to deployment, 
the Marine Corps met armor needs with the best available materials at 
the time--3/16-inch HHS and Kevlar/ceramic plates. However, this armor 
did not provide sufficient protection against the fragmentation effects 
of IEDs. 

The requirement met in the second phase, to armor 221 trucks (including 
re-armoring the 204 trucks with interim armor), was established in 
April 2004. Marine Corps officials said they met this requirement 5 
months later, in September 2004, with add-on armor kits that met the 
validated requirements for protection from IEDs, but they were unable 
to provide monthly data on the number of installations completed. Our 
analysis showed that, at a minimum, the Marine Corps produced 261 
armored door sets between April and September 2004 at the Marine Corps 
Logistic Command Maintenance Center and procured 3,830 Kevlar/ceramic 
panels from a commercial company to meet the requirement. According to 
Marine Corps officials, some of the Kevlar/ceramic doors were used to 
armor the LVS. As of January 2006, Marine Corps fielding data revealed 
that 235 LVS trucks operating outside forward bases in CENTCOM's area 
of responsibility had add-on armor. Figure 7 shows the requirements, 
production, and installation levels for both interim armor and add-on 
armor for the LVS over time. 

Figure 7: LVS Requirements, Production, and Installation of Interim and 
Add-on Armor: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the dotted line in the graph simply indicates that 
sufficient production and installation occurred to meet the 
requirements, but is not representative of actual production quantities 
at given points in time. Dotted line over the graph indicates some 
overproduction occurred. 

[End of figure] 

Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement: 

The Marine Corps Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) is designed 
to replace the existing fleet of 5-ton trucks with a new and more 
robust fleet of 7-ton trucks. Figure 8 shows the MTVR as a troop 
carrier; however, it is also used as a wrecker, dump truck, cargo 
carrier, and convoy escort. According to a Marine Corps official, the 
service needed to replace its existing medium 5-ton truck fleet with a 
vehicle capable of carrying larger payloads, at a faster speed, over 
more difficult terrain, and that can be airlifted. A contract was 
awarded to Oshkosh Truck Corporation in December 1998, and production 
is underway. 

Figure 8: Armored Medium Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Replacement: 

[See PDF for image]

Source: U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command.  

[End of figure] 

To meet requirements, the Marine Corps installed armor protection for 
the MTVR in three phases. The first phase used interim armor, which 
includes Kevlar/ceramic panels, 3/16-inch HHS doors, and ballistic 
blankets, and offers limited protection against IEDs. The second phase 
used add-on armor, which provides greater protection from IEDs than the 
interim armor because it included 3/8-inch rolled homogeneous armor, 
ballistic glass, and additional protection for the underbody, side 
panels, tailgate, and other components. The Marine Corps continues to 
design and produce improvements to this add-on armor. The final armor 
phase used integrated armor that is installed on the vehicle chassis 
and provides overlapping seams that prevent penetration from ballistics 
and IEDs. Figure 9 shows the requirements, production, and installation 
of each type of armor on the MTVR. 

Extent Truck Armor Was Produced and Installed to Meet Identified 
Requirements: 

The Marine Corps is armoring the MTVR in three phases, responding to 
four requirements. The requirement addressed in the first phase, to 
armor 794 trucks, was validated in January 2004. Marine Corps officials 
said they met this requirement by installing an interim armor solution 
2 months later, in March 2004, before the First Marine Expeditionary 
Force was deployed to Iraq. However, Marine Corps officials were unable 
to provide data on the number of installations completed. Our analysis 
showed that, at a minimum, the Marine Corps produced 174 doors between 
April and September 2004 and procured 3,830 Kevlar/ceramic panels from 
a commercial company for the requirement. An unspecified number of 
these Kevlar/ceramic panels were used to armor the MTVR. Due to the 
immediate need for armor prior to deployment, the Marine Corp met armor 
needs with the best available materials at the time--3/16-inch HHS and 
Kevlar/ceramic plates. However, this armor did not provide sufficient 
protection against the fragmentation effects of IEDs. 

