January 17, 2011:
Two years ago, the U.S. Army began using the MRAP Overhead Wire Mitigation Kit (OWMK) [PHOTO] system that uses two curved lengths of metal to safely get tall armored vehicles past low hanging power or telephone wires. For several years, troops had improvised similar systems to prevent vehicles from coming into contact with power cables, causing injury to the troops and their equipment. A more common problem was turret gunners getting snagged by low hanging wires, often electrical ones. The improvised solution usually involved just putting plastic pipe, at an angle, in front, to deal with the wire. Finally, the army took notice and developed a simple kit that could be fitted to an MRAP. The OWMK also prevents making the locals angry, because passing military vehicles tore down their power wires. The OMWK can handle wires as low as 2.6 meters (8 feet) from the ground. MRAPS are tall vehicles, and the top of the turret (if installed) is usually over three meters.