The Safety of Our Military Vehicles in Combat
What does the word safety mean? Does it mean protecting yourself from harm? Safety should convey a feeling that you are secure in your current position, whether that is physical, emotional or psychological? Safety means different things to daifferent people. Safety is “the state of being safe; freedom from the risk of injury, danger, or loss” (Merriam-Webster dictionary online, n.d.).One group that stands out for being safety conscious is our military servicemen and women. They put their lives on the line everyday so that Americans can feel safe. Our military men and women should feel safe in the vehicle that they travel in 90 percent of the time. What can be done to make their Humvees safer? Improvements should be made to their equipment as the times change. Since its first introduction in 1979, many improvements have been made to the Humvee to increase military safety.
The Humvee is the most versatile vehicle in use no only by the U.S. Army, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and the Navy, which is scattered throughout not only overseas but throughout the United States. The Humvee offers exceptional agility, mobility, as well as exceptional speed. It is built on a multipurpose platform made to accommodate a wide range of configurations. It features a full-time four wheel drive, an independent suspension, the ability to approach and depart on steep angles, as well as 16 inches of grounded clearance.
Although it was released in 1979 to the military, preliminary design work on the M998 Series High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV also pronounced Humvee) began in 1981 with Am General receiving the prototype contract from the U.S. Army. After a five-month development and operational testing phase, this 1.25 ton truck was intended to replace the previous M151 and other lighter tactical vehicles. The U.S. Army in August 1989 again awarded a new multi-year contract for the production of more than 33,000 Humvees. Although they didn’t begin until the late 1990s the first deliveries under this new contract made. Having multiple options available for choosing soon made the mere 33,000 rise to more than 50,000. Sticking with Am General from the prototype till 1994 they were offered an additional contract. The most recent U.S. Army contract, 2000-2009, resulted in over 65,000 more Humvees being built through 2007. Being delivered to over 50 friendly overseas nations as well as the United States more than 200,000 vehicles have been built and delivered. Prominent in U.S. military action in Panama in 1989-90 and even more so in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 better known as the workhorse, the Humvee won high praise for the U.S. Troops. (AM General, 2012) Even more recently; the Humvee has played important roles in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, it has been said that wherever American Soldiers go, their Humvees go with them. (AM General, 2012)
The purpose-built version of the Humvee intended to provide better protection for not only the crew but also for the vehicle itself was the M1114 UAH (Up-Armored Humvee). Based on the success of a previous M1109 model that debuted in May 1994, the M1114 features a revised location for armor, with protection across various points on the basic HMMWV design. Again this was a task that the U.S. Army entrusted in the hands of Am General, providing the basic Humvee frame while the armor and its general locations where to be handled by the experts of O’Gara-Hess Eisenhardt. Later after many months, and hours after hours of work a prototype would emerge as the XM1114.
September 1995 the XM1114 went through a series of ballistic trials to test and see how valid the concept would be in future use. Consisting of welded aluminum, composite and steel the existing Humvee frame was integrated with armor. The basic armor protection...