The requirement met in the second phase, to armor 1,032 MTVRs 
(including re-armoring the 794 trucks armored with interim armor), was 
validated in April 2004. Marine Corps officials said they met this 
requirement 5 months later, in September 2005, by installing add-on 
armor kits that met the validated requirements for protection from 
IEDs. However, they were unable to provide data on the number of 
installations completed. Our analysis showed that, at a minimum, the 
Marine Corps produced 1,966 armored doors between April and September 
2004 to meet the requirement. The Marine Corps also produced 962 cargo 
panel sets (i.e., which were steel plated to protect the sides of the 
cargo unit) to protect transported troops. 

The armor protection installed in the third phase had two requirements. 
The first requirement, to armor 1,018 MTVRs (trucks that were already 
provided with add-on armor) with integrated armor, was validated in 
October 2004. However, in June 2005 this requirement was reduced to 
installing integrated kits on 900 MTVRs by May 2006, because fewer 
trucks than initially anticipated will be rotated into theater in Iraq 
and Afghanistan. Since the MTVR is at the beginning of its economic 
life cycle, the Marine Corps made the decision to armor this truck with 
armor that was integrated into the body of the truck. Integrated armor 
is a permanent modification that requires stripping the truck to its 
frame and rebuilding. It takes a five-person crew more than 300 hours 
to complete a single installation. As of March 2006, the Marine Corps 
has installed 803 integrated kits on the MTVRs. 

Figure 9: MTVR Truck Requirements, Production, and Installation of 
Interim, Add-on, and Integrated Armor: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Marine Corps data. 

Note: Precise monthly armor production and installation figures were 
unavailable, so the dotted line in the graph simply indicates that 
sufficient production and installation occurred to meet the 
requirements, but is not representative of actual production quantities 
at given points in time. Dotted line over the graph indicates some 
overproduction occurred. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Acquisition, Technology And Logistics: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

May 26 2006: 

Mr. William M. Solis: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Solis: 

This is the Department of Defense response to the GAO draft report, 
Defense Logistics: Lack of Coordination between Marine Corps and Army 
Affected the Timely Production and Installation of Marine Corps Truck 
Armor, dated April 25, 2006 (GAO Code 350785/GAO-06-274). 

The Department partially concurs with the recommendations in the draft 
report. Our comments concerning the recommendations, context and 
accuracy of the report are provided in the enclosure. 

The Department appreciates the opportunity to comment on the draft 
report. 

Signed by: 

Darlene J. Costello: 
Acting Director: 
Portfolio Systems Acquisition: 

Enclosure: 
As stated: 

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED APRIL 25, 2006 GAO CODE 350785/GAO-06-274: 

"DEFENSE LOGISTICS: Lack of Coordination between Marine Corps and Army 
Affected the Timely Production and Installation of Marine Corps Truck 
Armor" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: To ensure that the services make informed and 
coordinated decisions about what materiel solutions are developed and 
procured to address common urgent wartime requirements, the GAO 
recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the service secretaries 
to establish a process to share information between the Marine Corps 
and the Army on developed or developing materiel solutions. 

DOD Response: Partially Concur. Multiple layers of communication 
already exist between the Marine Corps and the Army. For example, the 
Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) Armor Project Officer joined the 
Army's Armor Kit Working Group Integrated Process Team in early 
December 2003. This working group was a pivotal link between the 
services in coordinating initial efforts. Additionally, all the Marine 
Corps vehicle hardening tests were conducted at the Army's Aberdeen 
Test Center (ATC). The ATC Test Director ensured that Marine Corps 
efforts received priority placement (a result of close, continuous 
coordination). Further, the Marine Armor Kit (MAK) designs were based 
on technical drawings and engineering calculations from the Army 
Research Lab (ARL) designs. 

As appropriate, Major General Catto (CG, MCSC) maintained close contact 
with his counterpart at the Army's Program Executive Office Combat 
Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS & CSS), Brigadier General 
O'Reilly. 

