October 25, 2006:
War is rough on vehicles, even when they are not being shot at. As a result of operations in Afghanistan, and especially Iraq, the U.S. Army has a backlog of nearly 7,000 trucks and armored vehicles requiring refurbishment. Currently, the main facility for this, the Red River Army Depot, turns out about 5,000 refurbished hummers a year, plus some 160 M-2 Bradley armored vehicles, and several hundred larger trucks. The economics of this are pretty straightforward. Buying a new hummer costs about $190,000. A refurbished one costs about a third of that. Same thing for Bradleys, which cost $2.2 million brand new. It's proved easier to get money out of Congress for new vehicles, than for refurbs, but the army brass finally convinced Congress that rebuilt vehicles were a much better way to go.