Latest Homeland Security Armored Vehicle September 6, 2012 By: Ken Jorgustin The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. ArmyForces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’vehicles for service on the streets of the United States. Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about thisvehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about thevehicle itself. The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due tothe gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a divisionwithin the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several othercompanies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses),Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), Work Horse (they make chassis), Maxx Force(diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company). From Navistar Defense: The International® MaxxPro® is Navistar Defense’s MineResistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and incorporates the latest design inarmoring technology. Extensively tested by the military and used in theatertoday, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features thatgreatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle thatevery crew wants when they’re out in the field. MaxxPro® MRAP specifications: Length: 254″ (21.2 feet) Width: 102″ (8.5 feet) Height: 120″ (10 feet) Wheel base: 153″ (12.8 feet) Curb weight: 37,850 lbs. (18.9 tons) Engine: MaxxForce® 9.3 The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire,mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats. Its V-shaped hull helps deflectblasts out and away from the crew and its armoring can be customized to meetany mission requirement. The installation contract retrofits 2,717 vintage MaxxProvehicles (work performed in West Point, Mississippi) with a new rollingchassis. This chassis enhancement included the addition of the DXM™ independentsuspension, a MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, and a 570 amp alternator and driveline.The work was completed at the end of May 2012. Observations and Questions: Why would DHS need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S.streets to withstand IEDs and mine blasts? There are rails along the perimeter windows/gun ports tohelp displace the impact of RPG rounds… seems a bit much for a Police/Rescuevehicle… They all have gun ports… Rescue vehicle? Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?What are they expecting or preparing for? It is a ridiculous over-the-topdisplay of force that is meant to intimidate and associate the DHS name andlogo with ‘FEAR’. Just like all that’s happening with the TSA (under the wingof DHS), this is about normalization of a new way of American life. By the way, you’re the one who paid for these. Or bettersaid… your grand-kids will pay for these since we are living on a negativebalance sheet with a 16 Trillion dollar deficit. I am curious to know if any of our MSB readers have seen anyof these vehicles? Send photos and encounters if you have them… George Washington once said, “Government is not reason, itis not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearfulmaster. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” Update: One reader has suggested that the DHS vehicles arenot Navistar MaxxPro, but Golan (Israeli made) armored vehicles, while anotherreader who apparently has worked for Navistar confirms that this vehicle isindeed made by Navistar. There have been numerous reports on this storyswirling within the blogosphere with varying claims of make and model. Whilethis new information may or may not be accurate, I still question the need forthese types of military armored vehicles riding on the ‘free’ streets ofAmerica, regardless of who makes them Existing Reset Line Available to ServiceVehicles Returning from Deployment LISLE, Ill., March 15, 2012 Navistar Defense, LLC receivedan award to conduct the installation work associated with its January order toupgrade 2,717 International® MaxxPro® Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)vehicles with a new vehicle chassis. source: http://www.defenseprocurementnews.com These mods are for the “vehicle reset line”, meaning, forthose that are or have apparently come home from overseas. Where are theyexactly being deployed? It is difficult to say, because they have not exactlysaid. There are pictures out there with Homeland Security printed on the sidesof these vehicles. There are reports that some of them are being purposed forBorder Patrol. There are personal accounts of seeing the vehicles elsewhere.The DoD and DHS have an apparent working relationship, and these returningMRAP’s are apparently being re-purposed here on American streets. On the onehand it sounds frugal, on the other it sounds unnecessary (with exception toborder patrol IMHO). One could argue that we might simply mothball them untilsuch time they’re needed again (although understandably, decay would set in –it’s cost versus reward). NAVISTAR DEFENSE RECEIVES MRAP INSTALLATION ORDER “We are focused on increasing the capabilities of ourexisting fleet with minimal impact to defense funding,” said Archie Massicotte,president, Navistar Defense. “The vehicle reset line we established for thisinstallation work can also be utilized to restore older vehicles to like-newcondition. Therefore, we are poised and ready to reset vehicles returning fromdeployment…” The installation contract retrofits vintage MaxxPro vehicleswith a new rolling chassis. This chassis enhancement includes the addition ofthe DXM™ independent suspension, a MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, 570 amp alternatorand driveline, while leaving a residual chassis with a beam axle that can bereused. The retrofits will be conducted in West Point, Miss., and work isexpected to be completed by the end of May 2012. The company has fielded nearly 9,000 MaxxPro vehicles andcontinues to anticipate needed vehicle capabilities, enhancements, reset andreuse options for its entire fleet of 32,000 vehicles. Source: Navistar Defense, LLC (March 15, 2012 archives) The DHS and DoD report up the Executive branch to theCommander in Chief. The DoD / military is primarily limited to overseas actionsdue to the Posse Comitatus Act, while the new DHS (thanks to the Patriot Actafter 9/11) is intended for operations on U.S. soil. The DHS is seeminglybecoming the ‘legalized’ military here at home… and one could argue that it maybe circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act to some degree.