At the Service level, the Army-Marine Corps Board (AMCB) and the Navy- 
Marine Corps Board (NMCB) address issues at the 3-star level. While the 
AMCB was not mature enough during the winter 2003/spring 2004 to 
influence the initial up-armor issue, it provides a suitable venue for 
similar topics, provides a means to share information, and meets the 
"spirit and intent" of the GAO recommendation. For example, in the fall 
of 2005, the AMCB was used to establish an equitable production 
delivery priority between the two Services for the Up-Armored Humvee MI 
114. 

Recommendation 2: To ensure that the services make informed and 
coordinated decisions about what materiel solutions are developed and 
procured to address common urgent wartime requirements, the GAO 
recommends that the Secretary of Defense clarify the point at which the 
JUONS process should be utilized when materiel solutions require 
research and development. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Joint Staff, J8 is currently working on an 
update to CJCSl 3470.01, "Rapid Validation and Resourcing of Joint 
Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) in the Year of Execution". This update 
will clarify when and if the JUONS process can be used when materiel 
solutions require development of a new technology or capability. The 
update is expected to be complete by September 2006. 

Additional Comments: 

Report Context: The Department offers the following additional comments 
in response to the draft report: The Marine Corps exhibited due 
diligence in providing armor protection to its tactical wheeled vehicle 
fleet in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom 
(OEF), and the Horn of Africa (HOA). 

In January 2004, the Marine Requirements Oversight Council (MROC) 
validated the requirement to armor all 1 Marine Expeditionary Force's 
(MEF) tactical wheeled vehicles before entering Iraq for OIF 2. The 
Marine Corps tackled this task with a dual prong approach. 

They worked with industry to identify all readily available solutions, 
i.e., Simula half doors (HHS), Foster-Miller appliqué panels, O'Gara 
Hess (OGH) kits. Since procurement of readily available industry 
solutions alone would not meet the total I MEF requirement of 3,049 
vehicles (trucks included), a concurrent augmenting approach was begun. 
In order to provide the best armor protection available in time to meet 
the March 2004 OIF II deployment timeline, Marine Corps Logistics 
Command (MCLC) and Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) teamed together 
to field the MCLC 3/16" HHS armor. The combination of OGH kits, Simula 
half doors, Foster-Miller panels, and MCLC 3/16" armor was our 1 st 
generation approach to the vehicle armor solution. During the 
development of the first generation approach, they sought 3/8" RHA as 
the preferred armor solution for IED blast/fragmentation protection. 
However, 3/8" RHA was NOT available from industry in order to meet the 
I MEF March 2004 timeline. Nonetheless, there was some level of IED 
protection afforded to 100% of the Marine Corps' vehicles entering to 
Iraq when involvement with OIF II began. 

Working with industry and the assistance of senior HASC staffers, in 
late spring of 2004, the Marine Corps were able to procure 3/8" RHA, 
beginning the transition from the first generation solutions to the 
second generation, i.e., MCLC 3/8" RHA zonal armor. They completed 
fielding the second generation armor in August 2004. They completed the 
fielding of our third generation or integrated solutions (Marine Armor 
Kit (MAK) and MTVR Armor System (MAS)) in November 2005 for our HMMWVs, 
in December 2005 for the Logistics Vehicle System (LVS), and as of 11 
May, have completed the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) 
nearly five months ahead of schedule. 

In addition, every generation of vehicle armor was subjected to blast 
tests, to the requirements, before MCSC would approve fielding 
solutions. Their motto was to be sure that we "do no harm" when trying 
to address the armoring situation. 

Report Accuracy: In general the information in the report is accurate, 
however, we do not agree with the following statements for the reasons 
stated: 

Page 2 - We identified a number of systemic causes for these shortages, 
including inaccurate requirements, delayed funding, and ineffective 
distribution processes. 

