American Forces Press Service
Jan. 17, 2008 - A ceremony here today marked the beginning of a program to refurbish and transfer more than 4,200 up-armored Humvees over the next 13 months. Some 627 vehicles now are staged in the holding yard ready to undergo a maintenance overhaul of brakes, belts and fluids before the appropriate paint scheme is applied. Once this process is completed, including quality assurance checks, the vehicles will be transferred to the government of Iraq for further distribution to the Iraqi security forces, U.S. officials said.
"These vehicles are very important to the Iraqi National Police as well as the Iraqi army forces," Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani said. "The people of Iraq will be proud to see the police and the military using these vehicles."
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. George Smith, director of the Security Assistance Office, said these Humvees "will provide protected mobility for the many Iraqi security forces who will receive them."
Smith told the crowd that these vehicles used by American soldiers served as work horses and will equally help Iraqi military and police officers, providing them with enhanced firepower and force protection.
The goal is to transfer 4,244 vehicles to the Iraqi security forces by the end of 2008. The refurbishment process is a 13-month program, which includes light maintenance and painting. The contract can be extended by an additional six months. This contract will generate more than 500 jobs and has the potential to serve as an on-the-job training mechanism for Iraqi soldiers who have completed their initial training. It'll serve as a mechanism to ensure the long-term capability to maintain this fleet of vehicles by the Iraqi army.
Officials aim for the program to complete the transfer of more than 8,000 vehicles to the Iraqi government by the end of 2009.
(From a Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news release.)