Ready to Roll

Say, "Hello" to the new workhorse of the modern military.

It's called an MRAP, or Mine Resistant Armored Personnel vehicle.

"Everybody knows [in Iraq and Afghanistan] we have IED's, and the MRAP is designed to combat the IED's and the affects they put on soldiers," said Captain Anthony Fatula, A Battery 3rd-13FA.

IED's, or Improvised Explosive Devices, are the number one troop killer in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Made from almost any explosive device, the danger from IED's doesn't just come from their explosive power, but the fact the enemy can hide them almost anywhere.

"I was over there right before the IED's started becoming prevalent," said SSG Matthew Lyons, A Battery, 3rd-13FA, "and we were using just basically whatever we could find, sandbags and scrap metal, to make armor out of that."

One of the primary design features of the new MRAP vehicles is a slanted under carriage, which funnels the explosion from IED's away from the soldiers inside, protecting them and saving lives.

"They're very necessary," said Captain Fatula, "I was [in Afghanistan] about two years ago and it was right when [IED's] first started coming to Afghanistan and the MRAP's definitely helped save some lives."

MRAP's can come in many different configurations, and depending on layout, can carry up to seven soldiers.

This is the first time troops from Fort Sill have had the opportunity to train with the vehicles, and according to Army Personnel, the training is invaluable.

"You don't want a soldier to deploy and the first time he's seeing the MRAP's is when it's for real in Afghanistan or Iraq," said Captain Fatula.

The exact specifications of just how thick the armor is, how fast the MRAP can go, or what type of technology the behemoths have on the inside is classified.

One thing that is for sure, not only can they take a beating, but they look tough too.

"It's a big huge truck with guns sticking out of it," said SSG Lyons, "so, I would be intimidated."

Around 65 soldiers trained on the MRAP's Tuesday.

Officials at Fort Sill said this type of training will become standard for all soldiers being deployed overseas.

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