1) "...inaccurate requirements..." is misleading; it implies that the 
Marine Corps did not consider the current threat analysis. Armor 
protection requirements increased quickly over time, measured in weeks 
and months. The predominant threat migrated from a predominantly small 
arms ballistic focus to a fragmentation focus, as the lethality of IEDs 
encountered increased. In December 2003, both the Army and Marine Corps 
recognized that IEDs, RPGs, 7.62mm projectiles, and mines were the 
predominant threats; however, there was not a consensus among the users 
as to the proper tradeoffs and specifications to counter the threat. In 
addition, specific testing data formulated from in-theater operational 
scenarios did not yet exist, making it very difficult to articulate 
specific and emerging requirements. Without such specific data, it was 
difficult to arrive at a production solution that would meet emerging 
requirements in the timeframe required. 

Page 4 - Due to the immediacy of the need to deploy forces to Iraq by 
March 2004, the Marine Corps addressed this initial requirement by 
installing interim armor on all 1,169 trucks. However, the interim 
armor did not meet requirements because it did not provide sufficient 
protection from the fragmentation effects of IEDs. Marine Corps 
officials acknowledged that the interim armor provided protection 
against the prevalent ballistic threat at the time but offered only 
limited protection against IEDs. 

2) "...did not meet requirements..." As mentioned previously, armor 
protection requirements increased quickly over time, measured in weeks 
and months. The predominant threat migrated from a small arms ballistic 
focus to a fragmentation focus, as the lethality of IEDs encountered 
increased. As both the Marine Corps and Army experienced, when a 
vehicle armor solution was developed and fielded, the enemy changed 
tactics, techniques, and procedures to mitigate the protection level 
just fielded. We are in an environment in which we have to continually 
validate and re-define requirements. 

Page 4 - Two factors affected the timely production and installation of 
Marine Corps truck armor. First, a lack of coordination between the 
Marine Corps and the Army on addressing truck armor requirements and 
solutions caused the Marine Corps to make decisions about the types of 
armor to use without having all the information that was available on 
the protective capabilities of various types of armor. 

3) "...lack of coordination..." The Army and Marine Corps shared 
information and coordinated efforts between the services in several 
different ways, most often via working groups, PHONCONs, VTCs, and e- 
mails. In the October/November 2003 timeframe the Army stood up its 
Armor Kit Working Group Integrated Process Team (AKWG IPT). The Marine 
Corps Systems Command Armor Project Officer joined the AKWG IPT in 
early December 2003. This working group was a pivotal link between the 
services in coordinating initial efforts. Marine Corps Logistics 
Command (MCLC) Maintenance Center Albany and Contracts personnel 
attended the AKWG IPTs starting in the spring of 2004. 

Additionally, all the Marine Corps vehicle hardening testing efforts 
were conducted at Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) in Maryland. The ATC Test 
Director personally ensured that Marine Corps efforts received priority 
placement (a result of close, continuous coordination). 

Further, the Marine Armor Kit (MAK) designs were based on technical 
drawings and engineering calculations based on the Army Research Lab 
(ARL) designs. MCLC was provided the Technical Design Package (TDP) of 
the Army Add on Armor (AoA) door and rocker panel kits in January 2004. 
The TDP was used in the design and development of the MCLC first 
generation and subsequent generations of armor kits. The TDP reduced 
the design effort required to develop doors and underbodies to meet 
Marine Corps operational requirements. Without the sharing of 
information and coordination received from the Army, the Marine Corps 
vehicle hardening efforts would not have progressed rapidly. 

Page 5 - The Marine Corps did not officially identify a requirement for 
318-inch rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) steel until April 2004, which 
it determined was necessary for effective IED protection. 

4) "The Marine Corps did not officially identify a requirement for 3/8 
RHA until April 2004." As the Marine Corps developed interim solutions 
in coordination with efforts undertaken by the Army, they recognized 
the need for 3/8 RHA in December 2003. Participation in the AKWG IPT in 
early December 2003 was critical to this recognition. The Marine Corps 
first tried to order 3/8" RHA with Clifton steel in January 2004, but 
lack of supply prevented order completion and delivery. In addition, 
Contracts (MCLC) queried all known vendors, distributors and steel 
mills in North America for availability of all types and thickness of 
armor plate starting in January 2004 and throughout armor production. 

Page 5 - Because there is no formal process in place to ensure 
interservice coordination on the development of materiel solutions such 
as truck armor, the Marine Corps was not aware of the Army's 
identification of the type of steel needed for effective IED protection 
when it developed its interim armor. Instead, the Marine Corps fielded 
an armor solution of 3/16-inch steel and Kevlar/ceramic plates that did 
not adequately address the IED threat. 

5) "...no formal process..." Though no standing joint activity 
addressed specific service wide vehicle hardening requirements at the 
time, as previously mentioned, participation on the AKWG IPT and formal 
coordination with ATC and ARL to facilitate testing and design proved 
instrumental in the incorporation of RHA into our vehicle hardening 
kits. The Marine Corps continues to use the Army-Marine Corps Board 
(AMCB) and the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) as forums to work 
vehicle hardening issues and requirements in the development of 
solutions. As noted previously, they processed the first purchase order 
for 3/8" RHA on January 12, 2004. They developed and fielded vehicle 
hardening kits in successive generations for two primary reasons; 1) 
availability of RHA ballistic steel was in limited supply, and 2) upon 
validating current and emerging requirements, they developed successive 
material solutions as the threat changed and migrated to a focus on 
fragmentation and mines (over ballistic projectiles). The decision to 
field 3/16" ballistic steel and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 
solutions was made deliberately, given the less than optimum options 
available to meet the current timelines of the warfighter. 

Page 5 - Second, mission needs restricted the rate at which the Marine 
Corps could replace its interim armor with add-on armor and install 
integrated armor. As a result, the fielding of add-on armor and 
integrated armor was stretched out over a longer period, placing troops 
at greater risk as they conducted wartime operations in vehicles 
without the required level of protection. 

6) "...placing troops at greater risk..." Operational commanders in- 
theater made the ultimate decision as to when they could afford to 
place vehicles out of service in order to install armor. It was a 
decision based on combat needs in a combat environment, not on 
production timelines in a benign environment. It's misleading to state 
that Marines were placed at greater risk. For example, if the 
Operational Commanders placed a large preponderance of vehicles out of 
service at one time, it would leave the remaining forces engaged in 
combat operations without a significant proportion of their combat 
assets, which represents an inherent high risk. Without addressing the 
specific combat needs in theater during the timeframe mentioned, it is 
misleading to state that Marines were placed at greater risk. 

Page 11 - However, the interim armor did not meet requirements because 
it did not provide sufficient protection from the fragmentation effects 
of IEDs. 

7) "...did not meet requirements..." See note (1) and note (2). 

Page 13 - As a result, the interim armor fielded by the Marine Corps 
offered little protection from IEDs and troops were placed at greater 
risk as they conducted operations in vehicles equipped with limited 
protection. 

8) "...offered little protection..." See note (6). 

Page 17 - Lack of Coordination between the Services and Mission Needs 
Affected the Time to Provide Truck Armor to Deployed Forces. 

9) "Lack of Coordination..." See note (3) and note (5). 

Page 18 - However, Marine Corps officials said they were not aware of 
the Army's armor protection guidance or what type of armor was needed 
for IED protection when they began purchasing truck armor in January 
2004. 

10) "...not aware of the Army's armor protection guidance..." See note 
(3) and note (4). 

Page 18 - However, these information sessions were not well attended by 
Marine Corps officials, and Army acquisition and laboratory officials 
said they were not sure whether information about 3/8-inch RHA armor 
was shared in late 2003 or early 2004 because no official records were 
kept or were readily available. 

11) "...information sessions were not well attended..." Information 
sharing between the Army and Marine Corps regarding vehicle hardening 
programs has been well established and well documented through 
participation in working groups, IPTs, PHONCONs, VTC's, and e-mails. In 
particular, e-mail traffic is well-documented, from the Commanding 
General of MCSC on down. 

Page 18 - One Marine Corps Systems Command official estimated that the 
Marine Corps learned about 318-inch RHA in February 2004 but no 
documentation was available to substantiate this estimate. 

12) "...Marine Corps learned about 3/8" RHA in December 2003..." See 
note (4). 

Page 20 - In addition, the Marine Corps is also investigating future 
kit-armoring strategies with the Army using the "A" kit and "B" kit 
concept established in the Army's long-term strategy. Under this 
strategy, the Army's plan for add-on armor for trucks requires two 
kits. The A kit provides a basic framework of fixtures for all trucks 
ready to accept armor and includes hard-to-install parts and permanent 
mounting provisions for the B kit. 

13) "...A kit and B kit concept..." The Marine Corps Logistics Vehicle 
Replacement (LVSR) will be the first military vehicle to incorporate 
the A and B kit concept into the design and production of the vehicle. 
Source selection for the LVSR will be completed in May and a production 
contract will be awarded in the May/June timeframe. This survivability 
requirement was not identified in the original requirement for the 
vehicle; however, it has been introduced into the design and production 
plan as requirements changed and migrated. We have developed and will 
produce MTVRs "ready-to-accept" armor in the 1 st and 2nd quarter FY07. 
These MTVRs will have the critical armor components installed and all 
suspension upgrades completed, coming off the production line. 

GAO's Responses to DOD's Technical Comments: 

1. DOD stated that our statement identifying a number of systemic 
causes for shortages in armor such as inaccurate requirements is 
misleading and that it implies that the Marine Corps did not consider 
the current threat analysis. However, this statement does not refer to 
the Marine Corps's truck armor program. Rather, the statement is from 
the introduction of the report, where we discussed our prior work 
leading up to this review. Specifically, we noted that in April 2005 we 
reported on a number of critical supply shortages during OIF--including 
armored HMMWVs, body armor, and other items--and inaccurate 
requirements was one of the systemic causes identified in the April 
2005 report. 

2. DOD disagreed with our statement that the Marine Corps' interim 
armor did not meet requirements, noting that armor protection 
requirements changed quickly over time and migrated from a small arms 
ballistic focus to a fragmentation focus, as the lethality of IEDs 
encountered increased. However, the December 2003 requirement document 
that the Marine Corps provided to us during our review clearly stated 
the need to protect all vehicles from improvised explosive devices, 
mines, and other explosive ordnances. Documents we obtained from both 
the Marine Corps and Army recognized IEDs as a significant threat at 
the time. In fact, in DOD's comments to this report, it noted that "in 
December 2003, both the Army and Marine Corps recognized that IEDs, 
RPGs, 7.62mm projectiles, and mines were the predominate threats." 
Further, in November 2003, the Army had identified a requirement to 
protect vehicles from IEDs and recognized a need to purchase rolled 
homogenous armor (RHA), a type of armor that proved effective against 
both the ballistic and IED threat after testing many armor types. 

3. DOD disagreed with our statement that a lack of coordination between 
the Marine Corps and Army on addressing truck armor requirements and 
solutions caused the Marine Corps to make decisions about the types of 
armor to use without having all the information that was available on 
protective capabilities of various armor types. We acknowledge that the 
Marine Corps made attempts to coordinate through various informal 
processes, such as the Armor Kit Working Group Integrated Process Team. 
However, evidence showed that a lack of a synchronized approach among 
the services was due to each service having separate and distinct 
processes that generated the requirements to armor vehicles. The 
individual requirements processes led to the Marine Corps validating a 
requirement to armor vehicles 2 months after the Army validated a 
similar requirement to armor its vehicles. Ultimately, the Marine Corps 
began seeking RHA armor in February 2004--3 months after the Army began 
producing armor kits made out of RHA armor. Marine Corps officials told 
us that they began seeking RHA armor from industry earlier--in January 
2004--but were told it was in short supply. However, Marine Corps 
officials have not provided documentary evidence to substantiate this 
claim. For example, in DOD's comments to this report, it stated that 
the first purchase order for 3/8-inch RHA was on January 12, 2004. 
However, when we subsequently requested to see the purchase order, the 
Marine Corps noted that it was actually an Army purchase order. 
According to the Marine Corps, they made a phone inquiry to a steel 
vendor in January 2004, but have not provided documentation to support 
this assertion. In addition, we spoke with other steel suppliers about 
the availability of RHA during the January and March 2004 time frame. 
These industry officials told us that despite lead times for RHA that 
ranged from 30 days to 4 months, they could have made RHA available to 
the Marine Corps quicker if the Marine Corps had approached them 
directly. Moreover, although we agree that formal processes are in 
place for the Marine Corps to test armor types through the Army's 
Testing Center (ATC), the Marine Corps coordination with the Army to 
install RHA armor kits on vehicles did not occur until the Marine 
Corps' second phase of armoring. Furthermore, while the Marine Corps 
cited the Army-Marine Corps Board (AMCB) and the Joint IED Defeat 
Organization (JIEDDO) as other examples of Army and Marine Corps 
coordination in the development of armor solutions, these additional 
avenues for communication were not sufficient to bring the services' 
two truck armor programs together in a synchronized approach to ensure 
that requirements were identified and solutions developed for both 
services at the same time. We further clarified this position in the 
report. 

4. DOD disagreed with our statement that the Marine Corps did not 
identify a requirement for 3/8-inch RHA until April 2004. It stated 
that the need for RHA armor was identified earlier but was in short 
supply from industry. While some Marine Corps officials told us that 
the Marine Corps was not seeking 3/8-inch RHA for its interim armor, 
other Marine Corps officials subsequently told us they became aware of 
the need for 3/8-inch RHA in December 2003 and first inquired about the 
availability of RHA steel with industry in January 2004. However, these 
officials have not provided adequate documentation to support the 
assertion or that RHA was not available from industry (see note (3) 
above). Further, a Marine Corps Logistics Command report on its 
armoring efforts indicated that the Marine Corps did not make the 
decision to use 3/8-inch RHA until March 2004. However, it was not 
until April 2004 that the Marine Corps officially identified a need for 
3/8-inch RHA when it validated the requirement for the second armor 
phase. Due to the conflicting information, it remains unclear exactly 
when the Marine Corps became aware of the need for RHA. 

5. DOD disagreed with our statement that no formal process was in place 
to ensure interservice coordination. DOD acknowledged that there was no 
standing joint activity that addressed specific servicewide vehicle 
hardening requirements at the time, and cited participation in and 
coordination with the AKWG IPT, ATC, AMCB and JIEDDO as instrumental in 
developing the Marine Corps' truck armor solutions. While we agree that 
these organizations may have provided valuable information to the 
Marine Corps, as stated previously, this coordination was not 
sufficient to bring the services together to identify requirements and 
develop solutions for both services at the same time. 

6. DOD disagreed with our statement that troops were placed at greater 
risk as a result of the time required to replace the interim armor with 
add-on RHA armor and integrated armor. It noted that to accelerate the 
replacement of interim armor by taking a larger amount of vehicles out 
of service would create inherent risk to the operational commanders. We 
did not intend to suggest that the Marine Corps should have made this 
decision or that it could have done anything different given the 
operational conditions in the theater. Rather, we were simply stating 
that because of the time needed to replace the interim armor with the 
second generation RHA armor coupled with mission requirements, the 
vehicles were operating with less than the preferred armor solution. 

7. See note (1) and note (2). 

8. See note (6). 

9. See note (3) and note (5). 

10. See note (3) and note (4). 

11. We agree that attempts were made to share information between the 
Army and Marine Corps, but we recommended a DOD-wide formal process to 
require interservice coordination (see also note 5). 

12. See note (4). 

13. In response to our discussion on the Marine Corps' investigating 
future-kit armoring strategies using the "A" kit and "B" kit concept 
for armor kits, DOD added that the Marine Corps is now planning to 
incorporate this concept on its Logistics Vehicle Replacement (LVSR) 
and the MTVR. DOD further noted that the LVSR will be the first 
military vehicle to incorporate the A and B kit concept. We 
incorporated the current status of this program into the report. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

William M. Solis, (202) 512-8365 or solisw@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, David Schmitt, Assistant 
Director; Renee S. Brown, Judith C. Collins, Kenneth E. Patton, Richard 
G. Payne, Maria-Alaina I. Rambus, Paulina T. Reaves, Cary B. Russell, 
Patricia Sari-Spear, Rebecca Shea, John D. Strong, and Gerald Winterlin 
also made key contributions to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Improve the Availability 
of Critical Items during Current and Future Operations, GAO-05-275 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 8, 2005). 

[2] GAO, Defense Logistics: Several Factors Limited the Procurement and 
Installation of Army Truck Armor During Current Wartime Operations, GAO-
06-160 (Washington D.C.: Mar. 22, 2006). 

[3] CENTCOM is one of DOD's five geographic combatant commands, whose 
area of responsibility encompasses 27 countries in Southwest Asia, 
South and Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa. In addition to 
Operation Iraqi Freedom, CENTCOM is involved in Operation Enduring 
Freedom in Afghanistan. The other four geographic combatant commands 
are U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command, 
and U.S. Northern Command. 

[4] The Marine Corps also developed armor for HMMWVs, a light tactical 
wheeled vehicle. We examined availability of armor for HMMWVs in our 
prior report on wartime supply availability, so we did not include them 
in this review. See GAO, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Improve 
the Availability of Critical Items during Current and Future 
Operations, GAO-05-275 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 8, 2005). 

[5] Other force protection measures taken include the fielding of 
personal body armor and electronic IED countermeasures, as well as 
changes to unit-level training. 

[6] The Marine Requirements Oversight Council advises the Commandant of 
the Marine Corps on policy matters related to concepts, force 
structure, and requirements validation. It is chaired by the Assistant 
Commandant of the Marine Corps and is composed of permanent and 
associate members. At the direction of the Commandant, the council is 
to: (1) conduct comprehensive reviews of critical issues and programs 
to develop optimal, balanced Marine Corps positions by considering 
current operational needs, desired future capabilities, and feasible 
alternatives based on resource constraints; (2) review, prioritize, and 
approve Mission Need Statements, Operational Requirements Documents, 
and force structure recommendations; and (3) develop recommendations 
for Marine Corps requirements, related strategies, and positions that 
are supported and funded by external agencies and other services. 

[7] The services are allowed to reprogram, without DOD approval, a 
total of up to $20 million per year into the procurement account that 
includes armor kits. However, because the funding needed for armor kits 
exceeded this amount, the services had to request approval from the DOD 
Comptroller for any reprogramming of funds in excess of the $20 
million, which in turn had to be approved by Congress. 

[8] The Iraqi Freedom Fund is a special account providing funds for use 
of military forces in Iraq and those operations authorized by Pub. L. 
No. 107-40 (2001), Authorization for use of Military Force, and other 
operations and related activities in support of the global war on 
terrorism. 

[9] High hard steel has a high surface hardness level which provides 
good protection against projectiles. 

[10] Rolled homogeneous steel has a lower surface hardness than high 
hard steel and provides good protection against both projectiles and 
the fragmentation effects of IEDs. 

[11] "Marine Corps Vehicle Armoring," Testimony Before the House Armed 
Services Committee by Major General (Sel) William D. Catto, Commanding 
General, Marine Corps Systems Command, May 5, 2005. 

[12] The Marine Corps has 123 5-ton trucks, but because the 5-ton 
trucks are being phased out of theater operations, 87 will receive 
upgraded protection, such as underbody kits, because the remaining 
trucks will not be used outside the forward operating bases. 

[13] The Marine Corps also developed armor for the high mobility 
multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), a light tactical wheeled vehicle. 
We examined availability of armor for HMMWVs in our prior report on 
wartime supply availability, so we did not include them in this review. 
See GAO, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Improve the Availability 
of Critical Items during Current and Future Operations, GAO-05-275 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 8, 2005). 

[14] The Marine Corps has 123 5-ton trucks in theater, but because the 
5-ton trucks are being phased out of theater operations, 87 received 
upgraded protection such as underbody kits while the rest will not be 
used off the forward operating bases. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

441 G Street NW, Room LM 

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm 

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director, 

NelliganJ@gao.gov 

(202) 512-4800 

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 

441 G Street NW, Room 7149 

Washington, D.C. 20548: